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19 votes
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If a blood avenger somehow gets into a city of refuge and kills the killer, is he subject to the death penalty?

The Rambam (Hilchot Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh 5:11) writes If the [unintentional] killer is slain within the Sabbath limits of the city of refuge, the one who slayed him should be executed. see ...
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18 votes
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What if the Kohen Gadol accidentally kills someone?

Mishna in Makoth 2:7 וְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל שֶׁהָרַג , אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא מִשָּׁם לְעוֹלָם A Kohain Gadol who kills goes to the Ir Miklat forever. They would have to appoint another one, to do the Avoda on Yom ...
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14 votes

Why did Pharaoh only order the murder of boys?

Rashi to Exodus (1:16) quotes a Midrash that the Pharaoh decreed to specifically kill males since his astrologers predicted that a male would save the Jews. This Midrash is pretty old, and is present ...
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14 votes

Why did Pharaoh only order the murder of boys?

Commentaries available here: Rashi (verse 16) - Pharaoh's stargazers had told him that a boy who would lead the Jews out of Egypt was being born. Chizkuni (verse 16) - men were generally those ...
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13 votes

Can an unintentional murderer leave Ir Miklat for Shalosh Regalim?

He stays in his Ir Miklat, in all cases even to save a life, as the Rambam explains in Hilchot Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh 7:8 A person who was exiled to a city of refuge should never leave his city ...
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11 votes
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Is the Goel HaDam (Blood Avenger) obligated to pursue blood vengeance?

This is the matter of a Tannaic dispute recorded in the Mishna (Makkot 2:7), Makkot (11a): רוצח שיצא חוץ לתחום, ומצאו גואל הדם--רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר, מצוה ביד גואל הדם, ורשות ביד כל אדם; רבי עקיבה ...
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11 votes

Connection between accidental murderer and Kohen ha'gadol?

The Rambam writes that the death of the High Priest distracts the mourners from seeking vengeance on the possible killer in the city of refuge: The chance of returning from the exile depends on the ...
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10 votes

Moshe and the Egyptian - Justifiable Homicide?

The Midrash Raba 1:28 says it was justifiable: One time, an Egyptian taskmaster went to a Israelite kapo and looked at his wife, who was beautiful without blemish. He got up at cockcrow and removed ...
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10 votes

Why did God need to command the Jews not to kill?

A Medrash states that G-d offered the Torah to the children of Eisau. They rejected it, saying they could not accept this very commandment against murder. This begs the question: Eisau's descendants ...
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10 votes

Did Jews kill any of their prophet?

Yes. Jews killed many prophets. And here is a proof from 1 Kings 19 (14). Then the Lord spoke his word to him: “Elijah! Why are you here?” 10 He answered, “Lord God All-Powerful, I have ...
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9 votes

Why did Mordechai not let Bigson & Seresh assasinate the king?

Rabbi Yonason Eibushutz answered humorously that disposing of two evil doers ( Bigsan and Teresh) is better than one ( Ahashverosh) The midrash (footnote 73) and Sefarim Chitzonum writes that Bigsan ...
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9 votes
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What happens if the Kohen Gadol is replaced while someone is in the Ir Miklat?

Rambam Rotzeah 7:9 (English) אחד כוהן גדול המשוח בשמן המשחה, ואחד המרובה בבגדים; ואחד כוהן גדול העובד, ואחד הכוהן שעבר: כל אחד מארבעתן שמת, מחזיר את הרוצח.‏ If any of the current or former ...
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9 votes

The question of euthanasia

Ohr Someach clearly states: Jewish law forbids euthanasia in all forms, and is considered an act of homicide. The life of a person is not "his" - rather, it belongs to the One Who granted that ...
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9 votes

Does a person who kills someone by accident have to go live in Chevron nowadays?

The Sefer HaChinuch writes as follows: Sefer HaChinuch Mitzvah # 410 ונוהגת מצוה זו בזמן שישראל על אדמתן וסנהדרין של שבעים ואחד יושבין במקומן המוכן להם בירושלם לדין דיני נפשות And this ...
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8 votes

What is an overview of Judaism's arguments against the "unconscious violinist" analogy used to support abortion in the case of rape?

Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488 - 1575)states in Shulchan Aruch, (The Code of Jewish Law) that if a physician is able to heal a patient and refrains from doing so, this is considered murder. Yoreh Deah, 336:1 ...
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8 votes

Why did God need to command the Jews not to kill?

If not for the prohibition, murder would carry no defined penalty in civil courts. The Torah prohibition makes murder always a capital crime. Same with stealing - if there was no explicit mitzvah, ...
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  • 5,212
8 votes
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Does Yehareg v’al Yaavor apply to lo sa’amod?

Tosfos (Sanhedrin 74b s.v. והא אסתר) says: ורוצח גופיה כי מיחייב למסור עצמו ה"מ קודם שיהרג בידים אבל היכא דלא עביד מעשה כגון שמשליכין אותו על התינוק ומתמעך מסתברא שאין חייב למסור עצמו דמצי אמר ...
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8 votes
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Can you kill person A to protect yourself from B?

First, the concept of killing a non-guilty party in self defense is learned from the Gemara in Sanhedrin 82a. (See also the commentary of the Rosh to this Gemara; 9:4) When Pinchas was (doing the ...
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8 votes

Is murder allowed for someone who is stealing?

Mishna Sanhedrin 8.6 [A thief] who comes through a tunnel [into one's house] is judged on the basis of his end. If he came through a tunnel and broke a jug: if he has blood-guilt, he is liable; if ...
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7 votes
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Was Yoav considered a murderer regarding Uriah the Hittite?

Kiddushin 43a: האומר לשלוחו צא הרוג את הנפש הוא חייב ושולחיו פטור שמאי הזקן אומר משום חגי הנביא שולחיו חייב שנא' (שמואל ב יב, ט) אותו הרגת בחרב בני עמון One who says to his agent: "Go and ...
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7 votes
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Is an accidental murderer allowed to stand and fight the Goel HaDam?

Regarding your second bullet point, as to whether he would be punished if he kills the Goel Hadom, this is dealt with by the Mishneh Lamelech, Hilchot Rotzeach, 1:15 who says he will not be punished. ...
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6 votes

Does demolition of terrorists' homes have any basis in Judaism?

David Rosen of Emory University School of Law writes as follows on page 44. Regarding destruction of homes of living terrorists these actions seem easy to justify under Jewish Law. Ezra 10:8 ...
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6 votes

Moshe and the Egyptian - Justifiable Homicide?

The Beis Yosef Y.D 158, followed by the Rema (Darkei Moshe 158:2) and the Shach (158:2) understand, based on Tosefos to Avoda Zara 26a s.v. ולא מורידים, that when the Mishna says אין מורידים, it means ...
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6 votes

Why did Mordechai not let Bigson & Seresh assasinate the king?

Pirkei Avos says: "Hevei mispallel b'shloma shel malchus" - Pray for the peace of the government. Even though there is no concept of lo ta'amod for Mordechai to adhere to, the assassination of the ...
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6 votes
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Getting in the way of a zealot

Summary: The Gemara says that a zealot may kill various sinners including one who has relations with a non-Jewess. The sinner may defend himself. But the Rosh writes that bystanders may not kill the ...
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6 votes

Earliest moment for interrupted wedding to be considered binding?

From the moment the bride receives the ring (or anything else of value) from the groom after he declares הֲרֵי אַתְּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי in the presence of 2 Kosher witnesses, they are married, and the ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Handing over a murderer to the Goel Hadam?

The law is exactly in accordance with the literal meaning of the verse in this case. "ונתנו אותו ביד גואל הדם" The Rambam codified this ruling in the halacha immediately following the halacha cited ...
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  • 216
6 votes

Why did Cain (Kayin) kill Abel (Hevel)?

The reason you mention is one on the list in Bereishis Rabba 22 And Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And it came to pass when they were in the field... " (Gen 4:8) What were they fighting about? ...
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6 votes

Is the commandment 'You shall not murder' the most important commandment in Judaism?

Judaism does not specify the importance or reward of different commandments. We observe them all because God says so without trying to rationalize (although many have proposed explanations for the ...
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