[8a - 54 lines; 8b - 22 lines]

1)[line 1]פסילנא לך לדינאPASILNA LACH L'DINA- I am invalid to judge your case. Although it was Halachically permissible for Rav to judge the case as long as he showed no favoritism toward his former host, he preferred not to judge the case to begin with (TOSFOS DH Pasilna; see, however, RAMBAM Hilchos Sanhedrin 23:6 and commentaries).

2)[line 2]פוק דייניהPUK DAINEI- go and judge him

3)[line 2]חזייה דהוה קא גאיס [ביה]CHAZYEI D'HAVAH KA GA'IS [BEI]- [Rebbi Kahana] saw that [the former host] was acting arrogantly [toward him, since he assumed that Rav would support him]

4)[line 3]אי (צייתא, צייתא) [צייתת, צייתת]IY (TZAISA, TZAISA) [TZAISAS, TZAISAS]!- if you acquiesce, good!

5)[line 3]מפיקנא לך רב מאונךMAPIKINA LACH RAV ME'UNECH- lit. I will remove Rav from your (a) strength (RASHI); (b) ear (RASHI to Chulin 132b); i.e., I will excommunicate you, and Rav will not be able to help you

6)[line 5]חביבCHAVIV- valued

7a)[line 5]פרוטהPERUTAH- the smallest coin in circulation at the time of the Gemara

b)[line 6]מנהMANEH- One Maneh is equivalent to 100 silver Dinarim, each of which is worth 192 Perutos

8)[line 6]לעיוני ביה ומיפסקיהL'IYUNEI BEI U'MIFSEKEI- regarding [that which a judge must first] investigate [the details of the case] and [only then] pass judgment

9)[line 7]לאקדומיהL'AKDUMEI- to [judge the case of a Perutah] prior [to that of a Maneh, even though the case of the Perutah came before the judge first]

10)[line 10]לא דיין...?LO DAYAN...?- is it not enough...?

11)[line 12]שמטריחין אותי להחזיר ממון לבעליוMATRICHIN OSI L'HACHZIR MAMON LEVA'ALAV- they inconvenience Me to return the money to its [rightful] owner

12)[line 13]"... וְהַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יִקְשֶׁה מִכֶּם [תַּקְרִבוּן אֵלַי וּשְׁמַעְתִּיו]""... VEHA'DAVAR ASHER YIKSHEH MIKEM [TAKRIVUN ELAI U'SHMA'TIV]"- "And that which is too difficult for you [bring to me and I will understand it (lit. "hear it")]" (Devarim 1:17). This verse contains the instructions of Moshe Rabeinu to the other judges of Klal Yisrael in the Sinai desert.

13)[line 15]"וַיַּקְרֵב מֹשֶׁה אֶת מִשְׁפָּטָן לִפְנֵי ה'""VA'YAKREV MOSHE ES MISHPATAN LIFNEI HASH-M" - "And Moshe brought their case before HaSh-m" (Bamidbar 27:5) (BNOS TZELOFCHAD)

(a)HaSh-m instructed Moshe Rabeinu that the portion allotted to each Shevet in Eretz Yisrael should be divided into individual portions, such that every individual within the Shevet received an equal lot (Bamidbar 26:52-56). Tana'im disagree as to the exact method of allocation (Bava Basra 117a-b).

(b)Tzelofchad son of Chefer, of Shevet Menasheh, had perished in the desert. He had died as a result of a sin that he had committed (Bamidbar 27:3). Tana'im disagree as to what sin this was. Rebbi Akiva explains that Tzelofchad was the Mekoshesh Etzim - the Jew who profaned Shabbos by gathering kindling on the holy day. The Mekoshesh Etzim received the death penalty of Sekilah (stoning; see Background to Bava Basra 10:29:b) (Bamidbar 15:32-36). Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseira maintains that Tzelofchad was among those who resolved to conquer Eretz Yisrael on their own, even after Moshe informed them that they were destined to die in the desert over the next forty years due to the sin of the Meraglim (spies). Moshe clearly warned them that HaSh-m would not support their endeavor; they ignored this warning, and as a result were massacred by the Amalekim and the Kena'anim (Bamidbar 14:40-45) (Shabbos 96b-97a).

(c)At the time of his death, Tzelofchad had no sons. He had, however, five daughters: Machlah, Tirtzah, Chaglah, Milkah, and No'ah. His daughters came to Moshe Rabeinu with a grievance: why should their father receive no inheritance simply because he had had no sons? They argued that they, his daughters, should receive their father's inheritance in this situation! "And Moshe brought their case before HaSh-m" (Bamidbar 27:5). HaSh-m responded by teaching the proper order of inheritance (see below, entry #16). HaSh-m agreed with the Bnos Tzelofchad; a daughter who has no brothers inherits her father's estate (Bamidbar 27:1-11; see Bava Basra 119b and Background to 108:5).

(d)Rebbi Chanina / Rebbi Yoshiyah maintains that since Moshe Rabeinu implied that he knew the answers to all Halachic queries that would be put to him, HaSh-m punished him by sending him the question of Bnos Tzelofchad, to which he did not know the correct ruling on his own.

14a)[line 16]מי כתיב "ואשמיעכם"?MI KESIV "V'ASHMI'ACHEM"?- is it written [in the verse that Moshe claimed] "and I will tell you (lit. and I will make heard to you)"?

b)[line 17]"וּשְׁמַעְתִּיו" כתיב!"U'SHMA'TIV" KESIV!- it is [rather] written "and I will hear it"!

15a)[line 17]אי גמירנא, גמירנאIY GEMIRNA, GEMIRNA- [which implies that] if I have learned [the answer to your question], then I have learned it [and will answer you]

b)[line 17]ואי לא, אזילנא וגמירנא [ושאילנא מקמי הקדוש ברוך הוא]V'IY LO, AZILNA V'GAMIRNA [U'SHE'ILNA MI'KAMEI HAKADOSH BARUCH HU]- and if [I have] not [learned the answer to your question], then I will go and learn [and ask it of ha'Kadosh Baruch Hu]

16)[line 18]פרשת נחלותPARSHAS NACHALOS - The Torah-Mandated Order of Inheritance

(a)The Torah describes the order in which one's heirs inherit him after his death. If he has no sons, then his daughter inherits him. If he has no daughters, then his brothers inherit him. If he has no brothers, then his father's brothers inherit him. If his father had no brothers - or if none are alive at the time of his death - then his next closest living relative inherits his estate (Bamidbar 27:8-11).

(b)There are numerous details applicable to Halachos of inheritance that are not clearly spelled out in these verses. One of these, for example, is that one's father is first to inherit him if he leaves no descendants. A father takes precedence over the brothers of the deceased. Tana'im disagree about how this is derived from these verses (Bava Basra 108b-109). Another example of a detail that requires derivation is that which one inherits his mother.

(c)When Moshe Rabeinu presented the case of Bnos Tzelofchad to HaSh-m, He responded by teaching Moshe Parshas Nachalos.

17)[line 20]שזכו בנות צלפחד ונכתב על ידןZACHU BNOS TZELOFCHAD V'NICHTAV AL YADAN- the daughters of Tzelofchad merited to have it written through their initiative]

18)[line 21]פרשת מקוששPARSHAS MEKOSHESH- the episode of he who profaned Shabbos by gathered kindling on the holy day. This episode teaches that one who profanes Shabbos receives the death penalty of Sekilah (stoning; see Background to Bava Basra 10:29:b) (Bamidbar 15:32-36).

19)[line 23]שמגלגלין חובה על ידי חייב, וזכות על ידי זכאיMEGALGELIN CHOVAH AL YEDEI CHAYAV, U'ZECHUS AL YEDEI ZAKAI- [from on high] they arrange for misfortune (in this case, the death penalty of Sekilah) to come about through an agent who is guilty (in this case, the Mekoshesh), and merit (in this case, that relatives inherit their close family members) to come about through an agent who is meritorious (in this case, Bnos Tzelofchad)

20)[line 24]"וָאֲצַוֶּה אֶת שׁוֹפְטֵיכֶם בָּעֵת הַהִיא [לֵאמֹר...]""VA'ATZAVEH ES SHOFTEICHEM BA'EIS HA'HI [LEIMOR...]"- "And I instructed your judges at that time [saying, "Listen well to the arguments between your brothers and judge truthfully, between a man, his brother, and his litigant]" (Devarim 1:16). This verse implies that Moshe instructed the judges to force the litigants to accept their ruling.

21)[line 25]"וָאֲצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם בָּעֵת הַהִיא...""VA'ATZAVEH ESCHEM BA'EIS HA'HI..."- "And I instructed you at that time [in all of the matters that you are to do]" (Devarim 1:18). This verse implies that Moshe instructed the nation as well.

22a)[line 26]אזהרה לציבור שתהא אימת דיין עליהןAZHARAH L'TZIBUR SHE'TEHEI EIMAS DAYAN ALEIHEN- [the latter verse is] a warning to the public that they should treat the judge with awe

b)[line 27]ואזהרה לדיין שיסבול את הציבורV'AZHARAH L'DAYAN SHE'YISBOL ES HA'TZIBUR- and [the former verse is] a warning to the judge that he patiently tolerate the public

23)[line 28]עד כמה?AD KAMAH?- until what point [must a judge tolerate the public]?

24)[line 29]"... כַּאֲשֶׁר יִשָּׂא הָאוֹמֵן אֶת הַיּוֹנֵק...""... KA'ASHER YISA HA'OMEN ES HA'YONEK..."- "[Have I conceived this nation; have I birthed them? That You have said to me, 'Carry them in your bosom] as a caregiver carries an infant...'?" (Bamidbar 11:12). This verse records part of the complaint of Moshe Rabeinu to HaSh-m when he requested help in leading Klal Yisrael. The phrase cited in our Gemara describes the extent to which a judge must exercise patience.

25a)[line 30]"כִּי אַתָּה תָּבוֹא [אֶת הָעָם הַזֶּה אֶל הָאָרֶץ...]""KI ATAH TAVO [ES HA'AM HA'ZEH EL HA'ARETZ...]"- "For you shall come [with this nation to the land...]" (Devarim 31:7). In this verse, Moshe speaks shortly before his death to Yehoshua, and implies that Yehoshua will be equal to the rest of the nation.

b)[line 30]"כִּי אַתָּה תָּבִיא [אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לָהֶם...]""KI ATAH TAVI [ES BNEI YISRAEL EL HA'ARETZ ASHER NISHBA'TI LAHEM...]"- "For you shall bring Bnei Yisrael to the land that I have sworn to them...]" (Devarim 31:23). In this verse, the implication is that Yehoshua will be the leader of the nation.

26)[line 32]אתה והזקנים שבדור (עמהם) [עמך]ATAH VEHA'ZEKENIM SHEB'DOR (IMAHEM) [IMCHA]- you and the elders of the generation together with you [shall lead]

27)[line 33]טול מקל והך על קדקדםTOL MAKEL V'HACH AL KODKODAM- take a rod and strike [them] upon their skulls!

28)[line 33]דַּבָּרDABAR- a leader

29)[line 35]ברכת זימוןBIRKAS ZIMUN - The Introduction to Grace After Meals

(a)After eating a meal of bread, one is required mid'Oraisa to thank HaSh-m by reciting Birkas ha'Mazon (Devarim 8:10). When three or more Jewish men eat a meal of bread together, they first recite a responsive introduction to Birkas ha'Mazon. He who leads this introduction essentially extends an invitation (Zimun) to those present to prepare for Birkas ha'Mazon. If there were ten or more men who ate together, then the Zimun includes the name of HaSh-m (Berachos 45).

(b)"Birkas Zimun," according to most Rishonim, refers to this introduction to Birkas ha'Mazon. RASHI (to Berachos 46a DH deka'Savar), however, explains that Birkas Zimun refers to the introduction as well as the first Berachah of Birkas ha'Mazon (Birkas ha'Zan), according to one Amora in the Gemara.

30)[line 35]זימון וברכת זימון בשלשהZIMUN U'VIRKAS ZIMUN BI'SHELOSHAH- Zimun and Birkas Zimun require three [which implies that "Zimun" and "Birkas Zimun" are separate ideas]

31)[line 36]פרושי קמפרשPERUSHEI KA'MEFARESH- [the second phrase in the Beraisa, that of "Birkas Zimun"] is explaining [the first phrase of "Zimun"]

32)[line 39]אזמוני לדיןAZMUNEI L'DIN- a summons to court

33a)[line 39]הני בי תלתא דייני דיתביHANEI BEI TELASA DAYANEI D'YASVEI- that court of three judges that convened

b)[line 40]ואזיל שליחא דבי דינא ואמר מפומא דחדV'AZIL SHELICHA D'VEI DINA V'AMAR MI'PUMA D'CHAD- and a messenger of Beis Din went and summoned [a litigant] in the name of one [of the judges only]

34)[line 42]הני מילי בלא יומא דדינאHANEI MILEI B'LO YOMA D'DINA- that [which a summons in the name of a single judge is not a proper summons] is true [only] when it is not a day of judgment (namely, Monday or Thursday, when Beis Din regularly convene; Bava Kama 82b)

35)[line 45]דיני קנסות בכמה?DINEI KENASOS B'CHAMAH?- how many [judges are required to judge cases involving] fines (defined as a payment that over-compensates for damages or a set penalty that does not change based upon the damages; RASHI to Bava Kama )

36)[line 46]יחיד מומחהYACHID MUMCHEH- a single expert judge [who is allowed to judge monetary matters (see 5a)]

37)[line 46]דָּאִין?DA'IN...?- may he judge...?

38)[line 47]תניתוהTENISUHA- you have learned [the answer to your question] in a Mishnah

39)[line 47]תשלומי כפל ותשלומי ארבעה וחמשהTASHLUMEI KEFEL V'TASHLUMEI ARBA'AH V'CHAMISHAH - Circumstances under which a Thief must Make Restitution for More than what he Stole

(a)One who steals an object from his fellow Jew must return it to its owner. If he no longer has it, or if is no longer in its original state, then he must make restitution for its value at the time of the theft (Vayikra 5:23). Under certain circumstances, a thief must pay double the value of that which he stole. The first payment is the "Keren" (principal), and the second payment is called "Kefel" (double).

(b)Only a Ganav - one who makes sure that the owners of the object are not around when he steals from them - is liable to pay Kefel. A Gazlan - a robber who forcibly separates people from their possessions - never pays Kefel. The Gemara (Bava Kama 79b) explains that the Torah treats the crime of the Ganav more seriously since he demonstrates that his fear of man is greater than his fear of G-d.

(c)One is not liable to pay Kefel for damaging the property of another. If he does not first partially acquire the object through an act of theft, his status is that of a Mazik (one who causes damage), and his responsibilities differ (see Background to Kesuvos 65:40).

(d)A thief is not liable to pay Kefel if he steals Shetaros (documents demonstrating ownership or promissory notes), nor, according to most Tana'im, if he steals land or slaves (Bava Kama 117b).

(e)If the object stolen was a live sheep or ox, and the thief either slaughtered or sold it, the Torah places an even stiffer fine upon him. In the case of a stolen sheep that was slaughtered or sold, he must compensate the owner four times its value, whereas in the case of a stolen ox that was slaughtered or sold he must compensate the owner five times its value. Chazal (Bava Kama 79b) explain that the Torah was more lenient with one who steals a sheep than with one who steals an ox, since he has already suffered through the demeaning experience of walking while carrying a sheep on his shoulders. One who stole an ox, by contrast, presumably led the ox on foot behind him.

(f)A thief is not liable to pay Arba'ah va'Chamishah for slaughtering a sheep or ox unless he or his Shali'ach (agent) performs a Halachically valid Shechitah. Amora'im disagree as to whether a thief is liable to pay Arba'ah va'Chamishah for selling a sheep or ox before Ye'ush (the point at which the owner gives up all hope of ever recovering his stolen object; see Background to Gitin 55:27), or whether he is only liable for doing so following Ye'ush (Bava Kama 68a).

(g)Since Kefel, Arba'ah, and Chamishah are over-compensations for a monetary loss, they have the status of a Kenas (fine) as opposed to that of Mamon (remuneration). One is never liable to pay a Kenas based upon his own admission. Should a thief admit his guilt, therefore, he is exempt from this double payment. If witnesses subsequently testify to his action in Beis Din, Amora'im disagree as to whether or not he must make these extra payments (see Bava Kama 74b-75a). A thief is under no moral obligation to pay the fine of Kefel unless it has been placed upon him by Beis Din (RASHBA to Bava Kama 74b; see also MILCHAMOS HASH-M at the end of the third Perek of Kesuvos).

40)[line 48]הדיוטותHEDYOTOS- simpletons; i.e., those who are not expert in Halachah

41)[line 48]אבוה דאבוךAVUHA D'AVUCH- the father of your father; i.e., Rav Chisda's father

42)[line 50]מוציא שם רעMOTZI SHEM RA- The monetary judgment in the case of our Mishnah, which will now be discussed in the Gemara, is one in which (a) the husband wishes to be exempt from paying his wife's Kesuvah (marriage contract), for which he does not require witnesses to her infidelity. This is because we assume that if he wished to make up slander, he would not have gone through the expense of a wedding feast (Kesuvos 10a) (RASHI); (b) the father of the wife wishes to collect the fine of 100 Sela'im from his son-in-law (see Background to 1:8), which can only be collected if the husband brought witnesses that his wife had committed adultery when they were betrothed, and those witnesses were subsequently contradicted (TOSFOS DH Motzi). (See Insights.)

43)[line 50]וכי יש בו דיני נפשות, מאי הוי?V'CHI YESH BO DINEI NEFASHOS, MAI HAVEI?- and if [in the future the husband brings witnesses that his wife committed adultery, which would then lead to] a case involving [possible] capital punishment [since adultery is punishable by Chenek (see below, entry #58)], what [concern] is there [of ours now, when the only subject being deliberated is monetary]?

44)[line 51]בחוששין ללעזCHOSHESHIN L'LA'AZ- [whether or not] we are concerned that (a) news [that the husband has accused his wife of adultery] will spread [leading to witnesses who witnessed the adultery to come and testify in Beis Din] (RASHI); (b) [witnesses will arrive afterward and require that twenty judges be added to the original three, thereby spawning] rumors [that the first three are invalid as judges] (TOSFOS DH Motzi)

45)[line 53]בחוששין לכבודן של ראשוניםCHOSHESHIN LI'CHEVODAN SHEL RISHONIM- [whether or not] we are concerned that the honor of the [twenty judges who were] originally present [and then left, will be slighted if the case is judged after they leave]

46a)[line 53]דאיכניף בי עשרין ותלתא למידן דיני נפשותICHNIF BEI ESRIN U'TELASA L'MEIDAN DINEI NEFASHOS- a set of twenty three [judges] had gathered to judge a case of capital punishment [since (a) the husband claimed to have witnesses to his wife's infidelity when they were betrothed (RASHI); (b) the wife's father had witnesses to be Mezim (see below, entry #53) those of the husband who claimed to have witnessed the wife's infidelity (TOSFOS to 8b DH Rabah)]

b)[last line]ואיבדורV'IVDUR- and they dispersed [since (a) the husband was unable to produce the witnesses that he claimed were present (RASHI); (b) due to unavoidable circumstance such as fear for their lives (TOSFOS DH to 8b DH Rabah)]

47)[last line]דיינו לי מיהא דיני ממונותDAINU LI MIHA DINEI MAMONOS- at the least, judge for me the monetary matter [of (a) my exemption of paying my wife's Kesuvah, since I cannot find witnesses upon whose word my wife can be put to death (RASHI); (b) that which my son-in-law owes me 100 Sela'im, since there no longer the requisite number of judges to convict the Edim Zomemim in the death penalty (TOSFOS DH to 8b DH Rabah)]


48a)[line 1]תבעו ממוןTAV'O MAMON- if he requested [a judgment involving] money (i.e., (a) an exemption from paying his wife's Kesuvah (RASHI); (b) that which his son-in-law owes him 100 Sela'im (TOSFOS))

b)[line 2]תבעו נפשותTAV'O NEFASHOS- if he requested [a judgment involving possible] capital punishment (i.e., (a) the death penalty for his wife (RASHI); (b) 100 Sela'im from his son-in-law, which by definition involves bringing witnesses who are Zomem those brought by the husband, which will in turn lead to the death penalty for those witnesses (TOSFOS DH v'Hevi))

49)[line 3]תבעו ממון תחילהTAV'O MAMON TECHILAH- (a) he requested [only] the monetary matter [of an exemption from paying his wife's Kesuvah] to begin with [and not that of putting her to death] (RASHI); (b) his request was [only] for the monetary matter [of that which his son-in-law owes him 100 Sela'im] to begin with [since there were never more than three judges there] (TOSFOS DH Meisivei)

50)[line 5]אני וארי שבחבורה תרגימנאANI VA'ARI SHEBA'CHABURAH TARGIMNA- I and the "lion" of our company (i.e., the greatest scholar amongst us) have explained it

51)[line 6]ומנו?MANU?- who is [the "lion"]?

52)[line 8]שזינתהZINSA- she committed adultery [while betrothed]

53)[line 8]והזימום לעדי הבעלHEZIMUM L'EDEI HA'BA'AL - he demonstrated that the husband's witnesses were "plotting witnesses" (EDIM ZOMEMIM)

(a)If different sets of at least two witnesses each contradict each other, their testimony is termed "Edus Mukcheshes," and Beis Din takes no action based upon either claim. If, however, one set of witnesses discredit the testimony of another set by claiming that they were instead with them, elsewhere, when they claimed to have witnessed the crime, then the discredited witnesses are termed "Edim Zomemim." The Torah decrees that under such circumstances the second set of witnesses are believed. As a general rule, Edim Zomemim are punished with whatever punishment they attempted to visit upon he whom they testified against (Devarim 19:16-21; see Mishnah, Makos 5a).

(b)Edim Zomemim receive that which they attempted to inflict upon another only when the second set of witnesses arrive after the first verdict was pronounced, but before it was actually visited upon the litigant. If the second set of witnesses arrive before the verdict is pronounced, then the first set of witnesses are merely discounted. If they arrive after the verdict is carried out, then the first witnesses do not receive the punishment that they inflicted upon their victim. This is because the verse describes their punishment as being "כַּאֲשֶׁר זָמַם" "Ka'asher Zamam" - as they plotted to do - and not what they actually accomplished.

(c)RASHI explains that our Gemara refers to a case in which the witnesses became Zomemim, and are therefore liable for the death penalty. Since we find that the husband was willing to hire false witnesses, we no longer believe his claims, nor suspect that other witnesses will arrive. TOSFOS (DH v'Hevi) maintains that our Gemara discusses a case in which the second set of witnesses arrived before the verdict was delivered. Therefore, there is no death penalty for the Edim Zomemim. However, we are not worried for La'az since it is clear that the husband had hired false witnesses.

54)[line 9]לגבותLI'GVOS- to collect

55)[line 10]ובמקום נפשותB'MAKOM NEFASHOS- in a situation in which capital punishment [is still possible (namely, when (a) the husband never brought witnesses and witnesses may therefore still arrive (RASHI); (b) the witnesses did not become Zomemim but were rather contradicted, and we therefore still suspect that witnesses will arrive (TOSFOS DH v'Hevi))

56)[line 10]אביי אמר...ABAYE AMAR...- Abaye offers a third way to understand the Machlokes between Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim in our Mishnah.

57)[line 12]דאתרו בה סתםD'ASRU BAH STAM - they gave her a general warning (HASRA'AH)

(a)Should one transgress a negative commandment for which the punishment is the death penalty or Malkus (lashes), he does not receive this punishment unless his action was observed by at least two valid witnesses and he had received a proper Hasra'ah (warning). Hasra'ah may be administered by either the witnesses themselves or by any other bystander (Rebbi Yosi, cited on 9b, requires that the witnesses themselves give the warning).

(b)The offender must then clearly state that he has understood and accepted the information, and wishes to sin regardless. Should he merely remain silent, nod his head, or even state, "I know," he is not liable to either the death penalty nor Malkus mid'Oraisa. He is, however, subject to Malkus mid'Rabanan.

(c)The warning must identify the action by name and categorize it as a sin. Whether or not those who administer Hasra'ah must specify the specific punishment that the offender will be liable to is the subject of a Tana'ic disagreement. Abaye suggests that the case in which Rebbi Meir and the Rabanan disagree in our Mishnah is one in which the Hasra'ah delivered to the wife when she committed adultery mentioned merely that the sin of adultery is punishable by death, without specifying the specific death penalty.

58)[line 13]ושאר כל חייבי מיתות שבתורהSHE'AR KOL CHAYAVEI MISOS SHEBA'TORAH - other death penalty cases discussed in the Torah (MISOS BEIS DIN)

(a)One who transgresses certain sins, after receiving a proper warning and in front of two witnesses, receives the death penalty from Beis Din. The four death penalties administered by Beis Din, in order of stringency, are:

1.SEKILAH - one who is convicted of an Aveirah punishable by stoning is led to the Beis ha'Sekilah, which is located outside of the settlement (Sanhedrin 42b). This is a structure twice the height of an average person. The convicted is given wine to drink until he is inebriated, and he is then brought to the top of the Beis ha'Sekilah with his hands tied. The two witnesses whose testimony served to convict him accompany him, and one of them pushes him off of the top platform. Should he survive the fall, the witnesses roll a large stone, heavy enough to require the two of them to lift it, onto him from above. If he is still alive following this, then all those assembled pelt him with stones until he perishes (Sefer ha'Chinuch #555). Sins for which Sekilah is administered include Shabbos desecration, idol worship, cursing G-d, bestiality, sodomy, and certain illicit relations including adultery with a betrothed Na'arah (Na'arah ha'Me'orasa), or incest with one's father's wife or one's daughter-in-law (Sanhedrin 53a).

2.SEREIFAH - one who is convicted of an Aveirah punishable by burning is placed into refuse up to his knees. A scarf of hard material wrapped within a scarf of soft material is then wrapped around his neck. The witnesses to his crime pull on the ends of the double scarf until the convict opens his mouth, at which point molten lead is poured down his throat, burning his intestines (Sefer ha'Chinuch #26). Sereifah is administered for certain illicit relations, including incest with one's daughter, granddaughter, or spouse's daughter or granddaughter (Sanhedrin 75a).

3.HEREG - one who is convicted of an Aveirah punishable by death by sword has his head severed in Beis Din by the witnesses to his crime (Sefer ha'Chinuch #50). Sins for which Hereg is administered include serving Avodah Zarah along with other inhabitants of an Ir ha'Nidachas, and murder (Sanhedrin 76b).

4.CHENEK - one who is convicted of an Aveirah punishable by strangulation is placed into refuse up to his knees. A scarf of hard material wrapped within a scarf of soft material is then wrapped around his neck. The witnesses to his crime pull on the ends of the double scarf until he expires (Sefer ha'Chinuch #47). Sins for which Chenek is administered include wounding one's parents, an elder who rules against Beis Din (a Zaken Mamrei), one who prophecies falsely, and certain illicit relations (Sanhedrin 84b).

(b)According to Rebbi Shimon, the order of stringency is Sereifah, Sekilah, Chenek, and Hereg (Mishnah Sanhedrin 9:3, Gemara Sanhedrin 49b).

(c)Beis Din is strongly encouraged to act leniently and find a loophole so as not to administer the death penalty (Devarim 13:15). A Beis Din that puts a sinner to death as often as once every seven years is considered a murderous Beis Din. According to Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah, this applies to a Beis Din that puts a sinner to death as often as once in seventy years (Mishnah, Makos 7a).

(d)The Beraisa cited by our Gemara details the stages necessary to carry out the death penalty in Beis Din under most circumstances. The exception is the case of a Mesis, one who entices others to worship foreign gods. Such a person is put to death even without Hasra'ah (67a and 88b). (See Insights.)

59)[line 15]בעדהB'EDAH- with a congregation [of twenty-three judges]

60)[line 15]ועַד שיודיעוהו שהוא חייב מיתה בבית דיןAD SHE'YODI'UHU SHE'HU CHAYAV MISAH B'VEIS DIN- not before [those who are administering the warning] inform him that he will be liable to receive the death penalty in Beis din [for his action]

61)[line 17]רב פפא אמר...RAV PAPA AMAR...- Rav Papa offers a fourth way to understand the Machlokes between Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim in our Mishnah.

62)[line 18]באשה חבירהISHAH CHAVEIRAH - a woman who is meticulous in Halachah (CHAVER)

(a)One who has earned the title of "Chaver" is meticulous in at least the following four areas of Halachah:

1.he does not give Terumah or Ma'asros to an Am ha'Aretz (an unlearned Jew who may be lax in his Torah observance);

2.he does not prepare Taharos in the vicinity of an Am ha'Aretz;

3.he is careful to keep even Chulin from becoming Tamei;

4.he is careful to separate Ma'aser from all produce that he eats, sells, or buys (Tosefta Demai 2:2-3).

The Gemara in Bechoros 30b explains exactly how one goes about accepting this distinguished status.

(b)Rav Ashi explains that the wife referred to in our Mishnah is a woman who has attained the status of a Chaveirah since she is meticulous in her observance of Halachah. Therefore, we may assume that she is aware of the consequences of her actions; see next entry.

63)[line 21]שלא ניתנה התראה אלא להבחין בין שוגג למזידLO NITNA HASRA'AH ELA L'HAVCHIN BEIN SHOGEG L'MEZID- the only purpose of Hasra'ah is to distinguish between one who acts unintentionally and one who acts intentionally [and since a Chaver knows the Halachah, he is clearly acting intentionally with full awareness of the consequences of his actions even when he is not warned]

64)[last line]רב אשי אמר...RAV ASHI AMAR...- Rav Ashi offers a fifth way to understand the Machlokes between Rebbi Meir and the Chachamim in our Mishnah.