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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Kethuboth

Folio 45a

she is stoned at the door of her father's house,1  as if to say,2  'See the plant that you have reared'. If witnesses came [to testify] against her in her father's house that she played the harlot in his house she is stoned at the entrance of the gate of the city. If having committed the offence3  she eventually4  attained adolescence5  she is condemned to strangulation.6

This7  then implies that wherever there occurred a change in one's person, one's mode of execution also must be changed. But is not this contradicted by the following: 'If a betrothed damsel8  played the harlot and [her husband] brought upon her an evil name9  after she had attained adolescence,10  he is neither to be flogged11  nor is he to pay the hundred sela',12  but she and the witnesses who testified falsely against her13  are hurried14  to the place of stoning'?15  'She and the witnesses who testified falsely against her'! Can this be imagined?16  — But [this is the meaning:] 'She17  or18  her witnesses19  are hurried14  to the place of stoning'?20  — Raba replied: You speak [of the law relating to a husband] who brought up an evil name; but this law is different [from the others],21  because it is an anomaly.22  For, elsewhere, if a girl23  entered the bridal chamber,24  though no intercourse followed, she is condemned to strangulation if she committed adultery, but [a woman upon whom a husband] brought an evil name is condemned to Stoning.25  Said R. Huna the son of R. Joshua to Raba: Is it not possible that the All-Merciful created the anomaly only where no constitutional change had taken place,26  but where a constitutional change had occurred27  the All-Merciful has created no anomaly?28  — The fact however is, explained R. Nahman b. Isaac, [that the question whether a change in status] involves, or does not involve a change [in the penalty] is [a point in dispute between] Tannaim. For we have learned: If they29  committed a sin before they were appointed [to their respective offices] and [then] were appointed, they are regarded30  as laymen. R. Simeon ruled: If their sin came to their knowledge before they were appointed31  they are liable,32  but if after they were appointed33  they are exempt.34

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Cf. Deut. XXII. 21.
  2. To the parents.
  3. While she was a na'arah.
  4. Before her trial.
  5. V. Glos. s.v. bogereth.
  6. The penalty prescribed for adults. Only a na'arah (v. Glos.) is subject to the penalty of stoning.
  7. R. Shila's last mentioned ruling that the penalty of a na'arah who attained majority is changed from stoning to strangulation.
  8. V. p. 254, n. 20.
  9. V. Deut. XXII, 14.
  10. Sc. when their marriage took place (Rashi).
  11. v. ibid. 18.
  12. V. ibid. 19.
  13. And were proved Zomemim (v. Glos.).
  14. [H] lit., 'go early', sc. they cannot escape their doom and might as well get it over as soon as possible (Rashi).
  15. [H], a structure twice a man's height (i.e. six cubits) from which the condemned man was thrown before he was stoned (v. Sanh. 453 [Sone. ed.] p. 295).
  16. Obviously not. If she is condemned they must be true witnesses, and if they are condemned she must be innocent.
  17. If she was found guilty.
  18. The waw of [H] may be rendered 'or' as well as 'and'.
  19. In the case where their falsehood was established by other witnesses.
  20. Thus, at all events, it follows that despite the change in her person she is still subject to the former penalty, which is in contradiction with the ruling of Shila (v. supra note 1). (The penalty of a na'arah is stoning and that of one who is in her adolescence is only strangulation).
  21. Such as the law of Shila which deals with an accusation by witnesses and not with an evil name brought by a husband.
  22. Lit., 'novelty', and no comparison with, or inference from an anomalous law may he made.
  23. Even a na'arah (v. Glos. and cf. infra 48b).
  24. Huppah (v. Glos.).
  25. [Although had she committed the offence at the time of the defamation, i.e., after marriage, she would he strangled. This proves that in the case where the husband himself, and not witnesses, brings a charge, after marriage, of infidelity having taken place during betrothal, we do not apply the principle that the intervening change in the woman's status effects retrospectively a change in the penalty. And it is the exception which the law makes in this case which proves the general rule to the contrary elsewhere, v. Tosaf.].
  26. As in the case just cited where the change affects only her status — from betrothal to marriage.
  27. I.e., when the girl had attained her adolescence as In the case spoken of by Shila.
  28. The contradiction pointed out (v. supra p. 255, notes 1 and 14) would consequently arise again.
  29. A High Priest and a ruler whose sin-offerings differ from those of laymen. The former's offering being a bullock (Lev., IV, 3) the latter's a he-goat (ibid. 23) while that of a layman is a she-goat (ibid. 28) or a lamb (ibid. 32).
  30. In respect of their sin-offerings.
  31. So that both the commission of the sin and their awareness of it occurred while they were in the same status as laymen.
  32. To bring sin-offerings as prescribed for laymen (v. supra note 4).
  33. So that their sin was committed while they were still laymen and subject to one kind of offering, and their awareness set in when, as a ruler or High Priest, another kind of offering was due.
  34. Completely; on account of the change in their status (Hor. 10a). Consequently it may be assumed that the first Tanna who holds that a change in status does not involve a change of offering, maintains also that a change in the person involves no change of penalty, while R. Simeon who maintains that a change of status removes the obligation of an offering, will hold all the more so that a change in the person removes a man's liability to his former penalty and thus subjects him to the penalty appropriate to his new condition, and thus Shila's teaching will be in accordance with R. Simeon.

Kethuboth 45b

[But] is it not to be maintained that R. Simeon was heard to be guided by [the time of] the awareness also,1  did you, how ever, hear that he Was guided by [the time of] awareness alone and not also by that of the commission of sin? For were that so,2  should they3  not have brought an offering in accordance with their present status, the High Priest a bullock, and the ruler a he-goat?4  — Surely R. Johanan said to the Tanna:5  Read, 'She is to be condemned to stoning.'6

But why?7  Did not the All-Merciful8  speak of a betrothed 'damsel'9  and this one is adolescent? — R. Elai replied: Scripture said, the damsel10  [implying] her who was a damsel9  before.11  Said R. Hanania to R. Elai: If so,12  should not [the husband] also be flogged and pay the hundred sela'?13  — 'May the All-Merciful', the other replied, 'save us from such an opinion'.14  'On the contrary [the first retorted], may the All-Merciful save us from such an opinion as yours'. What, however, is the reason?15  — R. Isaac b. Abin, or, as some say, R. Isaac b. Abba, replied: In her case it was16  her behaviour that brought about her [punishment] but in his case it was is the inclination of his lips17  that brought about his [penalties]. 'In her case it was her behaviour that brought about her [punishment]' and when she played the harlot she was still a na'arah.18  'But in his case it was the inclination of his lips that brought about his [penalty]'; and when does he incur his guilt? Obviously at that time,19  and at that time she Was already adolescent.

Our Rabbis taught: A betrothed damsel18  who played the harlot is to be stoned at 'the door of her father's house'.20  If she had no 'door of her father's house'21  she is stoned at the entrance of the gate of that city. But in a town which is mostly inhabited by idolaters she is stoned at22  the door of the court. Similarly you may say: A man who worships idols23  is to be stoned at the gate [of the city] where he worshipped, and in a city the majority of whose inhabitants are idolaters he is stoned at the door of the court.24

Whence are these rulings derived? — From what our Rabbis have taught: [By the expression] thy gates25  [was meant] the gate [of the city] wherein the man has worshipped. You say, 'The gate [of the city] wherein the man has worshipped', might it not mean the gate where he is tried?26  — [Since the expression] 'thy gates' is used below27  and also above28  [an analogy is to be made:] As 'thy gates' mentioned above29  refers to the gate [of the city] wherein he worshipped30  so does 'thy bates' that was mentioned below27  refer to the gate [of the city] wherein the man had worshipped. Another interpretation: 'Thy gates',25  but not the gates of idolaters.31  [As to] that [expression of] 'thy gates', has not a deduction already been drawn from it?32  — If [the purpose of the expression were only] this deduction33  Scripture would have used the expression 'gate'; why thy gates'? Both deductions may, therefore, be made.

Thus we obtain [rulings in respect of] idolatry,34  whence do we [derive the law in respect of] a betrothed girl?35  R. Abbahu replied: 'Door'36  is inferred from 'door',37  and door37  from 'gate',38  and 'gate'37  from 'thy gates'.39

Our Rabbis taught: [A husband] who brings up an evil name [upon his wife] is flogged40  and he must also pay a hundred sela'.41  R. Judah ruled: As to flogging, [the husband is] flogged in all circumstances; as to the hundred sela', however, where he had intercourse with her42  he pays them but if he did not have intercourse with her43  he does not pay. They44  differ on the same principles as those on which R. Eliezer b. Jacob and the Rabbis differed,45  and it is this that [each of the former group] meant: [A husband] who brought an evil name [upon his wife] is flogged and he must also pay a hundred sela', whether he had intercourse, or did not have intercourse with her, [this being] in agreement with the Rabbis.46  R. Judah ruled: As to flogging [the husband is] flogged in all circumstances;47  as to the hundred sela', however, where he had intercourse with her he pays them but if he did not have intercourse with her he does not pay; in agreement with R. Eliezer b. Jacob.48

Another reading.49  All the statement50  is in agreement with the opinion of R. Eliezer b. Jacob48  and it is this that [each of the former group]51  meant: [A husband] who brought an evil name [upon his wife] is flogged and he must also pay the hundred sela' only where he had intercourse with her.52  R. Judah ruled: As to flogging, [the husband is] flogged in all circumstances.53

Can R. Judah, however, maintain that 'as to flogging, [the husband] is flogged in all circumstances' when it was taught: R. Judah ruled, If he had intercourse he is flogged but if he did not have intercourse he is not flogged? — R. Nahman b. Isaac replied: [By the ruling of R. Judah that the husband] 'is flogged'54  [was meant] chastisement55  which is a Rabbinical penalty.56

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. I.e., the nature of an offering cannot be determined by that status alone in which a man finds himself at the time he committed his sin. If his liability to that offering is to be established he must have the same status when he becomes aware of his sin. It is on this account, and not because a change of status involves a change of penalty, that R. Simeon exempts a man from an offering where he became aware of his sin after he had assumed a new status.
  2. That a change of status involves a man in the offering or penalty of his new condition, in agreement with Shila's ruling, irrespective of that man's former status in which his sin was committed.
  3. Laymen who became aware of their sins after they had been appointed High Priests or rulers.
  4. The answer being in the affirmative the objection against Shila again arises (v. supra p. 255, notes 1 and 14).
  5. Who recited Shila's ruling in his presence.
  6. Sc. despite the change in her person her penalty remains unaltered. That is, Shila's teaching is rejected.
  7. I.e., why (v. supra note 5) is she to be stoned.
  8. In prescribing the penalty of stoning.
  9. Na'arah (v. Glos.).
  10. Deut. XXII, 21 emphasis on 'the', [H] with the 'he' article.
  11. Sc. at the time of the offence (v. supra note 5).
  12. That the determining factor is the time of the offence.
  13. The penalties prescribed in Deut. XXII, 18f.
  14. An evasive reply. R. Elai held the reason to be so obvious that he refused to discuss it. Cf. the reason given infra.
  15. Why the girl's constitutional change alters the man's penalties and not hers.
  16. Lit., 'this'.
  17. Sc. his organs of speech. It was his talk that brought an evil name upon her.
  18. Na'arah (v. Glos.).
  19. When he spread the report.
  20. If the witnesses came after she had married (v. Rashi). Cf. supra p. 251, n. 10.
  21. Cf. supra p. 252, n. 3.
  22. Or 'outside'; cf. Tosaf. s. v. [H], a.l.
  23. MS M., 'and in the case of idolatry'.
  24. Tosef. Sanh. X.
  25. Deut. XVII, 5
  26. The judges' seat was at the city gate (cf. Ruth IV, 1ff).
  27. Deut. XVII, 5, which follows, and prescribes the punishment of the crime mentioned in v. 2 that precedes R.
  28. Deut. XVII. 2.
  29. Where the commission of the crime is spoken of.
  30. Since the text specifically deals with that subject. (v. n. 12).
  31. I.e., if most of the inhabitants of a city are idolaters the execution is not carried out at the gate of the city but at the court gate.
  32. In the analogy supra. Lit., 'you have drawn it out'. How could two deductions be made from one word?
  33. Lit., 'so'.
  34. Since the texts cited deal with that subject.
  35. Na'arah (v. Glos.).
  36. Door of her father's house (Deut. XXII, 21) in the text dealing with the punishment of a betrothed girl.
  37. Door of the gate of the court [H] (Num. IV, 26).
  38. V. supra n, 5. Since both nouns ([H[) 'door', and ([H]) 'gate' are placed in juxtaposition, the analogy may be made: As 'door' ([H]) in this text is near 'gate' ([H]) so is 'door' in Deut. XXII, 21 (v. supra n. 4) to be regarded as occurring near 'gate'. Hence the ruling that if the girl has no 'door of her father's house' she is to be stoned at the 'gate' of the city.
  39. Deut. XVII, 5, which deals with idolatry; the analogy being: As in the case of idolatry so also in that of a betrothed girl the execution takes place at the gate of the court wherever the city is inhabited by a majority of idolaters.
  40. As prescribed in Deut. XXII, 18.
  41. V. Deut. XXII, 19.
  42. And then brought up the evil name by alleging that he had found no tokens of virginity (v. ibid. 17).
  43. And his allegation is based on the evidence of witnesses.
  44. The Rabbis and R. Judah.
  45. Infra.
  46. Who maintain that the Scriptural section dealing with the case of a husband who 'brought up an evil name' upon his wife applies in all circumstances, whether intercourse did or did not take place.
  47. For even where the Scriptural section under discussion does not apply, the penalty of flogging must still be inflicted on account of the infringement of the prohibition against tale bearing.
  48. Who holds that the section under discussion deals only with a case where intercourse preceded the allegation.
  49. Lit., 'some there are who say'.
  50. Lit., 'all of it', sc. the views of both the Rabbis and R. Judah.
  51. V. p. 259, n. 12.
  52. In full agreement with R. Eliezer b. Jacob (cf. supra n. 1).
  53. For the reason given p. 259, n. 15; but he is exempt from the payment of the hundred sela'.
  54. 'In all circumstances'.
  55. [H] V. Glos. s.v. makkath marduth.
  56. Pentateuchally, however, no flogging is inflicted unless intercourse preceded the charge.