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Sanhedrin 79

SANHEDRIN 79 (24 Kislev) - Dedicated by R. Ginsberg of Queens, NY, l'Iluy Nishmas his father, Arnold (Aharon Yehudah ben Reb Nasan) Ginsberg, for his 19th Yahrzeit.

1) [line 2] V'LO HAYAH VAH KEDEI L'HAMIS AL MOSNAV, U'MES - [he intended to strike his victim upon his heart, but instead he struck him upon his loins,] and there was not enough force in the blow in order to kill [the victim when the blow was inflicted] upon the loins, and he [nevertheless] died [as a result of the blow] (because of his weak constitution)

2) [line 27] "V'ARAV LO V'KAM ALAV..." - "[But if any man hates his neighbor,] and lies in wait for him, and rises up against him, [and strikes him mortally so that he dies, and flees to one of these cities...]" (Devarim 19:11)

3) [line 28] PRAT L'ZOREK EVEN L'GEV - to exclude the case of throwing a stone into [a group of people]

4) [line 30] KUSIM - ["Kusim" in our Gemara refers to Nochrim. The word was changed to "Kusim" by the censors in order not to offend the authorities of the foreign governing body, who had -- and used -- the power to punish for even the slightest perception of an uncomplimentary remark.]

5) [line 30] RUBA KUSIM NINHU - the majority of them are Nochrim (and a verse is not needed to acquit the person who killed the Yisrael among them) (KOL D'PARISH, ME'RUBA PARISH / KOL KAVU'A, K'MECHETZEH AL MECHETZEH DAMI)
(a) KOL D'PARISH, ME'RUBA PARISH - When there is a doubt as to the source of a certain item, i.e. from where it comes or to which group it belongs, the Torah informs us that we may resolve the doubt according to certain set rules. One of these rules is "Halech Achar ha'Rov" (assume that an item comes from the largest group). For instance, if a piece of meat is found lying on the street (or in the hands of a Nochri in the street), and most of the meat in the town is Kosher, it can be safely assumed that the meat is kosher. The source for Halech Achar ha'Rov is the verse, "Acharei Rabim l'Hatos" (Shemos 23:2, Chulin 11a).
(b) KOL KAVU'A, K'MECHETZEH AL MECHETZEH DAMI - If, however, the nature of the item is in doubt while it is still "in its place," or Kavu'a, (i.e. it was not separated from the other items of its kind), we do not follow the Rov. Instead, we remain in doubt as to the status of the item. For instance, if a person buys meat and then forgets whether he bought it at a Kosher or non-Kosher store. We cannot assume that the meat is Kosher just because most of the stores in the town are Kosher, since we are questioning its status while it is still in its proper place (= the store) before it was separated from the other pieces of meat in the store.

(a) Where there is a Safek (a doubt) as to whether the Torah permits or prohibits a certain object or act, we are obligated to take the more stringent opinion.
(b) Where there is a doubt as to whether a person is to receive the death sentence or not, the Torah teaches us to take the more lenient approach and not to sentence him to death. This is learned from the verse "v'Hitzilu ha'Edah" - "and the congregation shall save" (Bamidbar 35:25).
(c) In the cases mentioned in our Gemara of a majority of Nochrim or half Nochrim and half Yisraelim, it stands to reason that the person who threw the stone (that killed one of the Yisraelim in the group) is acquitted. Once we apply the principle of "Safek Nefashos l'Hakel," there is no need for a verse to prove that the defendant is acquitted.

7) [line 33] HAVAH LEI KUSI KAVU'A - the Nochri is considered "in his place" (see above, entry #5)

8) [line 34] KOL KAVU'A, K'MECHETZEH AL MECHETZEH DAMI - see above, entry #5.

9) [line 36] "V'CHI YINATZU ANASHIM V'NAGFU ISHAH HARAH... [V']IM ASON YIHEYEH, V'NASATAH NEFESH TACHAS NAFESH." - "If men quarrel, and hurt a pregnant woman, [so that her fetuses depart from her, and yet no further harm follows; he shall be surely punished, for whatever the husband will sue him, he will pay [i.e. the value of fetuses], as determined by the courts.] And if any further harm follows, then you shall give life for life." (Shemos 21:22-23)

10) [line 37] B'MATZUS SHEB'MISAH - a fight whose end result is the death penalty; that is, one was fighting with the intent to murder

11) [line 38] IM ASON YIHEYEH - see above, entry #9
12) [line 40] MAMON - money, i.e. the value of the woman had she been sold on the slave market is paid to her heirs

13a) [last line] NE'EMRAH NESINAH L'MATAH - the word "v'Nasatah" is written below (in verse 23), "v'Nasatah Nefesh Tachas Nafesh" - "then you shall give life for life"
b) [last line] NE'EMRAH NESINAH L'MA'ALAH - the word "v'Nasan" is written above (in verse 22), "v'Nasan bi'Felilim" - "he will pay as determined by the courts"


14) [line 4] MAKEH ADAM U'MAKEH VEHEMAH - this refers to the verse, "u'Makeh Vehemah Yeshalemenah; u'Makeh Adam Yumas" - "And he who kills a beast, he shall pay for it; and he who kills a man, he shall be put to death." (Vayikra 24:21)

15a) [line 6] DERECH YERIDAH - where he killed the beast with a downward motion
b) [line 6] DERECH ALIYAH - where he killed the beast with an upward motion (RASHI explains that there are no Halachic ramifications to killing a beast with a downward or upward motion. This is in contrast to Makeh Adam, where there are Halachic ramifications -- see Makos 7b)

16) [line 14] MAI ITZTERICH L'MIFTEREI MAMON? - For what reason do we need [the teaching of the Tana d'Bei Chizkiyah] to exempt him from liability to pay money? (KAM LEI BID'RABAH MINEI - literally, "he remains with the worse of the two," or, "a more severe punishment exempts one from the less severe one")
(a) When one performs a single act from which he incurs two punishments, or a punishment and a monetary liability, the more severe punishment exempts the sinner from the less severe one. For example, one who stabs another to death will not have to pay for the shirt that he tore while stabbing.
(b) This rule is only true if the two punishments, or the punishment and the monetary liability are caused by a "single action." If one follows the other, even by one second, the sinner *is* punished with both punishments. The Gemara (Kesuvos 31a) questions what defines the difference between "a single action" and different actions. According to one opinion, the entire series of actions which define the more severe sin are considered a single action with regard to Kam Lei bid'Rabah Minei.
(c) There are a number of situations in which this rule does not apply:

1. Rebbi Meir rules that it only applies to a death penalty. One who is punishable with Malkus, though, is required to pay as well as to receive Malkus. (Kesuvos 33b)
2. If one sins *b'Shogeg*, Kam Lei bid'Rabah Minei does not necessarily apply (that is, since no actual punishment is executed, the potential punishment does not exempt the sinner from monetary liability), as follows: If the sin is one which warrants the death penalty, Rav Dimi holds that Rebbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish disagree whether Kam Lei bid'Rabah Minei applies, while Ravin says that they both agree that it applies. If the sin is one which warrants Malkus, Rebbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish disagree whether Kam Lei bid'Rabah Minei applies. (Kesuvos 34b-35a)
3. In certain cases, if the monetary liability is paid to a person other than the victim, the sinner may be liable to pay even though he is also punished with the death penalty or Malkus.
17) [line 18] KONSIN OSAN L'CHIPAH - [Bein Din] incarcerates them in a detention facility (lit. [a structure in the shape of] a dome) where they are fed barley and water, which causes their deaths when their stomachs split (see Insights)

18) [line 19] NIDONIN BA'KALAH - they are punished with the less severe [death penalty]

19) [line 30] SIMAN (BaSHRaK) [BaSHKaR] - this is a parenthetical insert before the Amora'im answer the question of the Gemara. It is a mnemonic device to remember the names of the Amora'im who are mentioned in the following lines of the Gemara. It stands for Rebbi A*b*ahu (line 30) Amar *Sh*muel (line 31), Reish La*k*ish (line 36) and *R*ava (last line) (DIKDUKEI SOFRIM #40, who also point out the change in the Girsa)

20) [line 31] ROTZE'ACH SHE'LO NIGMAR DINO - the alleged murderer in a court case where the verdict has not yet been passed

21) [line 33] EIN GOMRIN DINO SHEL ADAM ELA B'FANAV - a verdict is not passed when the defendant is not present. Since the identity of the defendant has been lost when he became mixed among convicted murderers, it is considered as if he is not present.

22) [line 38] SHOR SHE'LO NIGMAR DINO - a bull that is accused of killing a person, where the verdict has not yet been passed

23) [line 40] K'MISAS HA'BE'ALIM, KACH MISAS HA'SHOR - just as the verdict (lit. death) of the owner [must be passed in his presence], so, too, [must] the verdict (lit. death) of the bull [be passed in his presence]

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