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Mishnayos Sanhedrin Perek 1 Mishnah 4

סנהדרין פרק א׳ משנה ד׳


Cases of capital law are judged by twenty-three judges. An animal that copulated with a person and an animal that was the object of bestiality are judged by twenty-three judges, as it is stated: “And if a woman approaches any animal to lie with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal” (Leviticus 20:16), and it states: “And if a man lies with an animal, he shall be put to death and you shall kill the animal” (Leviticus 20:15). In cases of bestiality, the verse juxtaposes the execution of the animal to the execution of the person, and therefore the case of the animal is adjudicated in the same way as cases of capital law. Similarly, an ox that is to be stoned because it killed a person is judged by twenty-three judges, as it is stated: “But if the ox was wont to gore in time past, and warning has been given to its owner, but he did not guard it and it kills a man or a woman the ox shall be stoned and also its owner shall be put to death” (Exodus 21:29). From this verse it is derived that just as the manner of the death of the owner, so is the manner of the death of the ox. The same halakha applies in the case of a wolf or a lion, a bear or a leopard, or a cheetah, or a snake that killed a person: Their death is decreed by twenty-three judges. Rabbi Eliezer says these dangerous animals do not need to be brought to court; rather, anyone who kills them first merits the performance of a mitzva. Rabbi Akiva says: Their death is decreed by twenty-three judges.

דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת, בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה. הָרוֹבֵעַ וְהַנִּרְבָּע, בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה, שֶׁנֶאֱמַר (ויקרא כ) וְהָרַגְתָּ אֶת הָאִשָּׁה וְאֶת הַבְּהֵמָה, וְאוֹמֵר (שם) וְאֶת הַבְּהֵמָה תַּהֲרֹגוּ. שׁוֹר הַנִּסְקָל, בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא) הַשּׁוֹר יִסָּקֵל וְגַם בְּעָלָיו יוּמָת, כְּמִיתַת בְּעָלִים כָּךְ מִיתַת הַשּׁוֹר. הַזְּאֵב וְהָאֲרִי, הַדֹּב וְהַנָּמֵר וְהַבַּרְדְּלָס וְהַנָּחָשׁ, מִיתָתָן בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, כָּל הַקּוֹדֵם לְהָרְגָן, זָכָה. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר, מִיתָתָן בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה:


והרגת את האשה ואת הבהמה – that is an animal that copulates with a woman, which is compared by analogy to a woman. Just as a woman [is tried by a court] of twenty three, so is the animal [tried by a court of twenty-three.

ואומר: "ואת הבהמה תהרוגו" – It is written concerning an animal that was copulated by a man. We have [thereby] learned/derived the animal that copulated with a woman and the animal that was copulated by a man.

כמיתת הבעלים – that is to say, just as the owner is judged by [a court of] twenty-three [judges], if he was liable for the death penalty.

כל הקודם להורגן זכה – when they killed a human being, and there is no need to bring them to be tried in a Jewish court.

רבי עקיבא אומר: וכו' – It explains in the Gemara that there is a difference between the first teacher [of the Mishnah] and Rabbi Akiva. [Concerning] a snake – where the first Tanna [of the Mishnah] claims that its death is via a Jewish court of twenty-three [judges], but according to Rabbi Akiva, [the wolf], the lion, and the bear and the leopard and the hyena , their deaths [are administered] through [a Jewish court] of twenty-three [judges], but a snake, all who can kill it earliest, is [found] worthy, for it removes the one who causes damage from the world. And the Halakha is according to Rabbi Akiva.

והרגת את האשה ואת הבהמה. היינו רובע. ואתקש לאשה, מה אשה בעשרים ושלשה אף בהמה בעשרים ושלשה:

ואומר ואת הבהמה תהרוגו. בנרבע כתיב. למדנו רובע ונרבע:

כמיתת הבעלים. כלומר כמו שהיה הבעל נדון בעשרים ושלשה, אם היה חייב מיתה:

כל הקודם להורגן זכה. כשהמיתו את האדם. ואין צריך להביאם לב״ד:

רבי עקיבא אומר וכו׳ בגמרא מפרש דאיכא בין תנא קמא לרבי עקיבא, נחש. דלת״ק נחש מיתתו בכ״ג, ולרבי עקיבא הזאב והארי והדוב והנמר והברדלס מיתתן בעשרים ושלשה, אבל נחש, הקודם להרגו זכה, שסילק המזיק מן העולם. והלכה כר׳ עקיבא: