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Mishnayos Sanhedrin Perek 6 Mishnah 4

סנהדרין פרק ו׳ משנה ד׳


The place of stoning from which the condemned man is pushed to his death is a platform twice the height of an ordinary person. He is made to stand at the edge of the platform, and then one of the witnesses who testified against him pushes him down by the hips, so that he falls face up onto the ground. If he turned over onto his chest, with his face downward, the witness turns him over onto his hips. And if he dies through this fall to the ground, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled. And if the condemned man does not die from his fall, the second witness takes the stone that has been prepared for this task and places, i.e., casts, it on his chest. And if he dies with the casting of this first stone, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled. And if he does not die with the casting of this stone, then his stoning is completed by all of the Jewish people, i.e., by all the people who assembled for the execution, as it is stated: “The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people” (Deuteronomy 17:7). The corpses of all those who are stoned are hung after their death; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. And the Rabbis say: Only the corpse of the blasphemer, who has cursed God, and the corpse of the idol worshipper are hung. The corpse of a man is hung facing the people, but the corpse of a woman, out of modesty, is hung with facing the tree; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. And the Rabbis say: the corpse of a man is hung, but the corpse of a woman is not hung. Rabbi Eliezer said to the Rabbis: Did Shimon ben Shataḥ not hang in Ashkelon women who were found guilty of witchcraft, proving that the corpse of a woman who is executed is also hung? They said to him: No proof can be brought from here, as he hanged eighty women on that day, and the halakha is that the same court may not judge even two people charged with capital transgressions on the same day. It is therefore clear that he was not acting in accordance with Torah law, but rather his execution of the eighty women was an extraordinary punishment necessitated by unusually pressing circumstances. How do they hang the corpse of one who was put to death by stoning? They sink a post into the earth with a piece of wood jutting out, forming a T-shaped structure. And the court appointee then places the dead man’s two hands one upon the other, ties them, and hangs him by his hands. Rabbi Yosei says: The post is not sunk into the ground; rather, it leans against a wall, and he hangs the corpse on it the way that butchers do with meat. The dead man hangs there for only a very short time, and then they immediately untie him. And if he was left hanging overnight, a prohibition is transgressed, as it is stated: “His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall bury him that day, for he that is hung is a curse of God” (Deuteronomy 21:23). That is to say: Were the corpse left hanging on the tree overnight, people would ask: For what reason was this one hung after he was put to death? They would be answered: Because he blessed God, a euphemism for blasphemy. And therefore the name of Heaven would be desecrated were the dead man’s corpse to remain hanging, reminding everybody of his transgression.

בֵּית הַסְּקִילָה הָיָה גָבוֹהַּ שְׁתֵּי קוֹמוֹת. אֶחָד מִן הָעֵדִים דּוֹחֲפוֹ עַל מָתְנָיו. נֶהְפַּךְ עַל לִבּוֹ, הוֹפְכוֹ עַל מָתְנָיו. אִם מֵת בָּהּ, יָצָא. וְאִם לָאו, הַשֵּׁנִי נוֹטֵל אֶת הָאֶבֶן וְנוֹתְנָהּ עַל לִבּוֹ. אִם מֵת בָּהּ, יָצָא. וְאִם לָאו, רְגִימָתוֹ בְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז) יַד הָעֵדִים תִּהְיֶה בּוֹ בָרִאשֹׁנָה לַהֲמִיתוֹ וְיַד כָּל הָעָם בָּאַחֲרֹנָה. כָּל הַנִּסְקָלִין נִתְלִין, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֵינוֹ נִתְלֶה אֶלָּא הַמְגַדֵּף וְהָעוֹבֵד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה. הָאִישׁ תּוֹלִין אוֹתוֹ פָּנָיו כְּלַפֵּי הָעָם, וְהָאִשָּׁה פָּנֶיהָ כְלַפֵּי הָעֵץ, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, הָאִישׁ נִתְלֶה וְאֵין הָאִשָּׁה נִתְלֵית. אָמַר לָהֶן רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר, וַהֲלֹא שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן שָׁטָח תָּלָה נָשִׁים בְּאַשְׁקְלוֹן. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, שְׁמֹנִים נָשִׁים תָּלָה, וְאֵין דָּנִין שְׁנַיִם בְּיוֹם אֶחָד. כֵּיצַד תּוֹלִין אוֹתוֹ, מְשַׁקְּעִין אֶת הַקּוֹרָה בָאָרֶץ וְהָעֵץ יוֹצֵא מִמֶּנָּה, וּמַקִּיף שְׁתֵּי יָדָיו זוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי זוֹ וְתוֹלֶה אוֹתוֹ. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, הַקּוֹרָה מֻטָּה עַל הַכֹּתֶל, וְתוֹלֶה אוֹתוֹ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהַטַּבָּחִין עוֹשִׂין. וּמַתִּירִין אוֹתוֹ מִיָּד. וְאִם לָן, עוֹבֵר עָלָיו בְּלֹא תַעֲשֶׂה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כא) לֹא תָלִין נִבְלָתוֹ עַל הָעֵץ כִּי קָבוֹר תִּקְבְּרֶנּוּ כִּי קִלְלַת אֱלֹהִים תָּלוּי וְגוֹ'. כְּלוֹמַר, מִפְּנֵי מָה זֶה תָלוּי, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֶת הַשֵּׁם, וְנִמְצָא שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם מִתְחַלֵּל:


היה גבוה שתי קומות – and we throw him down from there to the ground.

הופכו על מתניו – for when he is lying on his back, it is more reprehensible.

מגדף – because he blasphemes God.

ועובד עבודה זרה – he is also a blasphemer, as it is written (Numbers 15:30): “But the person, [be he citizen or stranger] who acts defiantly reviles the LORD…” and this portion speaks of idolatry.

ואין דנין שנים ביום אחד – in one Jewish court, because it is not able to restore each of one of them to their innocence, but the hanging of these women was a special dispensation, and we don’t learn from it. And the Halakha is not according to Rabbi Eliezer.

משקיעין – wedged in.

והעץ יוצא ממנו – like a peg that would come out from the beam near its top.

ומקיף – supports this near, like to take Terumah out of a mass which is not in a close neighborhood of those products which are to be redeemed (Talmud Eruvin 32a).

ותולין אותו – by his hands.

הקורה מוטה על הכותל – it was not wedged into the ground but one head is on the ground and one head leans and is supported on the wall, and the reason of Rabbi Yosi is because the tree is that he is hung upon is buried with him, for the Torah said (Deuteronomy 21:23): “[You must not let his corpse remain on the stake overnight,] but must bury him the same day…,” he who is not requiring anything other than burial, we exclude that which requires digging, plucking/being detached and burial. But for the Rabbis, digging is not considered anything, and the Torah did not exclude other that the tree should be attached from its root. And the Halakha is according to the Sages.

היה גבוה שתי קומות. ומפילו משם לארץ:

הופכו על מתניו. שכשהוא מושכב פרקדן מגונה יותר:

המגדף. מברך את ה׳:

והעובד עבודה זרה. נמי מגדף הוא. דכתיב (במדבר ט״ו:ל׳) והנפש אשר תעשה ביד רמה וגו׳ את ה׳ הוא מגדף, ואותה פרשה בעבודה זרה מדברת:

ואין דנין שנים ביום אחד. בבית דין אחד. משום דלא מצי לאפוכי בזכותייהו דכל חד וחד. אלא תלייתן של נשים הללו הוראת שעה היתה ואין למדים ממנה. ואין הלכה כרבי אליעזר:

משקעין. נועצים:

והעץ יוצא ממנה. כמין יתד היה יוצא מן הקורה סמוך לראשה:

ומקיף. סומך זו אצל זו. כמו לתרום שלא מן המוקף [עירובין ל״ב]:

ותולין אותו. בידיו:

הקורה מוטה על הכותל. לא היתה נעוצה בארץ אלא ראשה אחד על הארץ וראשה אחד מוטה ונסמך על הכותל. וטעמא דרבי יוסי, לפי שהעץ שנתלה עליו נקבר עמו, ואמרה תורה כי קבור תקברנו, מי שאינו מחוסר אלא קבורה, יצא זה שמחוסר חפירה תלישה וקבורה. ורבנן, חפירה לאו כלום היא, ולא מיעטה תורה אלא שלא יהיה העץ במחובר מעיקרו. והלכה כחכמים: