Pisqa’ 155

Pisqa’ 1551


“As for the man who acts in defiance” (Dt.17:12).

This refers to one who

does not submit to the court

and insists upon his teaching.

“Who acts” (Dt.17;12)–

he is held liable for an actual act,

but he is not held liable for merely teaching.

“Who acts defiantly” (Dt.17:12)—

he is held liable for teaching defiantly,

but he is not held liable for inadvertent error.

“By not listening” (Dt.17:12)—

but not one who violates a teaching heard at second-hand.

To the Priest who stands there in service” (Dt.17:12)—

this indicates that proper service

is performed only while standing.

Therefore, if he served while seated,

his service is disqualified. 2

“Or to the justice” (Dt.17:12)—

as we have taught:3

even though a court has no Priests or Levites,

it is qualified.


“Then that man shall die” (Dt.17:12)—

Where the mode of execution is unspecified in the Torah,

we assume strangulation.4

That man” (Dt.17:12)—

but not if he is coerced
[into apostasy by a threat to his life],

nor one who acted unintentionally,

nor one who was misled [out of ignorance].5

“And you must expunge this evil from Israel” (Dt.17:12)—

that is, expunge the evil-doers from Israel.6

  1. H:190; JN2:21-22
  2. Sifre Nu. 39; cf. Pisqa’ 167.1.
  3. At Pisqa’ 153.1.
  4. //Mech ISH, neziqin, 5, s.v., khol mitah ha’amurah stam. Cf, Pisqa’ 273.1.
  5. Cf. Pisqa’ 149.4.
  6. This mandate for expunging evil is appears commonly in Sifre, attached to several verses in Deuteronomy. Cf. Pisqa’ot 140.1 (Dt.22:1) and Dt.22:2 (141.1).