Pisqa’ 218

Pisqa’ 2181


“Should a man have a son” (Dt.21:18)—

but not when a woman [alone] has such a son—

[the trial of the son must involve both parents].

“A son” (Dt.21:18)—

but not a daughter.

“A son”(Dt.21:18)—

but not a grown man.

A minor is exempt from the rule,

since he has not yet entered the

framework of [obligation for] the commandments.2


”Who is stubbornly3 (Dt.21:18)—

on [at least] two occasions.

“Incorrigible”4 (Dt.21:18)—

beyond control.5

Another word:

“Incorrigible” (Dt.21:18)—

a dissenter [from rabbinic authority] who

has taught6 for himself a different path.

Another word:

Simply because this guy

consumes his father’s wealth,

do you claim that the

stubbornly incorrigible son

must be put to death?


He is condemned because of

what he will become.

Better he should die innocently now,

Rather than later as a sinner!7

This guy’s father desired

a certain fine-looking captive (cf. Dt.21:10-14).

So, he brought Satan into his home.

As a result, the son became stub bornly incorrigible,

and brought upon his father an early death.

[Accordingly, the Torah immediately teaches:]

“When a man commits a sin worthy of death, he shall be put to death” (Dt.21:22)—

[This son, then, is punished for the death of his father,]

but he is not executed on the Sabbath or on Feast Days.

Another word:

“Who is stubbornly” (Dt.21:18)—

critical of his father’s teachings.

“Incorrigible” (Dt.21:18)—

in criticism of his mother’s teachings.

“Who is stubbornly”—

critical of the teachings of the Torah.


in his criticism of the teachings of the Prophets.

“Who is stubbornly”—

critical of the testimony of witnesses.


in criticism of the rulings of judges.


Said R. Josiah:

Zeira told me three traditions

in the name of

the leading figures of Jerusalem:

[First,] regarding a wife suspected of straying—

if her husband wants to forgive her,

that’s his own business!

[Second,] regarding the stubbornly incorrigible son—

if his father and mother want to forgive him,

that’s their own business!

[Third,] regarding the sage defiant

of judicial authority —

if his colleagues want to forgive him,

that’s their own business!

So, when I came to the disciple-circle

and presented these traditions before R. Judah b. Betyra,

he agreed with me about two of them,

but about one he disagreed with me.

Regarding the suspected wife and

the stubbornly incorrigible son,

he agreed with me.

But regarding the sage defiant

of judicial authority,

he didn’t agree with me—

because this guy foments

controversy in Israel!8


“He heeds neither the voice of his father nor the voice of his mother” (Dt.21:18)—

Is it possible to say that

[he stands liable]

even if they told him to light the lamp, and he refused?

The Teaching [twice] states:

“He heeds neither” (Dt.21:18),

“He will not heed” (Dt.21:20)—

[thus, anticipating more serious acts of defiance].

[The repetition also]

permits an analogical inference:

Just as he will not heed,

mentioned elsewhere (Dt.21:20),
applies only to drunken gluttony—

so, too, he heeds neither

mentioned here (Dt.21:18)

applies only to drunken gluttony.


Just as he will not heed,”

mentioned elsewhere (Dt.21:20),

[does not apply] until he steals

from his father and from his mother

[in order to pay for his meat and wine]—

so, too, heeds neither mentioned here (Dt.21:18),

[does not apply] until he steals

from his father and from his mother.9

“And they discipline him” (Dt.21:18)—

with lashings.

“Yet he fails to heed them” (Dt.21:18)—

this teaches that

they administer a beating before a court of three judges.

  1. H:229-230; JN2:122-123.
  2. =M. San.8:2.
  3. Heb: sorer; “wayward.”
  4. Heb: moreh; literally, “rebellious.” From the root, m-r-y.
  5. Heb: shoteh; “wild.” See H;466, Pisqa’ 218, n.3.
  6. Heb. moreh;literally, “to teach”. The root is y-r- h, from which the word torah, “teaching,” also stems. See H:466, Pisqa’ 218, n.4 for connections between the two words.
  7. =M. San.8:5; cf. 220.2.
  8. This large block of material is unevenly attested in many mss. See F:251, n.2.
  9. //M. San.8:3.