Pisqa’ 220

Pisqa’ 2201


“Then all the populace of his city shall pummel2 him ” (Dt.21:21)—

Now, can the entire populace of his city

actually pummel him?

Rather, [they appoint] a deputation.


“With stones” (Dt.21:21)—

Is it possible to say that

many stones are used?

The Teaching states:

“With stone” (Lv.20:2).


Is it possible to say, then, that

only one stone is used?

The Teaching states:

“With stones” (Dt.21:21)!

From this you may conclude that

if he doesn’t die from the first stone,

let him die from the second!3


Said R. Yose:

Does this guy get a stoning

for eating a single serving4 of meat

and drinking a half measure5 of wine?

Not at all!

The Torah has plumbed the depths

of this guy’s character,

and taught:

Better he should die innocently now

rather than later as a sinner! 6

For the death of the Wicked

is as beneficial to them

as it is to the world

[since their death forestalls further sins].

But the death of the Righteous

is as bad for them

as it is for the world,

[since they may no longer acquire merit through righteous deeds,

nor does the world benefit from their righteous deeds]!


Wine and a good nap

bring the Wicked pleasure,

as they bring the world pleasure.

But to the Righteous,

these are as bad for them

as they are for the world!


Peace of mind, to the Wicked,

is as bad for them

as it is for the world.

But to the Righteous,

it is as beneficial to them

as it is for the world!

“And you shall expunge the evil from your midst” (Dt.21:21)—

That is, expunge the evil-doers from Israel!7

  1. H:231; JN2:126.
  2. Heb: regemuhu; root: r-g-m. Dt. 22:22, in similar context uses the root: s-q-l, with identical meaning.
  3. // Sifre Nu., 114; //Sifra, qedoshim, par. 10:4 . Cf. Pisqa’ ­149.1, 240.1, 242.1 for parallels within Sifre.
  4. Heb./Lat.: tartimor. Roughly three ounces.
  5. Heb: log .Roughly .32 liters,
  6. = M. San.8:5. Cf. Pisqa’ 218.2.
  7. // M. San.8:5. The concluding exegesis of Dt.21:21 is not found in the mishnaic parallel, but appears numerous times in Sifre, e.g., Pisqa’ot 151, 155, 187 , etc.