Daily Mitzvah

Negative Commandment 322

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Negative Commandment 322 (Digest)
Administering the Death Penalty on Shabbat

"You shall not kindle fire throughout your settlements on the Shabbat day"Exodus 35:3.

It is forbidden for the courts to administer punishments on Shabbat. The Sages interpreted the above verse as an injunction against executing a criminal via burning (one of the four methods of capital punishment employed by the courts) on Shabbat—and the same rule applies to all other forms of capital punishment. From this verse the Sages also extrapolated the prohibition against holding any court proceedings on Shabbat.


Translation of (the unabridged text of) Sefer Hamitzvot by Rabbi Berel Bell, member of the Rabbinical Court of Montreal and director of Teacher Training for the Jewish Learning Institute.

From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
Daily Quote
The angels hastened to indict [Ishmael], exclaiming: "Master of the Universe! Would You bring up a well for one who will one day slay Your children with thirst?" "What is he now," asked G-d "righteous or wicked?" "Righteous," said the angels. Said G-d: "I judge man only as he is at the moment."
  –Midrash Rabbah on Genesis 21:17
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