These are the individuals who receive lashes:

a) anyone who transgresses a negative commandment punishable by kerait, but which is not punishable by execution by the court, e.g., a person who eats either fats, blood, or chametz on Passover,

b) anyone who transgresses a negative commandment punishable by death at the hand of heaven, e.g., a person who eats tevel, or a priest who eats terumah that is ritually pure, while he is in a state of ritual impurity,

c) anyone who involves a negative prohibition that involves a deed, e.g., a person who eats milk and meat or who wears sha'atnez.

When, however, a prohibition does not involve a deed, i.e., a gossiper, a person who takes revenge, or who bears a grudge, and a judge who hears a false report, a violator does not receive lashes.


אֵלוּ הֵן הַלּוֹקִין. כָּל הָעוֹבֵר עַל לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁחַיָּבִין עָלָיו כָּרֵת וְאֵין בּוֹ מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין כְּגוֹן אוֹכֵל חֵלֶב וְדָם וְחָמֵץ בְּפֶסַח. וְכֵן כָּל הָעוֹבֵר עַל לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁחַיָּבִין עָלָיו מִיתָה בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם כְּגוֹן אוֹכֵל טֶבֶל וְכֹהֵן טָמֵא שֶׁאָכַל תְּרוּמָה טְהוֹרָה. וְכֵן כָּל הָעוֹבֵר עַל לָאו שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה כְּגוֹן אוֹכֵל בָּשָׂר בְּחָלָב אוֹ לוֹבֵשׁ שַׁעַטְנֵז. אֲבָל לָאו שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה כְּגוֹן הוֹלֵךְ רָכִיל וְנוֹקֵם וְנוֹטֵר וְנוֹשֵׂא שֵׁמַע שָׁוְא אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה:


Whenever a prohibition does not involve a deed, it is not punishable by lashes except for a person who takes a false oath, a person who transfers the sanctity of one sacrificial animal to another, and one who curses a colleague using God's name. Similarly, any prohibition punishable by execution by the court, e.g., "Do not commit adultery," or "do not perform labor on the Sabbath" is not punishable by lashes.

Whenever a prohibition requires financial recompense, e.g., "Do not rob," or "do not steal," it is not punishable by lashes. Whenever a prohibition can be corrected by the performance of a positive commandment, e.g., "Do not take the mother together with the offspring," or "do not complete the reaping of the corners of your field," it is not punishable by lashes, unless one does not perform the positive commandment.

Similarly, a prohibition of a general nature is not punishable by lashes. All other Scriptural prohibitions are punishable by lashes.


כָּל לָאו שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה אֵין לוֹקִין עָלָיו חוּץ מִנִּשְׁבָּע וּמֵימֵר וּמְקַלֵּל אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּשֵׁם. וְכָל לָאו שֶׁנִּתָּן לְאַזְהָרַת מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין כְּגוֹן לֹא תִנְאָף לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה מְלָאכָה בְּשַׁבָּת אֵין לוֹקִין עָלָיו. וְכָל לָאו שֶׁנִּתָּן לְתַשְׁלוּמִין כְּגוֹן לֹא תִּגְזל וְלֹא תִגְנֹב אֵין לוֹקִין עָלָיו. וְכָל לָאו שֶׁנִּתַּק לַעֲשֵׂה כְּגוֹן לֹא תִקַּח הָאֵם עַל הַבָּנִים לֹא תְכַלֶּה פְּאַת שָׂדְךָ אֵין לוֹקִין עָלָיו אֶלָּא אִם לֹא קִיֵּם עֲשֵׂה שֶׁבָּהֶן. וְכָל לָאו שֶׁבִּכְלָלוֹת אֵין לוֹקִין עָלָיו. וּשְׁאָר כָּל הַלָּאוִין שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה לוֹקִין עֲלֵיהֶן:


What is meant by a prohibition of a general nature? A prohibition that includes many matters, e.g., Leviticus 19:26,: "Do not eat over the blood." Similarly, if the Torah states: "Do not do this and this," since a prohibition was not explicitly stated with regard to each deed, these prohibitions are not punishable by lashes unless the Torah divides them into separate prohibitions or it is conveyed via the Oral Tradition that they have been divided.

What is implied? Exodus 12:9 states: "Do not partake of it partially roasted or cooked." If a person partakes of a portion of the Paschal sacrifice while it is partially roasted and another portion that has been cooked at the same time, he does not receive two sets of lashes, only one.

With regard to chadash, Leviticus 22:14 states: "You shall not partake of bread, roasted grain, or fresh grain...." A violator is liable for three sets of lashes for these three transgressions. According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that a distinction is to be made.

It is also written: "There shall not be found among you one who passes his son or daughter through the fire, one who divines...." Even though all the matters are included in one prohibition, in other places, the Torah distinguishes them as separate prohibitions, as Leviticus 19:26 states: "Do not augur and do not read omens." This teaches that each one is a separate prohibition. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.


אֵי זֶהוּ לָאו שֶׁבִּכְלָלוֹת זֶה לָאו אֶחָד שֶׁכּוֹלֵל עִנְיָנִים הַרְבֵּה כְּגוֹן לֹא תֹאכְלוּ עַל הַדָּם וְכֵן אִם נֶאֱמַר לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה דָּבָר פְּלוֹנִי וּפְלוֹנִי הוֹאִיל וְלֹא יִחֵד לוֹ לָאו לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מֵהֶן אֵין לוֹקִין עַל כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן חָלַק אוֹתָהּ בְּלָאוִין אֲחֵרִים אוֹ נֶאֱמַר מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה שֶׁנֶּחְלְקוּ. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן זֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יב ט) "אַל תֹּאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ נָא וּבָשֵׁל מְבֻשָּׁל" אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה עַל הַנָּא וְהַמְבֻשָּׁל שְׁתַּיִם אֶלָּא אַחַת. וּבְחָדָשׁ הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא כג יד) "וְלֶחֶם וְקָלִי וְכַרְמֶל לֹא תֹאכְלוּ" וְחַיָּב עַל שְׁלָשְׁתָּן שָׁלֹשׁ מַלְקִיּוֹת מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁזֶּה לְחַלֵּק. הֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר (דברים יח י) "לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ מַעֲבִיר בְּנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ בָּאֵשׁ קֹסֵם קְסָמִים" וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּלַל כָּל הָעִנְיָנִים בְּלָאו אֶחָד הֲרֵי חָלַק אוֹתָם בְּלָאוִין אֲחֵרִים וְאָמַר (ויקרא יט כו) "לֹא תְנַחֲשׁוּ וְלֹא תְעוֹנֵנוּ" מְלַמֵּד שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן בְּלָאו בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


The following rules apply when a person receives lashes in a court because of the violation of a prohibition punishable by kerait, and then received lashes a second time for the violation of that same prohibition - e.g., he ate forbidden fat, received lashes for it, and then ate forbidden fat again and received lashes for it. If he eats such fat a third time, he is not given lashes. Instead, he is compelled to enter a kipah, a narrow place that is his height where he cannot lie down. He is given meager portions of bread and water until his digestive tract contracts and he becomes ill. Afterwards, we feed him barley until his stomach bursts.


מִי שֶׁלָּקָה בְּבֵית דִּין עַל אִסּוּר כָּרֵת וְלָקָה פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה עַל אוֹתוֹ כָּרֵת עַצְמוֹ כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָכַל חֵלֶב וְלָקָה עָלָיו וְאָכַל חֵלֶב פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה וְלָקָה עָלָיו אִם אָכַל פַּעַם שְׁלִישִׁית אֵין מַלְקִין אוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא מַכְנִיסִין אוֹתוֹ לְכִפָּה וְהוּא מָקוֹם צַר כְּפִי קוֹמָתוֹ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשְׁכַּב בּוֹ. וְנוֹתְנִין לוֹ לֶחֶם צַר וּמַיִם לַחַץ עַד שֶׁיָּצֵרוּ מֵעָיו וְיִכְלֶה. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ שְׂעוֹרִים עַד שֶׁכְּרֵסוֹ נִבְקַעַת:


When a person violates a prohibition punishable by kerait or by execution by the court and received a warning beforehand, if he nodded his head, or remained silent and did not acknowledge the warning, we do not execute him, as explained above, nor do we give him lashes. If he repeats this transgression, receives a warning, nods his head, or remains silent, we neither execute him or give him lashes. If he repeats this transgression a third time, receives a warning, even though he merely nodded his head or remained silent, he is placed in a kipah until he dies.

All these individuals who did not acknowledge the warning they received are given "stripes for rebellious behavior" for they did at least commit a sin. Even a person who violates a Rabbinic prohibition is given "stripes for rebellious behavior."


מִי שֶׁעָבַר עַל אִסּוּר כָּרֵת אוֹ מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין וְהִתְרוּ בּוֹ וְהִרְכִּין בְּרֹאשׁוֹ אוֹ שָׁתַק וְלֹא קִבֵּל עָלָיו הַתְרָאָה. אֵין הוֹרְגִין אוֹתוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְאֵין מַלְקִין אוֹתוֹ. חָזַר וְעָשָׂה כָּךְ וְהִתְרוּ בּוֹ וְהִרְכִּין בְּרֹאשׁוֹ אוֹ שָׁתַק אֵין מְמִיתִין אוֹתוֹ וְאֵין מַלְקִין אוֹתוֹ. חָזַר פַּעַם שְׁלִישִׁית וְעָבַר וְהִתְרוּ בּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִרְכִּין בְּרֹאשׁוֹ אוֹ שָׁתַק כּוֹנְסִין אוֹתוֹ לְכִפָּה עַד שֶׁיָּמוּת. וְכָל אֵלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא קִבְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶן הַהַתְרָאָה מַכִּין אוֹתָן מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת הוֹאִיל וְחָטְאוּ מִכָּל מָקוֹם אֲפִלּוּ עַל אִסּוּר שֶׁל דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים מַכִּין אוֹתָן מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


When a person steals one of the sacrificial vessels from the Temple, curses God's name using the name of a false divinity, or has relations with an idolatrous gentile woman, the court does not deal with this matter. Instead, the zealous strike them. Whoever slays them merits. Similarly, when a priest served in the Temple while ritually impure, his priestly brethren would not bring him to court. Instead, the young priests take him out of the Temple Courtyard and crack his head open with logs.

It is a Scriptural decree that the court does not execute a person or have him lashed because of his own admission. Instead, the punishments are given on the basis of the testimony of two witnesses. Joshua's execution of Achan and David's execution of the Amalekite convert because of their own statements was a directive of immediate relevance only or was by royal fiat. The Sanhedrin, however, may not execute or lash a person who admits committing a transgression, lest he become crazed concerning this matter. Perhaps he is one of those embittered people who are anxious to die and pierce their reins with swords or throw themselves from the rooftops. Similarly, we fear that such a person may come and admit committing an act that he did not perform, so that he will be executed. The general principle is the disqualification of a person's own testimony is a decree of the king.


הַגּוֹנֵב כְּלֵי שָׁרֵת מִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְהַמְקַלֵּל בְּקוֹסֵם וְהַבּוֹעֵל אֲרַמִּית אֵין בֵּית דִּין נִזְקָקִין לָהֶן. אֶלָּא הַקַּנָּאִין פּוֹגְעִין בָּהֶן וְכָל שֶׁהוֹרְגָן זָכָה. וְכֵן כֹּהֵן שֶׁשִּׁמֵּשׁ בְּטֻמְאָה לֹא הָיוּ אֶחָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים מְבִיאִין אוֹתוֹ לְבֵית דִּין אֶלָּא פִּרְחֵי כְּהֻנָּה הָיוּ מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתוֹ חוּץ לָעֲזָרָה וּפוֹצְעִין אֶת מֹחוֹ בִּגְזִירִין. גְּזֵרַת הַכָּתוּב הִיא שֶׁאֵין מְמִיתִין בֵּית דִּין וְלֹא מַלְקִין אֶת הָאָדָם בְּהוֹדָאַת פִּיו אֶלָּא עַל פִּי שְׁנַיִם עֵדִים. וְזֶה שֶׁהָרַג יְהוֹשֻׁעַ עָכָן וְדָוִד לְגֵר עֲמָלֵקִי בְּהוֹדָאַת פִּיהֶם הוֹרָאַת שָׁעָה הָיְתָה אוֹ דִּין מַלְכוּת הָיָה. אֲבָל הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין אֵין מְמִיתִין וְלֹא מַלְקִין הַמּוֹדֶה בַּעֲבֵרָה שֶׁמָּא נִטְרְפָה דַּעְתּוֹ בְּדָבָר זֶה. שֶׁמָּא מִן הָעֲמֵלִין מָרֵי נֶפֶשׁ הוּא הַמְחַכִּים לָמוּת שֶׁתּוֹקְעִין הַחֲרָבוֹת בְּבִטְנָם וּמַשְׁלִיכִין עַצְמָן מֵעַל הַגַּגּוֹת שֶׁמָּא כָּךְ זֶה יָבוֹא וְיֹאמַר דָּבָר שֶׁלֹּא עָשָׂה כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּהָרֵג וּכְלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר גְּזֵרַת מֶלֶךְ הִיא: