Leviticus Chapter 20

8And you shall observe My statutes and fulfill them. I am the Lord, Who sanctifies you.   ח וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם֙ אֶת־חֻקֹּתַ֔י וַֽעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֹ֖ה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶֽם:
9For any man who curses his father or his mother shall be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon himself.   טכִּי־אִ֣ישׁ אִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְקַלֵּ֧ל אֶת־אָבִ֛יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֖וֹ מ֣וֹת יוּמָ֑ת אָבִ֧יו וְאִמּ֛וֹ קִלֵּ֖ל דָּמָ֥יו בּֽוֹ:
he has cursed his father or his mother: [This phrase] comes to include [in this prohibition and its penalty], cursing one’s father or mother even] after [their] death. — [Sanh. 85b]   אביו ואמו קלל: לרבות לאחר מיתה:
his blood is upon himself: This refers to [the death penalty by] stoning. And likewise, wherever it is stated, “his blood is upon himself,” or “their blood is upon themselves” (see verse 27 below) [it refers to death by stoning]. And we learn [this principle] from [those who practice the sorcery of] Ov or Yid’oni, for regarding them, Scripture says (verse 27), “they shall pelt them with stones; their blood is upon themselves.” - [Torath Kohanim 20:103; Sanh. 66a] [According to] the simple meaning of the verse, however, it is like “his blood is upon his [own] head” (Josh. 2:19), i.e., no one is punished for his death but he himself, because he brought it upon himself to be killed.   דמיו בו: זו סקילה, וכן כל מקום שנאמר דמיהם בם, ולמדנו מאוב וידעוני שנאמר בהם באבן ירגמו אותם דמיהם בם (פסוק כז). ופשוטו של מקרא, כמו דמו בראשו (יהושע ב יט), אין נענש על מיתתו אלא הוא, שהוא גרם לעצמו שיהרג:
10And a man who commits adultery with [another] man's wife, committing adultery with the wife of his fellow the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.   יוְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִנְאַף֙ אֶת־אֵ֣שֶׁת אִ֔ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִנְאַ֖ף אֶת־אֵ֣שֶׁת רֵעֵ֑הוּ מֽוֹת־יוּמַ֥ת הַנֹּאֵ֖ף וְהַנֹּאָֽפֶת:
And a man [who commits adultery]: [The term “man”] comes to exclude a minor [from the death penalty]. — [Torath Kohanim 20:105; Sanh. 52b]   ואיש: פרט לקטן:
who commits adultery with [another] man’s wife: [The term “man’s wife” comes] to exclude the wife of a minor. [From here,] we learn that a minor cannot hold [the legal status of Jewish] marriage. And for which “man’s wife” have I held you liable ?   אשר ינאף את אשת איש: פרט לאשת קטן, למדנו שאין לקטן קידושין. ועל איזו אשת איש חייבתי לך:
committing adultery with the wife of his fellow: [Thus] excluding the wife of a non-Jew. [From here,] we learn that [the legal status of Jewish] marriage cannot be held by a non-Jew. — [Torath Kohanim 20:105; Sanh. 52b]   אשר ינאף את אשת רעהו: פרט לאשת גוי, למדנו שאין קידושין לגוי:
The adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death: Wherever a death penalty is mentioned in the Torah without specification [as to the mode of death, it exclusively refers to strangulation. — [Torath Kohanim 20:106, Sanh. 52b]   מות יומת הנאף והנאפת: כל מיתה האמורה בתורה סתם אינה אלא חנק:
11And a man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon themselves.   יאוְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִשְׁכַּב֙ אֶת־אֵ֣שֶׁת אָבִ֔יו עֶרְוַ֥ת אָבִ֖יו גִּלָּ֑ה מֽוֹת־יֽוּמְת֥וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֖ם דְּמֵיהֶ֥ם בָּֽם:
12And a man who lies with his daughter in law both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed a depravity; their blood is upon themselves.   יבוְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִשְׁכַּב֙ אֶת־כַּלָּת֔וֹ מ֥וֹת יֽוּמְת֖וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֑ם תֶּ֥בֶל עָשׂ֖וּ דְּמֵיהֶ֥ם בָּֽם:
they have committed a depravity: Heb. תֶּבֶל, a shameful act. Another meaning: They mingle (בּלל) the seed of the father with the seed of the son. — [see Torath Kohanim 20:108]   תבל עשו: גנאי. לשון אחר מבלבלין זרע האב בזרע הבן:
13And a man who lies with a male as one would with a woman both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon themselves.   יגוְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִשְׁכַּ֤ב אֶת־זָכָר֙ מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֔ה תּֽוֹעֵבָ֥ה עָשׂ֖וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֑ם מ֥וֹת יוּמָ֖תוּ דְּמֵיהֶ֥ם בָּֽם:
as one would with a woman: [I.e.,] if he inserts [his membrum] as an applicator [is inserted] into a tube [of eye shadow]. — [B.M. 91a]   משכבי אשה: מכניס כמכחול בשפופרת:
14And a man who takes a woman and her mother it is evil counsel. They shall burn him and them in fire, and there shall be no evil counsel in your midst.   ידוְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִקַּ֧ח אֶת־אִשָּׁ֛ה וְאֶת־אִמָּ֖הּ זִמָּ֣ה הִ֑וא בָּאֵ֞שׁ יִשְׂרְפ֤וּ אֹתוֹ֙ וְאֶתְהֶ֔ן וְלֹא־תִֽהְיֶ֥ה זִמָּ֖ה בְּתֽוֹכְכֶֽם:
They must burn him and them: You cannot say that they should burn his first wife, because he married her permissibly, and she did not become forbidden to him. Rather, [the case of a man marrying] “a woman and her mother” written here, is [one, in which] both were forbidden to him, [namely,] that he married his mother-in-law and then her mother [in which case both women are burned along with him]. There are some of our Rabbis who say: [This case] means that only his mother-in-law [is to be burnt]. [If so,] what is the expression אֶתְהֶן, them ? It means “one of them,” being derived from the Greek term hen, meaning “one.” - [Sanh. 76b]   ישרפו אתו ואתהן: אי אתה יכול לומר אשתו הראשונה ישרפו, שהרי נשאה בהיתר ולא נאסרה עליו, אלא אשה ואמה הכתובין כאן, שתיהן לאיסור, שנשא את חמותו ואמה. ויש מרבותינו שאומרים, אין כאן אלא חמותו. ומהו אתהן, את אחת מהן, ולשון יוני הוא הן אחת:
15And a man who lies with an animal, shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal.   טווְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִתֵּ֧ן שְׁכָבְתּ֛וֹ בִּבְהֵמָ֖ה מ֣וֹת יוּמָ֑ת וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָ֖ה תַּֽהֲרֹֽגוּ:
And you shall kill the animal: If the man sinned, in what way did the animal sin? However, since a failing came [upon a person] through [the animal], therefore, Scripture says: It must be stoned [to death]! How much more so [is this relevant] to a human being, who knows how to distinguish between good and evil, and yet brings evil upon his fellow [by causing him] to commit a transgression. Similar to this matter, it says, “You shall utterly destroy from all the places [where the nations…worshipped-their gods]” (Deut. 12:2). It is surely [possible here to draw] an inference from minor to major: If [in the case of] trees, which do not see and do not hear, when a failing comes [upon a man] through them, the Torah says, Destroy them! Burn them! Annihilate them!- how much more culpable is a human who leads his fellow astray from the path of life to the paths of death! - [Torath Kohanim 20:115]   ואת הבהמה תהרגו: אם אדם חטא בהמה מה חטאה, אלא מפני שבאה לאדם תקלה על ידה, לפיכך אמר הכתוב תסקל. קל וחומר לאדם שיודע להבחין בין טוב לרע וגורם רעה לחבירו לעבור עבירה. כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר (דברים יב ב) אבד תאבדון את כל המקומות, הרי דברים קל וחומר, מה אילנות שאינן רואין ואינן שומעין על שבאת תקלה על ידם אמרה תורה השחת שרוף וכלה, המטה את חבירו מדרך חיים לדרכי מיתה על אחת כמה וכמה:
16And a woman who comes close to any animal so that it will mate with her you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon themselves.   טזוְאִשָּׁ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר תִּקְרַ֤ב אֶל־כָּל־בְּהֵמָה֙ לְרִבְעָ֣ה אֹתָ֔הּ וְהָֽרַגְתָּ֥ אֶת־הָֽאִשָּׁ֖ה וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָ֑ה מ֥וֹת יוּמָ֖תוּ דְּמֵיהֶ֥ם בָּֽם:
17And a man who takes his sister, whether his father's daughter or his mother's daughter, and he sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness it is a disgraceful act, and they shall be cut off before the eyes of the members of their people; he uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his sin.   יזוְאִ֣ישׁ אֲשֶׁר־יִקַּ֣ח אֶת־אֲחֹת֡וֹ בַּת־אָבִ֣יו אֽוֹ־בַת־אִ֠מּ֠וֹ וְרָאָ֨ה אֶת־עֶרְוָתָ֜הּ וְהִֽיא־תִרְאֶ֤ה אֶת־עֶרְוָתוֹ֙ חֶ֣סֶד ה֔וּא וְנִ֨כְרְת֔וּ לְעֵינֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י עַמָּ֑ם עֶרְוַ֧ת אֲחֹת֛וֹ גִּלָּ֖ה עֲו‍ֹנ֥וֹ יִשָּֽׂא:
it is a disgraceful act: The Aramaic term for “disgrace” is חִסוּדָא. - [see Onkelos on Gen. 34:14] Its Midrashic interpretation, however, is: If you [object and] say, “But Cain married his sister!” [the answer is:] the Omnipresent [in permitting this marriage,] performed an act of kindness (חֶסֶד), to build His world through him, as it is said: “the world is built on kindness (חֶסֶד) ” (Ps. 89:3). - [Torath Kohanim 20:116]   חסד הוא: לשון ארמי חרפה (בראשית לד יד) חסודא. ומדרשו אם תאמר קין נשא אחותו, חסד עשה המקום לבנות עולמו ממנו, שנאמר (תהלים פט ג) עולם חסד יבנה:
18And a man who lies with a woman who has a flow, and he uncovers her nakedness he has bared her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from the midst of their people.   יחוְאִ֠ישׁ אֲשֶׁר־יִשְׁכַּ֨ב אֶת־אִשָּׁ֜ה דָּוָ֗ה וְגִלָּ֤ה אֶת־עֶרְוָתָהּ֙ אֶת־מְקֹרָ֣הּ הֶֽעֱרָ֔ה וְהִ֕וא גִּלְּתָ֖ה אֶת־מְק֣וֹר דָּמֶ֑יהָ וְנִכְרְת֥וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֖ם מִקֶּ֥רֶב עַמָּֽם:
he has bared: Heb. הֶעֱרָה, he has uncovered. And likewise, every instance of the term עֶרְוָה [in Scripture], denotes “uncovering,” and the “vav” is inserted into the word [root ערה] for the noun form. Similarly, [the noun] זַעֲוָה, “trembling,” stems from the root [זָע, “tremble,” as in the verse], “and he did not rise, nor did he tremble (זָע) ” (Esther 5:9). Likewise, the noun אַחֲוָה, “brotherhood,” stems from the root אָח, “brother.” Now, regarding this הַעֲרָאָה, “uncovering” [in the context of illicit relations], our Rabbis differed [with respect to what constitutes “uncovering”]. Some say that it is the [mere] contact ofthe membrum, while others say that it is the insertion of the tip of the membrum. — [Yev. 55b]   הערה: גלה. וכן כל לשון ערוה גלוי הוא, והוי"ו יורדת בתיבה לשם דבר, כמו זעוה, מגזרת (אסתר ה ט) ולא קם ולא זע, וכן אחוה מגזרת אח. והעראה זו נחלקו בה רבותינו, יש אומרים זו נשיקת שמש, ויש אומרים זו הכנסת עטרה:
19And you shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister or your father's sister, for he would be baring his close relative; they shall bear their sin.   יטוְעֶרְוַ֨ת אֲח֧וֹת אִמְּךָ֛ וַֽאֲח֥וֹת אָבִ֖יךָ לֹ֣א תְגַלֵּ֑ה כִּ֧י אֶת־שְׁאֵר֛וֹ הֶֽעֱרָ֖ה עֲו‍ֹנָ֥ם יִשָּֽׂאוּ:
the nakedness of your mother’s sister [or your father’s sister]: Scripture repeats the warning [already given in 18:12,13], to tell us that one is warned against [cohabiting with] these [specific relatives], whether it is with one’s father’s or mother’s sister from one father or whether it is their sisters from one mother. However, [concerning] the nakedness of the wife of his father’s brother, he is warned only if she is the wife of his father’s brother from one father. — [Torath Kohanim 20:118]   וערות אחות אמך וגו': שנה הכתוב באזהרתן, לומר שהוזהר עליהן בין על אחות אביו ואמו מן האב בין על אחיותיהן מן האם, אבל ערות אשת אחי אביו לא הוזהר אלא על אשת אחי אביו מן האב:
20And a man who lies with his aunt he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness; they shall bear their transgression; they shall die childless.   כוְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִשְׁכַּב֙ אֶת־דֹּ֣דָת֔וֹ עֶרְוַ֥ת דֹּד֖וֹ גִּלָּ֑ה חֶטְאָ֥ם יִשָּׂ֖אוּ עֲרִירִ֥ים יָמֻֽתוּ:
who lies with his aunt […they shall die childless]: This verse comes to teach us concerning the punishment of excision stated above, [“anyone who does any of these abominations… shall be cut off” (Lev. 18:29)] that it constitutes the punishment of going childless.   אשר ישכב את דדתו: המקרא הזה בא ללמד על כרת האמור למעלה, שהוא בעונש הליכת ערירי:
childless: Heb. עֲרִירִי, as the Targum renders: בְּלָא וְלָד, without child. Similar to this [is the verse], “for I am going childless (עֲרִירִי) ” (Gen. 15:2). If he has children, he will bury them [i.e., they will die during his lifetime]. And if he has no children [when he commits this sin], he will die childless. This is why Scripture varied the expression in these two verses: (a) they shall die without children (our verse), and (b) they shall be childless (next verse)-“they shall die childless” [means that] if he has children at the time of the sin, he will not have any when he dies, because he will bury them in his lifetime; and “they will be childless” [means that] if he has no children at the time of the sin, he will remain all his life as he is now. — [See Torath Kohanim 20:120; Yev. 55a]   ערירים: כתרגומו בלא ולד, ודומה לו (בראשית טו ב) ואנכי הולך ערירי, יש לו בנים קוברן, אין לו בנים מת בלא בנים, לכך שנה בשני מקראות אלו ערירים ימותו ערירים יהיו. ערירים ימותו, אם יהיו לו בשעת עבירה, לא יהיו לו כשימות לפי שקוברן בחייו. ערירים יהיו, שאם אין לו בשעת עבירה, יהיה כל ימיו כמו שהוא עכשיו:
21And a man who takes his brother's wife it is a repulsive act; he has uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.   כאוְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִקַּ֛ח אֶת־אֵ֥שֶׁת אָחִ֖יו נִדָּ֣ה הִ֑וא עֶרְוַ֥ת אָחִ֛יו גִּלָּ֖ה עֲרִירִ֥ים יִֽהְיֽוּ:
it is a repulsive act: Heb. נִדָּה הִוא. This cohabitation is [an act from which one should] separate himself (מְנוּדָה) and is disgusting. Our Rabbis, however, expounded [this verse, as follows] (Yev. 54b): Scripture comes to prohibit uncovering her [nakedness] just like [the prohibition of uncovering the nakedness of] a menstruant woman (נִדָּה), concerning whom “baring” is explicitly stated (verse 18 above),“he has bared (הֶערָה) her fountain.” [I.e., one is liable for sexual contact, as is defined in the commentary on verse 18.]   נדה הוא: השכיבה הזאת מנודה היא ומאוסה. ורבותינו דרשו לאסור העראה בה כנדה, שהעראה מפורשת בה (פסוק יח) את מקורה הערה (לעיל יח):
22And you shall observe all My statutes and all My ordinances, and fulfill them, then the Land, to which I am bringing you to dwell therein, will not vomit you out.   כבוּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֤ם אֶת־כָּל־חֻקֹּתַי֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־מִשְׁפָּטַ֔י וַֽעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם וְלֹֽא־תָקִ֤יא אֶתְכֶם֙ הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר אֲנִ֜י מֵבִ֥יא אֶתְכֶ֛ם שָׁ֖מָּה לָשֶׁ֥בֶת בָּֽהּ: