E. Ben-Zimra, "Considerations of Punishment in Jewish Criminal Law as Reflected in the Responsa Literature" (Heb.), Shenaton 8 (1981), 7-42. - In addition to the general aims of punishment found in every legal system, Jewish law also attaches religious significance to the penalties imposed by the Criminal law. This point emerges from the author's study of the responsa literature on this topic, as do the following criteria applied by the Rabbinic authorities in their administration of the various punishments available to them - severity of the offence, special circumstances of the time, place, and the individual concerned; character and weight of the evidence, and the frequency and results of the offence in question. Ben-Zimra emphasises the significance of moderation and impartiality in applying punishment and the sensitivity of the rabbis to the general circumstances surrounding the offence. He also describes the effects of the policy of the secular governments of limiting the rights of punishment of Jewish courts, and the means employed by the latter to deal with this policy. (Y.S.K.)

L. Eslinger, "The Case of An Immodest Lady Wrestler in Deuteronomy XXV 11-12", VT 31 (1981), 269-281. - The writer argues that this is the only explicit example of a mutilative punishment in Israelite law and that Deut. 25:12 is a perfect example of talionic punishment. The key to understanding the meaning of Deut. 25:11-12 lies in understanding the Deuteronomist's legislative methods. He sees Gen. 32:25-33 as the basis of this law. Kap is used in Gen. 32:26,33 and Cant. 5:5 to refer to male or female genitalia which allows Deut. 25:11-12 to be seen as talionic. This passage is also a Deuteronomic comment upon Jacob's underhand action in the Jabbok wrestling match. (K.W.W.)

David Halperin, "Crucifixion, The Nahum Pesher, and the Rabbinic Penalty of Strangulation", JJS 32.1 (1981), 32-46. - Halperin examines some peculiarities of early rabbinic jurisprudence in the light of a philological observation from 4Q pNah I:4-8. He observes that the reference in the pesher to hanging derives from the biblical lemma using the verb hanneq. He observes that crucifixion may have been regarded as a prolonged form of strangulation; and goes on to suggest that the long debated penalty of heneq in M. Sanh. VIII:1, which is not biblical, is a modification of an earlier penalty of crucifixion, derived from the Romans. Various legal traditions are adduced to show traces of older vestiges of this penalty among the old Rabbis; among these is the notable Targum to Ruth 1:17, which mentions crucifixion in the place normally occupied by strangulation. Halperin goes on to argue that the rejection of crucifixion in the Temple Scroll is not simply a polemic against other Jewish groups (Yadin), but that it reflects a development in the rabbinic materials as well. He notes that the changed attitude toward crucifixion is a major distinction between the pre-70 and post-70 Pharisaic group. (M.F.)

N. Lifshitz, "Does a Man Not Receive Both the Death Penalty and Pay Damages? (On the origin of the Rule 'Kam leh Miderabah Minah')" (Heb.), Shenaton 8 (1981), 153-246. - According to this author, the general rule against multiplicity of punishments, .i.e. that a person is not to receive both the death penalty and payment of damages, nor is he subject to the death penalty and stripes (makkot), nor to stripes and payment of damages, was not fully developed until the period of the Tannaim, and definitely not before the generation of R. Akiva and his disciples. Accordingly, there were conflicting views as to this rule amongst the Tannaim. Only later, when the lenient school of thought was generally accepted, did the broad principle of "Kam leh Miderabah Minah" emerge, and conflicting sources were interpreted in such a way as to support this lenient viewpoint. This process of interpretation resulted in certain restrictions of the originally very wide principle, and also provided the impetus for further development of related fields in Jewish law. The article also deals with the questions of the death penalty and corporal punishment ("makkot"), and corporal punishment and payment of damages. (Y.S.K.)



   Search this site            powered by FreeFind

The Jewish Law Association website is
hosted by the Centre for Jewish Studies
at the University of Manchester

About | Officers | Constitution | Membership | Conferences
Publications | Abstracts | Resources | Courses | Links

View the framed or non-framed version of this site