From the pasuk telling us not to kill a bas Kohen for adultery, the Gemorrah tells us we learn an issur on burning. It seems to me that we are learning an issur on putting a living thing (person in this case) to death. How do we also learn burning on the same words?
We know four ways to execute someone, and all are presumably prohibited on Shabbos. I understand that we learn it from here, so how can we also see burning?
Thank you very much!
Hal Miller, Columbus, Ohio, USA
The truth is that we do not learn the prohibition of burning from Bas Kohen, but rather regarding Bas Kohen. If you take a look at the RABEINU NISIM GAON, you will see that he explains that the prohibition is learned from the explicit Pasuk "Lo Sivaru Eish b'Moshvoseichem b'Yom ha'Shabbos" -- "Do not burn fire in your settlements on the day of Shabbos" (Shemos 35:3). Why does oour Gemara mention Bas Kohen? Rabeinu Nisim explains that the word "b'Moshvoseichem" refers to Beis Din, and the act of lighting a fire done in Beis Din is lighting the Pesilah in order to burn a Bas Kohen (see also Mechilta in Vayakhel). This is why Bas Kohen is mentioned as being "the source" of burning.