SANHEDRIN 78 - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Reb Aharon David ben Mordechai Kornfeld upon the passage of 30 days since his Petirah, by his son Mordecai and his family.

[78a - 49 lines; 78b - 36 lines]

1)[line 1] KO'ACH KACHUSH- a weak force. (When a person throws an object upwards and it veers slightly to the side, the "weak" force is the horizontal component of the force of his throw, which is still acting upon the object after it begins to descend, causing it to move in an outward trajectory ("l'Tzedadin"). The "strong" force is the vertical component of his throw, which ceases to act upon the object as soon as it begins to descend.)

2)[line 7]" [ ]""V'ISH KI YAKEH KOL NEFESH ADAM, [MOS YUMAS]"- "And he who kills any man [shall surely be put to death]" (Vayikra 24:17).

3)[line 9] KOL DEHU NEFESH- any minute amount of [a person's] soul (i.e. even the one who dealt the final deathblow)

4)[line 10]TEREIFAH

A Tereifah is a person or an animal that has acquired or was born with a fatal defect that will result in his or its death within a year. The signs of a Tereifah are described in Chulin 42a et seq. (There are some who maintain that a Tereifah can live for more than a year - see Chulin 42a-b)

5a)[line 11] GOSES B'YDEI SHAMAYIM- [regarding the murder of] a person about to die of natural causes

b)[line 12] GOSES B'YDEI ADAM- [regarding the murder of] a person about to die as a result of human intervention

6)[line 19] MICHATCHEI SIMANIM- (a) the "Simanim," i.e. either the esophagus or the trachea, are cut (the Gemara happened to choose one of the signs of Tereifah - YAD RAMAH, 1st explanation); (b) the signs of a Tereifah are well-defined (YAD RAMAH, 2nd explanation)

7)[line 28]" ""U'VI'ARTA HA'RA MI'KIRBECHA"- "... and you shall purge the evil from your midst" (Devarim 13:6).


(a)Edus she'Iy Atah Yachol l'Hazimah is testimony of witnesses that does not allow for the possibility of being proven false through "Hazamah" (see Background to Sanhedrin 27:1, "Edim Zomemim").

(b)For example, our Gemara states that if witnesses testify to convict a Tereifah of a capital offense, and are then proven to be Zomemim, they cannot be put to death. Since "they testified about a dead man," Beis Din would not be performing "Ka'asher Zamam" by killing them. As such, their testimony is classified as Iy Atah Yachol l'Hazimah.

9a)[line 37] EDIM SHE'HE'IDU BI'TEREIFAH- witnesses who testify [as Edim Zomemim] against a Tereifah [to convict him of a capital offense] (see previous entry)

b)[line 37] EDEI TEREIFAH- witnesses who themselves are mortally ill (Tereifah) who testify [to convict someone of a capital offense, and are then proven to be Zomemim]

10)[line 38] LEFI SHE'EINAN B'ZOMEMEI ZOMEMIN- since the witnesses who are Edim against them cannot themselves become Edim Zomemim (i.e. they cannot get the Din of "Ka'asher Zamam," since they plotted to kill dead people)

11)[line 40]"[ , , ;] ""... HA'SHOR YISAKEL V'GAM BE'ALAV YUMAS"- "[But if the bull was prone to gore with its horn in the past, and its owner had been warned, but he had not watched it properly, and it killed a man or a woman;] the bull shall be stoned, and its owner also shall pay Kofer (lit. be put to death)" (Shemos 21:29) - Our Gemara learns from this verse that the death of the bull is compared to the death of its owner. As such, since his owner is a Tereifah who would not be killed if he killed someone out of the sight of Beis Din (above, line 27), we do not kill his bull, either.

12)[line 43] KEIVAN D'ILU BE'ALIM HAVU PETIREI- since had the owner been a Tereifah himself, he would not be killed if he killed someone out of the sight of Beis Din, so, too, we do not kill his bull that is a Tereifah

13)[line 44] KESHE'TIMTZA LOMAR- when you analyze [this argument between the Tana'im] you will conclude

14a)[line 44] ERES NACHASH- a snake's poison

b)[line 45] BEIN SHINAV HU OMED- is located in its fangs

15)[line 45] / MAKISH / MESHICH- the one who pushed the snake's fangs into the flesh of the victim ("Meshich" means the one who caused to bite)

16)[line 46] ME'ATZMO HU MEKI- it secretes [the poison] on its own


(a)The term Shor ha'Niskal refers to any animal or bird that is stoned to death by Beis Din. Such an animal is Asur b'Hana'ah after the death sentence is issued. One of the instances of Shor ha'Niskal is an animal that killed a person, as described in Shemos 21:28-31.

(b)In the event that an animal killed a person, only if two witnesses saw the act is the animal stoned by Beis Din and Asur b'Hana'ah. If only one witness saw it, or if there were no witnesses but the owner told Beis Din of the incident, the animal is not stoned and is Mutar b'Hana'ah. If it is an animal that was fit to be brought as a Korban, it is Mutar b'Hana'ah but is rendered unfit to be brought as a Korban.

18)[line 47]EGROF- a fist

19)[line 47] AMDUHU L'MISAH- Beis Din estimated that the victim would die from the blow, i.e. it was indeed a deathblow, and the attacker would incur the death penalty for it should the victim die

20)[line 48] SHE'RAGLAYIM LA'DAVAR- there is a logical foundation for this (to presume that he did not die due to the blow, since his condition improved in the interim)

21)[last line]"[ , ; , .] , ; [ , ]""[V'CHI YERIVUN ANASHIM, V'HIKAH ISH ES RE'EHU B'EVEN O V'EGROF; V'LO YAMUS, V'NAFAL L'MISHKAV.] IM YAKUM V'HIS'HALECH BA'CHUTZ AL MISH'ANTO, V'NIKAH HA'MAKEH; [RAK SHIVTO YITEN, V'RAPO YERAPEI]"- "[And if men quarrel together, and one strikes another with a stone, or with his fist; and he does not die, but is bedridden.] If he rises again, and regains his health and his strength, then shall he who struck him be acquitted; [only he shall compensate him for lost work, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed (by paying for the doctors)]" (Shemos 21:18-19).


22)[line 5] SHE'CHOVSHIN OSO- that they sequester him [under guard]

23)[line 6] YALIF MI'MEKOSHESH- he learns this Halchah ("Chovshin Oso") from the case of the person who gathered kindling sticks on Shabbos, who was put to death by stoning for desecrating the Shabbos (Bamidbar 15:32-36)

24)[line 11] YALIF MI'MEGADEF- he learns this Halachah from the case of the person who cursed the Name of HaSh-m, who was first put under guard because his punishment was not known. Afterwards, HaSh-m instructed Moshe Rabeinu that he was to be put to death by stoning (Vayikra 24:10-16, 23)

25)[line 12] HORA'AS SHA'AH HAYESAH- it was an enactment for that time only

26)[line 16]"[ ,] ""[VA'YANICHU OSO BA'MISHMAR,] KI LO FORASH MAH YE'ASEH LO"- "[And they put him under guard] since what was to be done to him was not elucidated" (Bamidbar 15:34) - This verse states, "what was to be done to him," indicating that he was to receive a penalty, but the penalty was not clear. Moshe knew that the Mekoshesh deserved the death penalty, as stated in the verse, "those who violate it shall surely be put to death" (Shemos 31:14), since desecrating Shabbos in public is tantamount to denying that HaSh-m is the First Cause of all creation. He was only waiting for HaSh-m to reveal to him by which death penalty he was to be punished.

27)[line 17]"[ ,] '""[VA'YANICHUHU BA'MISHMAR,] LIFROSH LAHEM AL PI HASH-M"- "[And they put him under guard,] in order that it (whether he was to be punished or not, and if so, how?) be elucidated according to HaSh-m" (Vayikra 24:12).

28)[line 20] TREI UMDENEI- two estimates [that are learned from the extra words in the verses (Shemos 21:18-19), "v'Chi Yerivun Anashim, v'Hikah Ish Es Re'ehu b'Even O v'Egrof; v'Lo Yamus v'Nafal l'Mishkav. Im yakum v'His'halech ba'Chutz Al Mish'anto, v'Nikah ha'Makeh; Rak Shivto Yiten, v'Rapo Yerape" (see above, entry #21).

29)[line 25] SHE'HAREI YATZA MI'BEIS DIN ZAKAI- since he has emerged innocent from Beis Din

30)[line 27] OMED SHENI L'MAMON - as second estimate to assess the monetary value [of the damages] (CHOVEL)

A person who wounds his fellow Jew (Chovel b'Chaveiro) is obligated to pay five payments to the victim, i.e. four payments in addition to Nezek, which one must always pay for damages. The five payments are:

1.NEZEK (Damages, also known as Pegam) - If one causes damage to the person of a fellow Jew, such as blinding his eye, cutting off his hand or breaking his foot, Beis Din assesses the damages that he caused based on the depreciation such damages would cause to a slave on the slave market.

2.TZA'AR (Pain) - The payment for pain inflicted is evaluated as the amount that the injured person would be ready to pay to have the identical injury inflicted in a painless manner (Bava Kama 85a). Pain payments are due even if no other damage (other than the pain) was inflicted - for example, if one person burned another's fingernail without causing a wound. The amount of this payment ultimately depends upon the physical and financial situation of the injured person (RAMBAM Hilchos Chovel u'Mazik 2:9).

3.RIPUY (Medical expenses) - He must pay all medical costs until the injured person heals completely from his wounds.

4.SHEVES (Unemployment) - He must pay unemployment for the duration of the injured person's recovery. Sheves is evaluated as if the injured person is protecting a pumpkin patch from birds, a job that requires only minimal exertion and can be accomplished even by an invalid. (The money that the injured person loses due to his permanent handicap, though, is covered by the Nezek payment.)

5.BOSHES (Shame) - Boshes is evaluated based on the status of the person who caused the embarrassment and the status of the person who was embarrassed. According to most opinions, the shame caused by an undignified person is greater than the shame caused by an average or dignified person (YERUSHALMI Kesuvos 3:8, RASHI to Bava Kama 83b, BARTENURA to Kesuvos 3:7, RAMBAM Hilchos Chovel u'Mazik 3:1, TUR Choshen Mishpat 420 and SHULCHAN ARUCH CM 420:24). Others rule that the shame caused by an average person is greater than the shame cause by an undignified or a dignified person (RASHI to Kesuvos 40a. The RAN rules that this is the Halachah in all cases except for Ones and Mefateh - see Background to Sanhedrin 2:7 - which follow the previous opinion). With regard to a person who was embarrassed, shame caused to a dignified person is greater than the shame that an average or undignified person suffers (Bava Kama ibid.).

31)[line 28] OMED HA'EMTZA'I- the "middle estimate," i.e. the second estimate to assess the monetary value of the damages

32)[line 29] EIN OMED ACHAR OMED- (lit. there is no estimate after an estimate) we do not perform an additional estimate to assess the monetary value of the damages in the case where Beis Din estimated that the victim would die of his wounds, he recovered somewhat and died afterwards. (Rebbi Nechemyah rules that the attacker pays the monetary value of the damages to the victim's heirs because the victim's recovery indicates that he died of other causes.) The Rabanan argue and rule that the attacker is put to death.

33)[line 32] NEZEK V'TZA'AR- damages and pain (see above, entry #30) [as well as the other payments of Ripuy Sheves and Boshes, which were left out since that Tana of the Beraisa is not in the habit of listing the obvious]

34)[line 32] ?ME'EIMASAI MESHALEM?- (lit. From when does he pay?) From which point of the victim's life is the assessment for damages made?

35)[line 32] MI'SHA'AH SHE'HIKAHU- from the time that he struck him (i.e. his value before the injury minus his value after the injury)

36a)[line 34]NEFALIM- premature babies that were born alive but have signs that they would not live for thirty days

b)[line 34] BEN KAYAMA- a viable child

37)[line 35]MOSNAV- his loins