Re: Sins punishable by death

Israel Rosenfeld (iir@vms.huji.ac.il)
Wed, 9 Jul 1997 14:38:52 +0000

brent mitchell <agonis@netvision.net.il> wrote:
<<Life in the world to come as well as an improvement in this life is
guaranteed to those who earnestly and honestly do Teshuva. Therefore, how
does this coalesce with the fact that many sins which people transgress on
a regular basis are punishable by death according to halacha? If a person
has been condemned to death, How can he improve his life in this world and
connect with the tree of life and the promise of a place in the world to
come?>>

I quote (all translations are mine):
Psalms 25:8 - Hashem is good and honest, therefore he shows sinners the way.
TY(Jerusalem Talmud) Makkot 4b (Chap. 2, Rule 6)- Rabbi Pinchas said: Why
is he good? Because he is honest. Why is he honest? Because he is good.
Therefore he shows sinners the way of Teshuva (repentance).
Wisdom was asked: What is the punishment of the sinner? Wisdom answered:
Evil will pursue the sinners.
Prophecy was asked: What is the punishment of the sinner? Prophecy
answered: The soul of a sinner must die.
Hashem was asked: What is the punishment of the sinner? Hashem answered:
Repent and be forgiven.
TB(Babylonian Talmud) Yuma 86a- Rabbi Yishmael said: A transgressor of a
positive commandment who repents is forgiven on the spot. A transgressor of
a negative commandment who repents is forgiven on Yom Kippur (Day of
Atonement). A transgressor of a negative commandment which is punishable by
death and who repents on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) will be forgiven
after APPROPRIATE suffering; i.e. the person and the situation weigh more
than the transgression.
TB Kidushin 40b- Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai said: Even if one was totally evil
his whole life and finally repented, his evil is no longer remembered.

In conclusion, amongst the three: Wisdom, Prophecy, and Hashem, I'm betting
on Hashem.

Behatzlacha raba.

Yisrael