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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 2 (Negative) -- Prohibition: 300 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 2 - The 365 Prohibitions of the Tora

300 - INFLICTING EXCESSIVE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT


Deuteronomy 25:2-3 -- 2 “Then it shall be, if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, that the judge will cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence, according to his guilt, with a certain number of blows. 3 Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above these, and your brother be humiliated in your sight.”

By this prohibition, a judge is forbidden to inflict on a wrongdoer corporal punishment so severe as to cause permanent injury. This is to be explained as follows: The maximum number of strokes that can be inflicted on a man liable to whipping is fixed by Tradition* at thirty-nine, but no man is to be subjected to corporal punishment until an estimate has been made of the number of strokes he can bear, regard being had to his age, temperament, and physique. If he can bear the full punishment, it is administered; if not, he is to be given as many strokes as he is able to endure,** in no case less than three. This is based upon the Exalted One’s words, the judge will cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence, according to his guilt, with a certain number of blows.***

* For definition, see Vol. I, Note to Pos. Comm. 174, p. 184
** It must be a number divisible by three (Mak. 22a (Sonc. ed. p. 155)
*** Deuteronomy 25:2

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