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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 2 (Negative) -- Prohibition: 15 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 2 - The 365 Prohibitions of the Tora


Deuteronomy 13:12-14 -- 12 “If you hear someone in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell in, saying, 13 'Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods" '--which you have not known-- 14 then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you
Exodus 23:13 -- “And in all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth.”

The Gemara of Sanhedrin says: “nor let it be heard from your mouth” is the prohibition against the meisith.* To this it was objected that an explicit prohibition against leading an individual astray (i.e. against the meisith is contained in the words of Scripture, So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you. (Deuteronomy 13:11) and (we must conclude that the verse nor let it be heard from your mouth is the prohibition against the madiach**.”***

* One who misleads only an individual
** One who misleads a community
*** Sanh. 63b (Sonc. ed. p. 431)

The punishment for contravention of this prohibition is stoning, as we read in Sanhedrin: “Those who lead astray an apostate city are punished by stoning.” *

* Sanh. 67a (Sonc. ed. p. 455f)

The provisions of this commandment are explained in the tenth chapter of Sanhedrin.

To lead astray a community, or any individual Israelite, into idolatry is considered one of the most heinous crimes. Consequently, many privileges accorded to the ordinary culprit are denied to the misleader, “since to be cruel to those who lead people astray after foolishness is to be merciful towards mankind.”*

* Mishneh Torah, Shoftim, Hilchoth Sanhedrin XI, 5


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