aish.com > Judaism 101 > Philosophy > Deed and Creed

9. Lashes: Barbaric or Humane?

April 27, 2014 | by Rochelle Lev and Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Jewish law regards jail as an inhumane punishment.

PREPARATION

Required Reading Understanding Judaism, p. 79-100

 

WORKSHOP

(1) Explain the term 'stimulus response' and its relationship to the punishment of lashes.

(2) Why is jail considered by Judaism to be a cruel and ineffective method of punishment? What reasons does Rabbi Blech give for Judaism's stance that jail is an inhumane response to crime?

(3) What is the difference in the way a convict is treated by the community at the end of a sentence of malkut, as opposed to one who completed his sentence in jail?

(4) Give three incidences in the Torah where the number 40 is of significance. What do these examples teach us is the significance of the number 40?

(5) On Shabbat we are forbidden to do 39 categories of creative acts. What is the Talmud telling us when it communicates this by saying, "Do not do 40-minus-one categories of creative acts" on Shabbat?

(6) The Torah prescribes 40 lashes as the punishment of malkut. The oral law prescribes only 39. Why does the Oral tradition prescribe 39 lashes, rather than 40?

(7) What was the first mitzvah given to the Jewish people as a nation? What is the significance of this?

See Answers




🤯 ⇐ That's you after reading our weekly email.

Our weekly email is chock full of interesting and relevant insights into Jewish history, food, philosophy, current events, holidays and more.
Sign up now. Impress your friends with how much you know.
We will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe in a single click.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram