Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Chiyuv Misa Of The Meisees

לזכות ר' דוד שוקראללה בן רחל
ולרפואת הרב יצחק בן ברכה

In Parshas Re'eh we learn that when one person [a מסית] attempts to convince another [a ניסת] to serve idols the halacha is that the ניסת stones the מסית. [Not the type of getting "stoned" that is so popular on Friday night on college campuses]. Now, the halacha is that whenever someone must be killed by the Beis Din, it must be done ideally by the hands of the witnesses. If their hands were cut off [נקטעה יד העדים - maybe because they were caught stealing in Saudi Arabia?] then the guilty party [why would a guy who is liable to capital punishment be called a "party"? That is NOT the type of party I would want to attend. Like, bring out the fries and burgers but no blood!] is exonerated and not executed [Sanhedrin 45b]. 

The Minchas Chinuch [462] asks how come the Rambam doesn't rule that if the hand of the ניסת is severed then the מסית is off the hook?    

There is another law that the גואל הדם is the first person to kill the רוצח abd according to the Rambam this applies even to a רוצח במזיד. If the גואל הדם doesn't do it then it is up to the בית דין [in the US they call it a "Beth Din" who is "Beth" and what is she doing in court?]. What is the law if the hand of the גואל הדם is severed. Do we let the murderer go [and Hashem will take care of the rest]?

HaGaon Rav Binyamin Sorotzkin Shlita answered that the punishments of the מסית and גואל הדם are fundamentally different that the punishments of other מחוייבי מיתת בית דין. When a person kills someone else, the נרצח is really the one who should carry out the חיוב מיתה and since he can't, the גואל הדם does it in his place [see תוספות מכות ו. ד"ה אלא ובס' שיעורי רבי שמעון על מכות אות כ"א ובקובץ מאבני המקום י"ג]. Similarly, the חיוב מיתה of the מסית devolves on the ניסת as it says כי הרוג תהרגנו. 

It would emerge then that the חיוב מיתה of the רוצח and מסית is incumbent first on the גואל הדם and ניסת respectively and then there is a SEPARATE obligation on the בית דין. So if the hands of the ניסת or the גואל הדם were severed the בית דין would carry out their separate obligation to execute the guilty person. But when it comes to a regular מחוייב מיתה where the obligation of the עדים and the בית דין is one and the same, then if the hands of the עדים were severed then there would be no punishment. 

To summarize - if there are two separate חיובי מיתה then being exonerated from חיוב מיתה by option "a" [גואל הדם or ניסת] doesn't impact option "b" [the בית דין]. If there is one חיוב מיתה then we say that once the hands of the עדים are cut off then the person is no longer executed. 

[עי' עוד גבורות יצחק סנהדרין מ"ה עמ' ב]

As an aside: What is the דין if the בית דין ruled that a person is liable to capital punishment but he knows and the עדים know that it never happened. לא היו דברים מעולם. 

A few possibilities:

a] The falsely accused MUST run away. Otherwise he is allowing himself to be wrongfully killed and the עדים will be doing a biiiiig עבירה. 

b] The falsely accused has the option of escaping but is not obligated to do so. The fact is that the בית דין found him guilty so he can take the punishment but since it was a mistake maybe he has the option of running away. 

c] It is FORBIDDEN for him to run away. בית דין ruled and that's it! 

Besides running away there is also the option of cutting off the hands of the witnesses so that they can't carry out the punishment and he is let go. Is that permitted [or obligated]?

What about the עדים [who feel guilty about their lie] now cutting off their OWN hands in order to save the accused?? [They may not retract their testimony - כיון שהגיד שוב אינו חוזר ומגיד]

I have yet to hear a PROOF brought for any side. סברות - yes. But no ראיות. 

Anyone out there can help??