ואמדו שאין יכול לקבל ארבעים פטור אמדוהו לקבל שמונה עשרה ומשלקה אמדו שיכול הוא לקבל ארבעים פטור: and then they assessed him again and concluded that he cannot receive forty lashes and survive, he is exempt from the additional lashes. If the doctors initially assessed concerning him that he is able to receive only eighteen lashes, and once he was flogged eighteen times they assessed that he is able to receive forty, he is exempt from receiving additional lashes.
גמ׳ מ"ט אי כתיב ארבעים במספר הוה אמינא ארבעים במניינא השתא דכתיב במספר ארבעים מנין שהוא סוכם את הארבעים אמר רבא כמה טפשאי שאר אינשי דקיימי מקמי ספר תורה ולא קיימי מקמי גברא רבה דאילו בס"ת כתיב ארבעים ואתו רבנן בצרו חדא: GEMARA: The Gemara begins with a discussion of the number of lashes. What is the reason that the Rabbis said that he receives forty lashes less one? If it had been written: Forty by number, I would say that it means forty as a precise sum; now that it is written: “By number, forty,” the reference is to a sum that approaches forty. Likewise, Rava said: How foolish are the rest of the people who stand before a Torah scroll that passes before them, and yet they do not stand before a great man, when a Sage passes before them; as in a Torah scroll, forty is written and the Sages came and subtracted one, establishing the number of lashes as thirty-nine. Apparently, the authority of the Sages is so great that they are able to amend an explicit Torah verse.
רבי יהודה אומר ארבעים שלימות וכו' [בין כתפיו]: אמר ר' יצחק מאי טעמא דרבי יהודה דכתיב (זכריה יג, ו) מה המכות האלה בין ידיך ואמר אשר הכתי בית מאהבי ורבנן ההוא בתינוקות של בית רבן הוא דכתיב: The mishna teaches: Rabbi Yehuda says: He is flogged with a full forty lashes, with the additional lash administered between his shoulders. Rabbi Yitzḥak says: What is the reason for the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda? It is as it is written: “And one shall say to him: What are these wounds between your arms? Then he shall answer: Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zechariah 13:6). Rabbi Yehuda understands that this verse is referring to one with wounds from lashes administered between his arms, indicating that there is one lash administered between the shoulders. And how do the Rabbis, who hold that one is flogged only thirty-nine lashes, explain this verse? They explain that this verse is written with regard to schoolchildren struck by their teacher for laxity in their studies, and is not referring to lashes administered by the court.
אין אומדין אלא במכות הראויות וכו': לקה אין לא לקה לא The mishna teaches: One assesses the number of lashes that the one being punished is capable of withstanding only with a number of lashes fit to be divided into three equal groups. If doctors assessed concerning him that he is able to receive forty lashes and survive, and he is then flogged some of those forty lashes, and they then assessed him again and concluded that he cannot receive forty lashes and survive, he is exempt from any additional lashes. If the doctors initially assessed concerning him that he is able to receive only eighteen lashes, and once he was flogged with eighteen lashes they assessed that he is able to receive forty, he is exempt from receiving further lashes. The Gemara infers: If he was flogged in practice, yes, he is exempt; if he was not flogged, no, he is not exempt from the rest of the forty lashes.
ורמינהו אמדוהו לקבל ארבעים וחזרו ואמדו שאין יכול לקבל ארבעים פטור אמדוהו לקבל שמונה עשרה וחזרו ואמדוהו שיכול לקבל ארבעים פטור And the Gemara raises a contradiction from a baraita: If doctors assessed concerning him that he is able to receive forty lashes and survive, and they then assessed him again and concluded that he cannot receive forty lashes and survive, he is exempt. If the doctors initially assessed concerning him that he is able to receive only eighteen lashes, and they then assessed that he is able to receive forty, he is exempt. Apparently, even if he did not receive any lashes, if the assessment changes, it is as though he was flogged.
אמר רב ששת לא קשיא הא דאמדוהו ליומי הא דאמדוהו למחר וליומא אוחרא: Rav Sheshet said: This is not difficult, as this case in the mishna is one where doctors assessed his fitness to receive lashes for that day, and there was no change in his condition; rather, it was discovered that the initial assessment was mistaken. He is exempt only if he was already flogged; if not, another assessment is performed. That case in the baraita is one where doctors assess his fitness to receive lashes for the next day or for a different day. In that case, the initial assessment was accurate; it is his condition that changed. Therefore, if it is determined that he is unable to receive lashes, he is exempt.
מתני׳ עבר עבירה שיש בה שני לאוין אמדוהו אומד אחד לוקה ופטור ואם לאו לוקה ומתרפא וחוזר ולוקה: MISHNA: If one performed a transgression that involves two prohibitions, and they assessed concerning him a single assessment of the number of lashes that he could withstand in punishment for both transgressions, he is flogged in accordance with their assessment and is exempt from any additional lashes. And if not, if he was assessed with regard to the lashes that he could withstand for one transgression, he is flogged and is allowed to heal, and then is flogged again for violating the second prohibition.
גמ׳ והתניא אין אומדין אומד אחד לשני לאוין GEMARA: The case in the mishna is one where there is one assessment performed for two sets of lashes. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: One does not perform one assessment for two prohibitions?
אמר רב ששת לא קשיא הא דאמדוהו לארבעים וחדא הא דאמדוהו לארבעים ותרתי: Rav Sheshet said: This is not difficult; this ruling in the baraita that one does not perform a single assessment for two prohibitions is in a case where doctors assessed concerning him that he is able to receive forty-one lashes, two lashes beyond a full set. Since those two additional lashes are not divisible by three, which is a requirement based on the previous mishna, he receives only thirty-nine lashes. That constitutes just one set of lashes. He remains liable to receive another set of lashes after he recovers, requiring another assessment and another set of lashes. That ruling in the mishna that one performs a single assessment for two prohibitions is in a case where doctors assessed concerning him that he is able to receive forty-two lashes. In that case, it is possible to ascribe thirty-nine lashes to one prohibition and three additional lashes to the second prohibition. That is tantamount to two separate assessments, although in practice only one assessment was performed.
מתני׳ כיצד מלקין אותו כופה שתי ידיו על העמוד הילך והילך וחזן הכנסת אוחז בבגדיו אם נקרעו נקרעו ואם נפרמו נפרמו עד שהוא מגלה את לבו והאבן נתונה מאחריו חזן הכנסת עומד עליו ורצועה בידו של עגל כפולה אחד לשנים ושנים לארבעה ושתי רצועות של חמור עולות ויורדות בה ידה טפח ורחבה טפח וראשה מגעת על פי כריסו MISHNA: How do they flog him? He ties the two hands of the person being flogged on this side and that side of a post, and the attendant of the congregation takes hold of his garments to remove them. If they were ripped in the process, they were ripped, and if they were unraveled, they were unraveled, and he continues until he bares his chest. And the stone upon which the attendant stands when flogging is situated behind the person being flogged. The attendant of the congregation stands on it with a strap in his hand. It is a strap of calf hide, and is doubled, one into two, and two into four, and two straps of donkey hide go up and down the doubled strap of calf hide. The length of its handle is one handbreadth, and the width of the straps is one handbreadth, and the strap must be long enough so that its end reaches the top of his abdomen, i.e., his navel, when he is flogged from behind.
ומכה אותו שליש מלפניו ושתי ידות מלאחריו ואינו מכה אותו לא עומד ולא יושב אלא מוטה שנאמר (דברים כה, ב) והפילו השופט And the attendant flogs him with one-third of the lashes from the front of him, on his chest, and two one-third portions from behind him, on his back. And he does not flog him when the one receiving lashes is standing, nor when he is sitting; rather, he flogs him when he is hunched, as it is stated: “And the judge shall cause him to lie down, and strike him” (Deuteronomy 25:2), which indicates that the one receiving lashes must be in a position that approximates lying down.
והמכה מכה בידו אחת בכל כחו והקורא קורא (דברים כח, נח) אם לא תשמור לעשות וגו' והפלא ה' את מכותך ואת מכות וגו' וחוזר לתחלת המקרא (דברים כט, ח) ושמרתם את דברי הברית הזאת וגו' וחותם (תהלים עח, לח) והוא רחום יכפר עון וגו' וחוזר לתחלת המקרא And the attendant flogging the one receiving lashes flogs [makeh] him with one hand with all his strength, and the court crier recites the verses: “If you do not observe to perform all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God. And the Lord will make your plagues [makkotekha] outstanding, and the plagues of your descendants, and even great plagues, and of long continuance, and severe sicknesses, and of long continuance” (Deuteronomy 28:58–59). And then he returns to the beginning of the verse. He also recites: “And you shall observe the matters of this covenant, and do them, that you may make all that you do to prosper” (Deuteronomy 29:8), and concludes with the verse: “And He is merciful and shall atone for transgression, and destroys not; and many a time does He turn His anger away, and does not stir up all His wrath” (Psalms 78:38), and then returns to the beginning of the verse that starts: “If you do not observe to perform.”
ואם מת תחת ידו פטור הוסיף לו עוד רצועה אחת ומת הרי זה גולה על ידו נתקלקל בין בריעי בין במים פטור רבי יהודה אומר האיש בריעי והאשה במים: If the one being flogged dies at the hand of the attendant, the latter is exempt, because he acted at the directive of the court. If the attendant added for him an additional lash with a strap and he died, the attendant is exiled to a city of refuge on his account, as an unwitting murderer. If the one being flogged involuntarily sullies himself, due to fear or pain, whether with excrement or with urine, he is exempt from further lashes. Rabbi Yehuda says that the threshold of shame for men and women is different: The man is exempted if he sullies himself with excrement, and the woman is exempted even with urine.