Chapter 2ב׳
1 א

עִקַּר הַצִּוּוּי בַּעֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲבֹד אֶחָד מִכָּל הַבְּרוּאִים לֹא מַלְאָךְ וְלֹא גַּלְגַּל וְלֹא כּוֹכָב וְלֹא אֶחָד מֵאַרְבָּעָה הַיְסוֹדוֹת וְלֹא אֶחָד מִכָּל הַנִּבְרָאִים מֵהֶן. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָעוֹבֵד יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁה' הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים וְהוּא עוֹבֵד הַנִּבְרָא הַזֶּה עַל דֶּרֶךְ שֶׁעָבַד אֱנוֹשׁ וְאַנְשֵׁי דּוֹרוֹ תְּחִלָּה הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים. וְעִנְיָן זֶה הוּא שֶׁהִזְהִירָה תּוֹרָה עָלָיו וְאָמְרָה (דברים ד יט) "וּפֶן תִּשָּׂא עֵינֶיךָ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְרָאִיתָ אֶת הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ" וְגוֹ' (דברים ד יט) "אֲשֶׁר חָלַק ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֹתָם לְכָל הָעַמִּים". כְּלוֹמַר שֶׁמָּא תָּשׁוּט בְּעֵין לִבְּךָ וְתִרְאֶה שֶׁאֵלּוּ הֵן הַמַּנְהִיגִים אֶת הָעוֹלָם וְהֵם שֶׁחָלַק ה' אוֹתָם לְכָל הָעוֹלָם לִהְיוֹת חַיִּים וְהוֹוִים וְאֵינָם נִפְסָדִים כְּמִנְהָגוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם וְתֹאמַר שֶׁרָאוּי לְהִשְׁתַּחֲווֹת לָהֶם וּלְעָבְדָן. וּבָעִנְיָן הַזֶּה צִוָּה וְאָמַר (דברים יא טז) "הִשָּׁמְרוּ לָכֶם פֶּן יִפְתֶּה לְבַבְכֶם". כְּלוֹמַר שֶׁלֹּא תִּטְּעוּ בְּהִרְהוּר הַלֵּב לַעֲבֹד אֵלּוּ לִהְיוֹת סַרְסוּר בֵּינֵיכֶם וּבֵין הַבּוֹרֵא:

The primary warning concerning worship of stars is, not to reverence any among all creatures, no angel, no planet, no star, none of the four elements nor any of their offspring, though the worshiper be conscious that the Lord is God and, he be worshiping a given being as at the inception of the worship of Enosh and the people of his generation, behold him, he worships idolatry. It is respecting this very subject that the warning in the Torah was given, saying: "And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun and the moon and the stars, even all the host of heaven, thou be drawn away and worship them, and serve them, which, the Lord thy God hath alloted unto all the peoples under the whole heaven" (Deut. 4.19.), that is to say, lest thou spread out in thy mind's vision, beholding that these are guiding the universe, and that God portioned them out to all the world to live in perpetuity and not wane as the course of the universe is, and then say that to such it is right to bow down and to worship; even on this very subject He commanded and said: "Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived" (Ibid. 11.16.), that is to say, do not fall in error by the thought of your heart to worship these, to make of them a mediator between yourselves and the Creator.1Sukkah, 45b; Sanhedrin, 63a. G.

2 ב

סְפָרִים רַבִּים חִבְּרוּ עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים בַּעֲבוֹדָתָהּ הֵיאַךְ עִקַּר עֲבוֹדָתָהּ וּמַה מַּעֲשֶׂיהָ וּמִשְׁפָּטֶיהָ. צִוָּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁלֹּא לִקְרוֹת בְּאוֹתָן הַסְּפָרִים כְּלָל וְלֹא נְהַרְהֵר בָּהּ וְלֹא בְּדָבָר מִדְּבָרֶיהָ. וַאֲפִלּוּ לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בִּדְמוּת הַצּוּרָה אָסוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אַל תִּפְנוּ אֶל הָאֱלִילִים. וּבָעִנְיָן הַזֶּה נֶאֱמַר (דברים יב ל) "וּפֶן תִּדְרשׁ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר אֵיכָה יַעַבְדוּ", שֶׁלֹּא תִּשְׁאַל עַל דֶּרֶךְ עֲבוֹדָתָהּ הֵיאַךְ הִיא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין אַתָּה עוֹבְדָהּ, שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה גּוֹרֵם לְהִפָּנוֹת אַחֲרֶיהָ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת כְּמָה שֶׁהֵן עוֹשִׂין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְאֶעֱשֶׂה כֵּן גַּם אָנִי:

The idolaters compiled many books of worship, defining its principle manner of service, its works and its laws; but the Holy One, blessed be He! charged us not to read those books at all, not to think of idolatry generally nor of aught of its details. Moreover, to look at it is forbidden, as it is said: "Turn ye not unto idols" (Lev. 19.4.); and of thinking on this subject it is said: "And that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their god"? (Ibid.), which is a warning that thou shalt not inquire concerning its manner of practice, though thou art not worshiping it, for this very inquiry causes a turning after it and to imitate their practice, as it is further said: "Even so will I do likewise" (Ibid.).2Shabbat, 149a; Sifra, Lev. 19; Sanhedrin, 100b. C. G.

3 ג

וְכָל הַלָּאוִין הָאֵלּוּ בְּעִנְיָן אֶחָד הֵן וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִפְנֶה אַחַר עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים וְכָל הַנִּפְנֶה אַחֲרֶיהָ בְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה בּוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה הֲרֵי זֶה לוֹקֶה. וְלֹא עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים בִּלְבַד הוּא שֶׁאָסוּר לְהִפָּנוֹת אַחֲרֶיהָ בְּמַחֲשָׁבָה אֶלָּא כָּל מַחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁהוּא גּוֹרֵם לוֹ לָאָדָם לַעֲקֹר עִקָּר מֵעִקְּרֵי הַתּוֹרָה מֻזְהָרִין אָנוּ שֶׁלֹּא לְהַעֲלוֹתָהּ עַל לִבֵּנוּ וְלֹא נַסִּיחַ דַּעְתֵּנוּ לְכָךְ וְנַחְשֹׁב וְנִמָּשֵׁךְ אַחַר הִרְהוּרֵי הַלֵּב. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁדַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם קְצָרָה וְלֹא כָּל הַדֵּעוֹת יְכוֹלִין לְהַשִּׂיג הָאֱמֶת עַל בֻּרְיוֹ. וְאִם יִמָּשֵׁךְ כָּל אָדָם אַחַר מַחְשְׁבוֹת לִבּוֹ נִמְצָא מַחֲרִיב אֶת הָעוֹלָם לְפִי קֹצֶר דַּעְתּוֹ. כֵּיצַד. פְּעָמִים יָתוּר אַחַר עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים וּפְעָמִים יַחְשֹׁב בְּיִחוּד הַבּוֹרֵא שֶׁמָּא הוּא שֶׁמָּא אֵינוֹ. מַה לְּמַעְלָה וּמַה לְּמַטָּה מַה לְּפָנִים וּמַה לְּאָחוֹר. וּפְעָמִים בַּנְּבוּאָה שֶׁמָּא הִיא אֱמֶת שֶׁמָּא הִיא אֵינָהּ. וּפְעָמִים בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁמָּא הִיא מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם שֶׁמָּא אֵינָהּ. וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ הַמִּדּוֹת שֶׁיָּדִין בָּהֶן עַד שֶׁיֵּדַע הָאֱמֶת עַל בֻּרְיוֹ וְנִמְצָא יוֹצֵא לִידֵי מִינוּת. וְעַל עִנְיָן זֶה הִזְהִירָה תּוֹרָה וְנֶאֱמַר בָּהּ (במדבר טו לט) "וְלֹא תָתֻרוּ אַחֲרֵי לְבַבְכֶם וְאַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם זֹנִים". כְּלוֹמַר לֹא יִמָּשֵׁךְ כָּל אֶחָד מִכֶּם אַחַר דַּעְתּוֹ הַקְּצָרָה וִידַמֶּה שֶׁמַּחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ מַשֶּׂגֶת הָאֱמֶת. כָּךְ אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים (גמרא ברכות יב ב) "אַחֲרֵי לְבַבְכֶם זוֹ מִינוּת" וְאַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם זוֹ זְנוּת. וְלָאו זֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא גּוֹרֵם לָאָדָם לְטָרְדוֹ מִן הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא אֵין בּוֹ מַלְקוֹת:

All of these prohibitive commandments are concentrated on one subject, namely: Not to turn after idolatry, and whosoever does turn after it by doing aught resembling its practice is guilty of an offense punishable by lashes. And, yet, not turning after idolatry alone in one's thoughts is forbidden, for even concerning all thought which causes man to delete a principle of the fundamentals of the Torah are we charged not to offer it to our heart, not to concentrate our mind thereon and reason it out and be drawn after the swerving fancies of the heart. Preceding all, behold, the short-coming of man's intelligence, more particularly that not all minds can attain the purity of truth. Now, if every man be drawn away after his heart's fancies, he will be discovered demolishing the world to fit in the shortsightedness of his intelligence. For example: some of the time he will search after idolatry, and some of the time he will meditate about the Unity of the Creator, perhaps He is, and perhaps He is not, what of above and what of below, what of the beginning and what of the end; some of the time he will meditate concerning prophecy, perhaps there is, and perhaps there is not, and some of the time about the Torah, perhaps it is from heaven and perhaps it is not. Whereas, he knows not the standard of thinking wherewith to discover the knowledge of pure truth, as a consequence whereof he goes without to atheism. Even on, this subject there is a warning in the Torah, for it says therein: "And that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go astray" (Num. 15. 39.), as if saying: "Let not any of you be drawn after his short-sighted intelligence and imagine that his fancy attains the truth". Thus did the wise men say: "After your own heart", is a warning against atheism; and "After your own eyes", is a warning against prostitution (Berakot, 13a). But the violation of this prohibitive commandment, although it causes man's disability to share in the World to Come, is not punishable by lashes.3Hagigah, 11a; Abodah Zarah, 17a. C. G.

4 ד

מִצְוַת עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים כְּנֶגֶד הַמִּצְוֹת כֻּלָּן הִיא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו כב) "וְכִי תִשְׁגּוּ וְלֹא תַעֲשׂוּ אֵת כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת" וְגוֹ' וּמִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁבַּעֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר. הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁכָּל הַמּוֹדֶה בַּעֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים כּוֹפֵר בְּכָל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ וּבְכָל הַנְּבִיאִים וּבְכָל מַה שֶּׁנִּצְטַוּוּ הַנְּבִיאִים מֵאָדָם וְעַד סוֹף הָעוֹלָם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו כג) "מִן הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' וָהָלְאָה לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם". וְכָל הַכּוֹפֵר בַּעֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים מוֹדֶה בְּכָל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ וּבְכָל הַנְּבִיאִים וּבְכָל מַה שֶּׁנִּצְטַוּוּ הַנְּבִיאִים מֵאָדָם וְעַד סוֹף הָעוֹלָם וְהוּא עִקַּר כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת כֻּלָּן:

The precept concerning idolatry balances all other commandments, for it is said: "And when ye shall err, and not observe all these commandments, which the Lord hath spoken unto Moses" (Num. 15.22), which was traditionally instructed that the Verse speaks of idolatry. Herefrom you deduct that whosoever admits idolatry denies the whole Torah, all of the prophets, and all in that which the prophets were instructed since Adam even till the end of time, as it is said: "From the day that the Lord gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations" (Ibid. 15.23). But whosoever denies idolatry admits the whole Torah, all of the prophets, and all in that which the prophets were instructed since Adam even till the end of time. Thus it is the outstanding commandment of them all.4Horayot, 8b; Sifre, Num. 15; Nedarim, 25a. C. G.

5 ה

יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁעָבַד עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים הֲרֵי הוּא כְּעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים לְכָל דְּבָרָיו וְאֵינוֹ כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁעוֹבֵר עֲבֵרָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ סְקִילָה. מוּמָר לַעֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים הֲרֵי הוּא מוּמָר לְכָל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ. וְכֵן הָאֶפִּיקוֹרְסִים מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל אֵינָן כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לְדָבָר מִן הַדְּבָרִים וְאֵין מְקַבְּלִים אוֹתָם בִּתְשׁוּבָה לְעוֹלָם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי ב יט) "כָּל בָּאֶיהָ לֹא יְשׁוּבוּן וְלֹא יַשִּׂיגוּ אָרְחוֹת חַיִּים". וְהָאֶפִּיקוֹרְסִים הֵם הַתָּרִים אַחַר מַחְשְׁבוֹת לִבָּם בְּסִכְלוּת דְּבָרִים שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ עַד שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ עוֹבְרִים עַל גּוּפֵי תּוֹרָה לְהַכְעִיס בִּשְׁאָט נֶפֶשׁ בְּיָד רָמָה וְאוֹמְרִים שֶׁאֵין בָּזֶה עָוֹן. וְאָסוּר לְסַפֵּר עִמָּהֶן וּלְהָשִׁיב עֲלֵיהֶן תְּשׁוּבָה כְּלָל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי ה ח) "וְאַל תִּקְרַב אֶל פֶּתַח בֵּיתָהּ". וּמַחֲשָׁבָה שֶׁל אֶפִּיקוֹרוֹס לַעֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים:

An Israelite who worshiped idolatry, behold him, he is in everything to be judged as an idolater, and not as an Israelite who violates a prohibitive commandment punishable by stoning. A convert to idolatry, behold him, he is rebellious against the whole scope of the Torah. Likewise are infidels of among Israel not to be judged in aught as Israelites, nor should they ever be received as penitents, for it is said: "None that go unto her return, neither do they attain unto the paths of life" (Prov. 2.19). The infidels are they that absorb themselves in the swerving fancies of their heart about the brutish matters hereinabove spoken of, as a consequence whereof they transgress by stepping upon the vitals of the Torah with spite, soul-sickening and high-handedness, and proclaim that therein lies no iniquity. It is forbidden to converse with them, and to answer any argument concerning them, as it is said: "And come not nigh the door of her house" (Ibid. 5.8). As a rule the thought of an infidel drifts toward idolatry.6Hullin, 4b; Abodah Zarah, 17a; Sanhedrin, 38; Ibid. 100b. C. G.

6 ו

כָּל הַמּוֹדֶה בַּעֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁהִיא אֱמֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא עֲבָדָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה מְחָרֵף וּמְגַדֵּף אֶת הַשֵּׁם הַנִּכְבָּד וְהַנּוֹרָא. וְאֶחָד הָעוֹבֵד עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים וְאֶחָד הַמְגַדֵּף אֶת ה' שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טו ל) "וְהַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה בְּיָד רָמָה מִן הָאֶזְרָח וּמִן הַגֵּר אֶת ה' הוּא מְגַדֵּף". לְפִיכָךְ תּוֹלִין עוֹבֵד עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁתּוֹלִין אֶת הַמְגַדֵּף וּשְׁנֵיהֶם נִסְקָלִין. וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה כָּלַלְתִּי דִּין הַמְגַדֵּף בְּהִלְכוֹת עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁשְּׁנֵיהֶם כּוֹפְרִים בָּעִקָּר הֵם:

Whosoever admits idolatry as truth, although he be not a worshiper thereof, behold him, he is shaming and blaspheming the Glorified and Awful Name. The idolater's corpse is, therefore hung, even as that of the blasphemer's, and both offenses are punishable by stoning. It is even for this reason that I included the law of the blasphemer in the treatise concerning idolatry, for both of them deny the source of everything.7Keritot, 3b; Sanhedrin, 45b.

7 ז

וְאֵלּוּ הֵן דִּינֵי הַמְגַדֵּף. אֵין הַמְגַדֵּף חַיָּב סְקִילָה עַד שֶׁיְּפָרֵשׁ אֶת הַשֵּׁם הַמְיֻחָד שֶׁל אַרְבַּע אוֹתִיּוֹת שֶׁהוּא אָלֶ''ף דָּלֶ''ת נוּ''ן יוּ''ד וִיבָרֵךְ אוֹתוֹ בְּשֵׁם מִן הַשֵּׁמוֹת שֶׁאֵינָם נִמְחָקִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כד טז) "וְנֹקֵב שֵׁם ה'", עַל הַשֵּׁם הַמְיֻחָד חַיָּב סְקִילָה וְעַל שְׁאָר הַכִּנּוּיִים בְּאַזְהָרָה. וְיֵשׁ מִי שֶׁמְּפָרֵשׁ שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא עַל שֵׁם יוּ''ד הֵ''א וָא''ו הֵ''א וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁעַל שְׁנֵיהֶם הוּא נִסְקָל:

And, these are the laws concerning the blasphemer: The guilt punishable by stoning is not pronounced against a blasphemer unless he actually pronounces the Particular Name of four letters, Aleph, Dallat, Nun, Yod, and blaspheme Him in a Name of the Names which are forbidden to erase, even as it is said: "And he that blasphemed the name of the Lord" (Lev. 24. 16). By naming the Particular Name he is guilty of an offense punishable by stoning, but by naming all other Attributes he is guilty of an offense punishable by stripes. There is some authority who asserts that he is not guilty save on pronouncing the Name Yod, Hei, Vov, Hei. But I maintain that he is guilty of an offense punishable by stoning in pronouncing either of the Particular Names.8Sanhedrin, 55b–56a; Sifre, Lev. 24. C. G.

8 ח

אַזְהָרָה שֶׁל מְגַדֵּף מִנַּיִן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב כז) "אֱלֹהִים לֹא תְקַלֵּל". בְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם בּוֹדְקִין אֶת הָעֵדִים בְּכִנּוּיִים יַכֶּה יוֹסִי אֶת יוֹסִי. נִגְמַר הַדִּין מוֹצִיאִין אֶת כָּל אָדָם לַחוּץ וְשׁוֹאֲלִים אֶת הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁבָּעֵדִים וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ אֱמֹר מַה שֶּׁשָּׁמַעְתָּ בְּפֵרוּשׁ וְהוּא אוֹמֵר וְהַדַּיָּנִים עוֹמְדִים עַל רַגְלֵיהֶם וְקוֹרְעִין וְלֹא מְאַחִין. וְהָעֵד הַשֵּׁנִי אוֹמֵר אַף אֲנִי כְּמוֹתוֹ שָׁמַעְתִּי. וְאִם הָיוּ עֵדִים רַבִּים צָרִיךְ כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מֵהֶן לוֹמַר כָּזֶה שָׁמַעְתִּי:

Whence do we derive a prohibitive commandment against the blasphemer? It is said: "Thou shalt not revile God" (Ex. 22.27). Each and every day, during a trial for blasphemy, the witnesses are examined and they give testimony not repeating the Name pronounced and words used by the defendant, but an alias, such as "Let Jesse smite Jesse", indicative that four letters were pronounced and that the words were abusive. When the enquette is concluded, the public is ordered out of court, and the elder of the witnesses is examined, saying: "Now, repeat what you have heard in identical language"; he repeats, while the judges remain standing on their feet, and when they hear the actual blasphemy repeated, they rent their garments which they never mend. Their second witness merely states: "Even I heard identically as he repeated". If there were many witnesses it is necessary for each and every one of them to repeat identically as had heard it from the blasphemer.9Sanhedrin, 66a; Ibid. 56a; Mekilta, Ex. 22. C. G.

9 ט

מְגַדֵּף שֶׁחָזַר בּוֹ בְּתוֹךְ כְּדֵי דִּבּוּר אֵינוֹ כְּלוּם אֶלָּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁגִּדֵּף בְּעֵדִים נִסְקָל. מִי שֶׁגִּדֵּף אֶת הַשֵּׁם בְּשֵׁם עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים קַנָּאִים פּוֹגְעִים בּוֹ וְהוֹרְגִים אוֹתוֹ. וְאִם לֹא הֲרָגוּהוּ קַנָּאִים וּבָא לְבֵית דִּין אֵינוֹ נִסְקָל עַד שֶׁיְּבָרֵךְ בְּשֵׁם מִן הַשֵּׁמוֹת הַמְיֻחָדִים:

A blasphemer who repented his statement the moment he made it, can not put it up as a defense, but having blasphemed in the presence of witnesses the punishment of stoning is inflicted upon him. He who blasphemed the Name by pretending that he reviles idolatry, jealous people may challenge him and be put to them by them; but if jealous people did not put him to death and he was brought to justice before a tribunal, he is not stoned, for such sentence is pronounced only when he blasphemed by a name of the Particular Names.10Nedarim, 86b; Sanhedrin, 8a; Ibid. 81b; Baba Batra, 129b; Shebu’ot, 36a. C. G.

10 י

כָּל הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ בִּרְכַּת הַשֵּׁם חַיָּב לִקְרֹעַ וַאֲפִלּוּ עַל בִּרְכַּת הַכִּנּוּיִין חַיָּב לִקְרֹעַ וְהוּא שֶׁיִּשְׁמָעֶנָּה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. אֶחָד הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ וְאֶחָד הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ מִפִּי הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ חַיָּב לִקְרֹעַ. אֲבָל הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ מִפִּי הָעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִקְרֹעַ. וְלֹא קָרְעוּ אֶלְיָקִים וְשֶׁבְנָא אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁרַבְשָׁקֵה הָיָה יִשְׂרָאֵל מוּמָר. כָּל הָעֵדִים וְהַדַּיָּנִים סוֹמְכִים אֶת יְדֵיהֶם אֶחָד אֶחָד עַל רֹאשׁ הַמְגַדֵּף וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ דָּמְךָ בְּרֹאשְׁךָ שֶׁאַתָּה גָּרַמְתָּ לְךָ. וְאֵין בְּכָל הֲרוּגֵי בֵּית דִּין מִי שֶׁסּוֹמְכִים עָלָיו אֶלָּא מְגַדֵּף בִּלְבַד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְסָמְכוּ כָל הַשֹּׁמְעִים אֶת יְדֵיהֶם:

Whosoever hears the Name being blasphemed is obliged to rend his garments; even when an alias is used in blaspheming, if the reviler be an Israelite, he is obliged to rend his garments. He who hears the blasphemy direct or he who hears it from a witness, both, are obliged to rend their garments. But he who hears it from an idolater is not obliged to rend his garments. As for Eliakim and Shebnah11See Second Kings, 18. 13-19.9; Isa. 36.1-37.37. G., they rent not their garment save because Rab-shakeh was a converted Israelite. All the judges and witnesses in a blasphemy case, successively put their hand upon the head of the blasphemer, each one saying to him: "Thy blood be upon thy head, thou alone hast brought it upon thyself". Of all upon whom a tribunal pronounces the sentence of death there is none upon whose head the hands of the judges and witnesses are put, save upon the blasphemer, even as it is said: "And let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head" (Lev. 24.14).12Sanhedrin, 60a; Sifra, Lev. 24. C.