גמ׳ תנו רבנן האיש מכסין אותו פרק אחד מלפניו ואשה שני פרקים בין מלפניה בין מלאחריה מפני שכולה ערוה דברי ר' יהודה וחכמים אומרים האיש נסקל ערום ואין האשה נסקלת ערומה GEMARA: The mishna teaches that a man is stoned naked but a woman is not stoned naked. With regard to this matter the Sages taught a related baraita: They cover a man’s genitals with one piece of cloth in the front, and a woman is covered with two pieces of cloth, both in the front and in the back, because all of that area is nakedness, which may not be viewed. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. But the Rabbis say: A man is stoned naked, but a woman is not stoned naked.
מאי טעמייהו דרבנן אמר קרא (ויקרא כד, יד) ורגמו אותו מאי אותו The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning behind the opinion of the Rabbis, who say that a man is stoned naked, but a woman is not? The Gemara answers: The verse states: “And all the congregation shall stone him” (Leviticus 24:14). What does the verse intend to teach when it emphasizes that they stone “him”?
אילימא אותו ולא אותה והכתיב (דברים יז, ה) והוצאת את האיש ההוא או את האשה ההיא אלא מאי אותו אותו בלא כסותו הא אותה בכסותה רבי יהודה אומר אותו בלא כסותו לא שנא איש ולא שנא אשה If we say that this serves to teach that they stone only him, the man, but not her, i.e., women are not punished with stoning, there is a difficulty. As isn’t it written explicitly: “And you shall bring forth that man or that woman…and stone them with stones until they die” (Deuteronomy 17:5)? Rather, what does the verse mean to teach when it stresses that they stone “him”? If he is a man, they stone just him, without his clothes, but if the condemned party is a woman, they stone her with her clothing. Rabbi Yehuda says: The emphasis on the word “him” teaches that they stone him alone, i.e., without his clothes, but as is the case with all other punishments stated in the Torah, there is no difference for a man and no difference for a woman, meaning the same halakha applies to both men and women.
למימרא דרבנן חיישי להרהורא ורבי יהודה לא חייש להרהורא והא איפכא שמענא להו דתנן הכהן אוחז בבגדיה אם נקרעו נקרעו ואם נפרמו נפרמו עד שמגלה את לבה וסותר את שערה רבי יהודה אומר אם היה לבה נאה לא היה מגלהו ואם היה שערה נאה לא היה סותרו The Gemara asks: Is this to say that the Rabbis are concerned that the sight of a naked woman will arouse sexual thoughts among the onlookers, and Rabbi Yehuda is not concerned about such sexual thoughts? But didn’t we hear them say just the opposite, as we learned in a mishna (Sota 7a) with regard to a sota, a woman suspected of adultery by her husband, and who was made to undergo the ordeal of the bitter waters: And the priest grabs hold of her clothing and pulls it, without concern about what happens to it. If the clothes are torn, they are torn; if the stitches come apart, they come apart. And he pulls her clothing until he reveals her heart, i.e., her chest. And then he unbraids her hair. Rabbi Yehuda says: If her heart was attractive he would not reveal it, and if her hair was attractive he would not unbraid it. This seems to indicate that it is Rabbi Yehuda who is concerned about the sexual thoughts of the onlookers.
אמר רבה התם היינו טעמא שמא תצא מב"ד זכאה ויתגרו בה פירחי כהונה הכא הא מקטלא וכי תימא אתי לאיתגרויי באחרנייתא אמר רבה גמירי אין יצר הרע שולט אלא במי שעיניו רואות Rabba said: There, in the case of a sota, this is the reason that Rabbi Yehuda says that the priest does not reveal the woman’s chest or unbraid her hair: Perhaps the sota will leave the court having been proven innocent, and the young priests in the Temple who saw her partially naked will become provoked by the sight of her. Here, in the case of a woman who is stoned, she is killed by being stoned, and there is no concern about the onlookers’ becoming provoked after her death. The Gemara comments: And if you would say that the fact that she is killed is irrelevant to their having sexual thoughts because the onlookers will be provoked with regard to other women, this is not a concern, as Rabba says: It is learned as a tradition that the evil inclination controls only that which one’s eyes see.
אמר רבא דר' יהודה אדר' יהודה קשיא דרבנן אדרבנן לא קשיא אלא אמר רבא דרבי יהודה אדר' יהודה לא קשיא כדשנין Rava says: Is the contradiction between one statement of Rabbi Yehuda and the other statement of Rabbi Yehuda difficult, while the contradiction between one statement of the Rabbis and the other statement of the Rabbis is not difficult? There is also an apparent contradiction between the two rulings of the Rabbis, as with regard to a sota, they are not concerned about sexual thoughts, but with regard to a woman who is stoned they are concerned. Rather, Rava says: The contradiction between one statement of Rabbi Yehuda and the other statement of Rabbi Yehuda is not difficult, as we answered above.
דרבנן אדרבנן נמי לא קשיא אמר קרא (יחזקאל כג, מח) ונוסרו כל הנשים ולא תעשינה כזמתכינה הכא אין לך ייסור גדול מזה Rava continues: The contradiction between one ruling of the Rabbis and the other ruling of the Rabbis is not difficult either. With regard to a sota, the verse states that other women should be warned: “Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be chastened not to do like your lewdness” (Ezekiel 23:48). In order to serve as an example and warning to other women, a woman suspected of adultery must undergo public disgrace, and therefore the concern about the sexual thoughts that her partially naked body might arouse is disregarded. Here, with regard to stoning, you have no chastening greater than seeing this stoning itself.
וכ"ת ליעביד בה תרתי אמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה אמר קרא (ויקרא יט, יח) ואהבת לרעך כמוך ברור לו מיתה יפה And if you would say that two forms of chastening, both stoning and humiliation, should be done to her, Rav Naḥman says that Rabba bar Avuh says: The verse states: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18), teaching that even with regard to a condemned prisoner, select a good, i.e., a compassionate, death for him. Therefore, when putting a woman to death by stoning, she should not be humiliated in the process.
לימא דרב נחמן תנאי היא לא דכולי עלמא אית להו דרב נחמן והכא בהא קמיפלגי מר סבר בזיוני דאיניש עדיפא ליה טפי מניחא דגופיה ומר סבר ניחא דגופיה עדיף מבזיוני: The Gemara suggests: Let us say that whether one rules in accordance with the statement of Rav Naḥman is a dispute between tanna’im, and according to Rabbi Yehuda there is no mitzva to select a compassionate death. The Gemara refutes this: No, it may be that everyone agrees with the opinion of Rav Naḥman, and here they disagree about this: One Sage, i.e., the Rabbis, holds: Minimizing one’s degradation is better for him than seeing to his physical comfort, i.e., than minimizing his physical pain. Therefore, the Rabbis view the more compassionate death as one without degradation, even if wearing clothes will increase the pain of the one being executed, as the clothes will absorb the blow and prolong his death. And one Sage, Rabbi Yehuda, holds that one’s physical comfort is better for him than minimizing his degradation, and therefore the one being executed prefers to be stoned unclothed, without any chance of the clothing prolonging his death, even though this increases his degradation.
מתני׳ בית הסקילה היה גובה שתי קומות אחד מן העדים דוחפו על מתניו נהפך על לבו הופכו על מתניו ואם מת בה יצא MISHNA: The place of stoning from which the condemned man is pushed to his death is a platform twice the height of an ordinary person. He is made to stand at the edge of the platform, and then one of the witnesses who testified against him pushes him down by the hips, so that he falls face up onto the ground. If he turned over onto his chest, with his face downward, the witness turns him over onto his hips. And if he dies through this fall to the ground, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled.
ואם לאו השני נוטל את האבן ונותנו על לבו אם מת בה יצא ואם לאו רגימתו בכל ישראל שנאמר (דברים יז, ז) יד העדים תהיה בו בראשונה להמיתו ויד כל העם באחרונה: And if the condemned man does not die from his fall, the second witness takes the stone that has been prepared for this task and places, i.e., casts, it on his chest. And if he dies with the casting of this first stone, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled. And if he does not die with the casting of this stone, then his stoning is completed by all of the Jewish people, i.e., by all the people who assembled for the execution, as it is stated: “The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people” (Deuteronomy 17:7).
גמ׳ תנא וקומה שלו הרי כאן שלש ומי בעינן כולי האי ורמינהו מה בור שהוא כדי להמית עשרה טפחים אף כל כדי להמית עשרה טפחים GEMARA: A tanna taught in a baraita: Adding together the height of the platform, which is twice the height of an ordinary person, and the condemned man’s own height, it turns out that there is a height here three times the height of an ordinary person. The Gemara asks: Do we really need all that height to kill him? The Gemara raises a contradiction to the baraita from what was taught in a mishna (Bava Kamma 50b) when discussing the halakhot of damage caused by a pit: Why does the Torah specify a pit when one is liable for the damage caused by any type of excavation that he digs into the ground? This teaches that just as a pit that is of sufficient depth to cause one’s death from falling into it is at least ten handbreadths deep, so too, any other excavations that are of sufficient depth to cause one’s death may be no less than ten handbreadths. If a fall of ten handbreadths is sufficient to kill a person, why must the platform from which the condemned man is pushed be twice the height of an ordinary person?
אמר רב נחמן אמר רבה בר אבוה אמר קרא (ויקרא יט, יח) ואהבת לרעך כמוך ברור לו מיתה יפה אי הכי ליגבהיה טפי משום דמינוול: Rav Naḥman says that Rabba bar Avuh says: The verse states: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18), teaching that even with regard to a condemned man, select a good, i.e., a compassionate, death for him. Therefore, even though the one being executed is likely to die from a fall from a lesser height, a platform is built that is twice the height of an ordinary person in order to ensure a quick and relatively painless death. The Gemara challenges: If so, they should raise the platform even higher. The Gemara answers: This is not done, because if the condemned man were pushed from a higher platform, he would become seriously disfigured, and this would no longer be considered a compassionate form of death.
אחד מן העדים דוחפו: תנו רבנן מניין שבדחייה ת"ל (שמות יט, יג) ירה ומנין שבסקילה ת"ל סקל § The mishna teaches that one of the witnesses who had testified against the condemned party pushes him off the platform. Concerning this halakha the Sages taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that the punishment of stoning can be fulfilled by pushing the condemned party from a high place, so that he dies from his fall? The verse states with regard to those who crossed the boundaries that were set up around Mount Sinai and touched the mountain: “Take heed to yourselves, that you not go up into the mountain, or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death; no hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shall be thrown down” (Exodus 19:12–13). And from where is it derived that this punishment can be fulfilled with actual stoning? The verse states: “He shall be stoned.”
ומנין שבסקילה ובדחייה ת"ל (שמות יט, יג) סקל יסקל או ירה יירה ומנין שאם מת בדחייה יצא תלמוד לומר או ירה יירה מניין שאף לדורות כן And from where is it derived that this punishment is sometimes fulfilled both by stoning and by pushing, i.e., if the transgressor did not die from his fall, he is then stoned? The verse states: “He shall be stoned or shall be thrown down.” And from where is it derived that if the condemned man died from the pushing, the obligation to stone him has been fulfilled, and there is no further need to actually stone him? The verse states: “Or shall be thrown down,” with the term “or” indicating that only one of the two options must be fulfilled. And from where is it derived that this is the halakha not only at Mount Sinai, but even with regard to future generations?