October 28, 2021 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #2021919
We know from Chazal that Rabi Shimon Ben Shetach, the head of the Sanhedrin, hanged 80 Jewish women (in one shot) for practicing witchcraft. Witchcraft is real. What’s to say that the accused in Salem weren’t, indeed, guilty?October 28, 2021 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #2022029Shimon NodelParticipant
You don’t do yourself any favors by starting this thread.
If you’re really serious, I think we can agree that yeshu freaks are not qualified to identify kishufOctober 28, 2021 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #20220331a2b3cParticipant
You need evidence of guilt, not a lack of evidence of innocence.October 28, 2021 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #2022055
What evidence did Shimon Ben Shetach have? He hung the 80 women without trial.October 28, 2021 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #2022058Reb EliezerParticipant
The Sefer Hachinuch 62 has an interesting discussion on kishuf, witchery. The nature is under the control of the Torah learners. To change nature through witchery is not the will of Hashem.October 28, 2021 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #2022073
Also, the rambam knew this gemara quite well. He also knew chumash very well – Kishuf is a capital offense as spelled out beferush “machsefa lo sichayeh” regardless of whether or not it is sleight of hand. I personally am of the opinion that the rambam didn’t mean it fully, and was trying to get his Egyptian Jewish constituents removed from the abominable practices. However, many do take the rambam at face value, so we are not to dismiss it as being demonstrably false from gemaros and pesukim that decry kishuf.October 28, 2021 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #2022071
Ujm, I suggest reading (in a kosher venue) about the salem witch trials before drawing conclusions, making comparisons, or anything else. Shimon ben shatach went to a genuine “coven”, or kevutzah of witches who were known to be so. There’s no record that they denied it and were therefore required to undergo a din Torah.
The Salem witch trials, lehavdil elfei havdalos, followed a scare in the colonies that there were kishuf practitioners among them, without any actual evidence whatsoever. A similar scare occurred with the help of daytime television hosts in the 80s and early 90s, referred to as the “satan scare”, whereby “survivors” of purported satanic human slaughter cults would recount their traumatic experiences, having supposedly witnessed suburban well-off families engage in ritual human sacrifice. These accounts were “rediscovered” in their memories via a sort of meditation and hypnosis, because they supposedly all blocked out such horrifying childhood memories. It was later revealed to be a cooky pipe dream, but it was exploited for ratings and publicity.
Any woman who stood out at the time was suspect; there was no due process or cross examination of witnesses. The method of testing the accused was exceptionally irrational and barbaric – they dropped them in the water, because if they survived by “flying” away, it proved their involvement in the dark arts, while if they drowned, it posthumously proved their innocence.
Even the ancient Greeks would have recoiled at this “legal” system. To draw any parallels to our holy chachamim and their enforcement of halacha is unthinkable.October 28, 2021 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #2022078
כל מטי יעביד מה דהוא חכם והוות כל חדא מינהון אמרה מה דהיא אמרה ומייתיא פיתא וחדא אמרה מה דהיא אמרה ומייתיא קופד אמרה מה דהיא אמרה ומייתיא תבשילין אמרה מה דהיא אמרה ומייתיא חמר
I am mistaken; they may not have been widely known – the yerushalmi in chagiga 2:2 says the above – He tested them himself by asking what each one could do, after pretending to be one of them. Each one did their kishuf; they created different foods using kishuf, so shimon ben shatach gave the signal for all the 80 talmidim to come and execute them.October 28, 2021 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #2022082
Umm -“What evidence did Shimon Ben Shetach have? He hung the 80 women without trial.”
He had tons of evidence.
Like I previously posted to you – you spend too much time on the Net and not enough time in the Bais Medrash.October 28, 2021 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm #2022099
Am I the only one, or are some of these new thread topics becoming increasingly bizarre…..I guess I shouldn’t have complained about the 108th variation of the “shidduch crisis” or the biweekly gevalt alerts by our favorite misogynist bemoaning the “tzinius spéciale du jour”.October 28, 2021 9:21 pm at 9:21 pm #2022114☕️coffee addictParticipant
Did you bring this up because Halloween is around the corner?October 28, 2021 9:22 pm at 9:22 pm #2022119
Ujm is correct that he killed them without a trial. Even if beis din knows that someone transgressed they still cannot punish without a proper trial – here it was migdar milsa, a temporary horaas shaah to stamp out something unusual that had developed. I can fetch the mekoros if necessaryOctober 28, 2021 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #2022177
No idea where the assumption that Shimon Ben Shotoch did not convene a Beis Din to determine if the women were guilty or not is based on. That it is not the impression one gets from learning the sugya where the story is discussed. It is true that the story of the witches did not go in accordance with the normal procedures of misas beis din (for reasons discussed in the Gemora and Rishonim) but
it seems pretty clear that he did determine their guilt.
Even those involved in the Salem with trials themselves untimely came to agree that it was aterrible travesty.October 28, 2021 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #2022194
smerel: Where in the sugya do you see any suggestion that Shimon Ben Shetach convened the Sanhedrin for this matter? Additionally, how do you understand what criteria he utilized to determine their guilt (especially given the fact that the 80 women were offered no opportunity to present a defense)?October 29, 2021 7:10 am at 7:10 am #2022222
Your excellent point about Salem and its incomparability to the 80 Jewish witches who were rightfully hung, is well taken. Admittedly, I’m much more an expert on Chazal than on Colonial America. One thing I should point out is that the “trial by water” for suspected witches was utilized in centuries prior to Salem but it was in fact not done to the Salem suspects.
Btw, similar to your relating the false scare promoted by elements of the media regarding witchcraft, similarly in about the same time frame you mentioned there was a false scare based on similar “rediscovered memories” of having been abused as children. Innocents were prosecuted and convicted, only years later to be exonerated.
One part of your comment stuck out as out of order. You wrote: “There’s no record that they denied it and were therefore required to undergo a din Torah.” Even if the witches had been brought to a Din Torah on a capital offense, the accusers would have to prove their case regardless of any lack of denials. Beis Din can’t even accept a guilty plea in a capital case. As your later comment pointed out, though, of course Shimon Ben Shetach used the Sanherdrin’s extrajudicial powers, without trial, due to the fact that the witches would have been able to use kishuf to escape had they been brought to Beis Din.
Where have you seen that the Egyptian Jewish community suffered from a notable number members who were practitioners of witchcraft during Rambam’s time?
And which authorities argue that sleight of hand isn’t included in the prohibition? Obviously Rambam’s (and other concurring authorities) ruling that even sleight of hand carries the death penalty associated with “machsefa lo sichayeh” raises very serious issues about contemporary “frum” magicians.
P.S. If you can fetch the mekoros on what you referenced about a migdar milsa, I would appreciate it.October 29, 2021 7:12 am at 7:12 am #2022223
By the way, just as Shimon Ben Shetach utilized the Sanhedrin’s extrajudicial authority to carry out mass executions without trial during that horaas shaah of so many practicing witchcraft, which is a Biblically ordained capital offense, so too we can extrapolate that were the Sanhedrin around today (as they soon will be), they would similarly treat issues that are a capital offense that R”L enjoy widespread practice, such as those engaging in mishkav zochor.
As we discussed in a previous recent thread, the Chazon Ish even applied the Sanhedrin executing those publicly dressed grossly indecently, which isn’t an official death penalty crime. Sanhedrin has the right to carry out executions even on offenses that don’t normally carry capital punishment.October 29, 2021 9:54 am at 9:54 am #2022267mesivta bachurParticipant
the Salem witch trials were merely the biggest New world example of what had been happening all over Europe for the past few centuries. Sadly in Europe often yidden HY”D would be the witches burned t the stake R”L for witchcraft, with fake or no evidence. Similarly almost all the teenage girls accusing “witches” in Salem admitted years later to making it all up because they were bored.October 29, 2021 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #2022271
“Sanhedrin has the right to carry out executions even on offenses that don’t normally carry capital punishment”
The last time I checked, posting hateful or threatening messages on some media websites was not something chayav misah but as you correctly noted, perhaps Sanhedrin will decide to employ extra-judicial sanctions to cleanse the internet of olam haboh from such online garbage.October 29, 2021 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #2022285
Welcome to the 21st century in American machashefa jurisprudence.
In the 1980s, a Federal District Court in Virginia ( Dettmer v Landon) recognized “witchcraft” as a valid and legitimate religious exercise and this was upheld by the Fourth Circuit., determining that people who practice witchcraft as a religion are entitled to the same Constitutional protections as those who follow other belief systems. At least half the states (including those intolerant dudes in Massachusetts) have offered explicit legal recognition for Wicken or Pagan practices under state constitutional guarantees for free exercise.
Bottom Line: Until moishiach arrives and reverses Dettmer, et. al.
don’t be surprised to see variations of machashefa show up in your local jurisdictionsOctober 29, 2021 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #2022293
It’s a matter of historical record that there was actually one witch in Salem, a slave named Tituba. The other four people accused of working with her (three women and one man) denied any involvement and the only proof against them was the word of a couple of little girls. It was revealed that there were family and monetary disputes that the girls had to gain if these women were killed.
So what you, @ujm, are doing is saying that the word of a couple of goyishe ketanos is worth as much as the word of a Tana, l’havdil?
@AviraDeArah The so-called US “Satanic Panic” actually had a huge anti-Semitic/blood libel stink to it. A lot of the so-called “experts” on Satanism cited that Jews worshiped Lucifer with blood and death. There’s a recording floating around the Internet of a local talk show interviewing a woman claiming to be Jewish who left because she didn’t like kidnapping and killing babies.October 29, 2021 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #2022300
Before I respond to you further do you even know which Dafey Gemorah the story with Shimon Ben Shetoch appears?
Can you share that with us along with the context that it is mentioned in all of them?
After you give that to us I’ll explain why it seems so clear that he determined guilt before actingOctober 29, 2021 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #2022304
>>>the Chazon Ish even applied the Sanhedrin executing those publicly dressed grossly indecently, which isn’t an official death penalty crime.
Where is this Chazon Ish written?
What about the Rishonim who explicitly say that “Makkim V’Onshim etc.” does not apply to misas beis din?
As above I will only discuss this with you if can give clear maare mokomos.
Otherwise it’s ironic that you would start a thread about not establishing the facts before actingOctober 29, 2021 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #2022314
Sanhedrin 46a is one place to find the idea, the gemara says it beferush, that beis din gives makos and can kill shelo min torah velo laavor al divrei torah, rather to make a siyag. The gemara then brings two examples of this; one was a man who rode a horse on shabbos, and was given skilah, even though it’s derabonon. There was a man who had relations with his wife under a tree, and he was given makos – the gemara ends off by saying that they didn’t deserve it, but “hashaah tzorich lekach”, it was needed in that time to prevent people from sinning.
Like i said earlier, he tested them and only killed them after they demonstrated their kishuf.
Also, it seems that these are “nip it in the bud” type issues; if something is widespread already, I don’t think that we would enploy horaas shaah, but i could be wrong about this.
Regarding magicians and sleight of hand, according to the rambam there are different levels. “Achizas aynayim” as termed by chazal would be permitted, which would include parlor card tricks, pulling a never ending ribbon, and others. Grander illusions that seem to show true power over creation would be kishuf and a chiyuv misah. Magic shows that are common even in the frum world are allowed if the magician demonstrates how to do one trick, and announces that this is all an illusion and not real sorcery. See Iggros Moshe YD 4:13, and rav Belsky in shulchan halevi page 138.
According to the rambam, the fact that the practitioner is trying to make others believe he is a sorcerer is enough to violate the issur.
See also chochmas odom 89:6 who prohibits badchonim by weddings to perform magic tricks and has some very strong words on the matterOctober 29, 2021 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #2022315HaLeiViParticipant
UJM, on the contrary. Just like the Sanhedrin disbanded 40 years prior to the Churban so as not to be forced to punish the widespread transgressions, today they would run and hide.
Besides, to try to model your behavior after an Hiroas Shaa is to say that it wasn’t an Horoas Shaa.
Another point: We have no idea, or Mesorah, on what was employed as a Zchus when it came to דיני נפשות. It appears to me that the excuses would surprise most of us.
Lastly, I must say, you have strange obsessions.October 29, 2021 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #2022395HaLeiViParticipant
@AviraDeArah, Achizas Einayim is פטור אבל אסור.
The basis of the Hetter for Jewish magicians is that they aren’t out to fool anyone into thinking that they manipulated nature. Some are also Machmir to explain explicitly that it is merely slight-of-hand.October 29, 2021 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #2022408Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
Back to all times, Salem witches may have been an example of what American founders wanted to avoid by creating a republic and not a democracy. I presume Salem population supported the action.October 29, 2021 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #2022420
HaLeVi, Avira: Rambam writes that Beis Din can execute 100 people a day, if it were necessary. I don’t know that if there was a widespread violation that they’d necessarily run away from a Hiroas Shaa.October 30, 2021 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #2022541
Halevi, the gemara says that but i seem to remember the rambam using the expression to denote what’s mutar – I’ll look it up againOctober 31, 2021 12:44 am at 12:44 am #2022565
“It’s a matter of historical record that there was actually one witch in Salem, a slave named Tituba. The other four people accused of working with her (three women and one man) denied any involvement and the only proof against them was the word of a couple of little girls.”
Yseribus: Are you trying to say that Tituba was actually guilty?October 31, 2021 10:08 am at 10:08 am #2022612
@ujm Tituba was Haitian and practiced some form of paganism that would probably fall under the category of Avodah Zara and something assur for Yidden to be connected to (kishuf, or machsheifus). The Xtians in Salem didn’t understand what she was doing and assumed she was worshiping the Sahtan. If that makes her guilty, then yeah. But I’m willing to be dan l’kaf zechus that she was a tinokes she’nishba. The other four people were as innocent as they come.October 31, 2021 11:12 am at 11:12 am #2022700
Yseribus, gentiles do not receive any benefit or consideration as being a tinokos sheshiba.October 31, 2021 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #2022781
Ujm, that’s only partially true – we do find chazal differentiating between dor enosh and then-current idol worshippers, as being “minhag avoseihem beyadeyhem”October 31, 2021 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #2022887Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
Ujm, on one hand – agree, as mitzvos bnei Noach should be mostly self-evident from observing the world
on the other hand, R Avigdor Miller explains that Avimelech was guilty of bad manners (asking about the lady first), but he had a chance to go learn from Avraham. So, we would need to find out what were educational opportunities in Haiti and Salem at the time.November 1, 2021 11:26 am at 11:26 am #2023156
@ujm And gentiles can’t execute people for suspicion of Avodah Zarah. So I guess the two cases cancel each other out and the Salem judges remain murderers.November 1, 2021 1:04 pm at 1:04 pm #2023220
Yseribus: Gentiles are obligated to have an established court system. And to try cases for idol worship, witchcraft and other (capital and non-capital) sins/transgressions. Technically, in this case they were tried and convicted of a capital offense.November 1, 2021 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #2023228
Ujm, there wasn’t a legitimate trial – it was a farce of a court. Halacha demands that goyim make court systems that are reasonable and engage in due process…here they didn’t at all.
*First post aas just “ujm, there isn’t”, i pressed send by mistakeNovember 1, 2021 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #2023284November 1, 2021 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #2023230mesivta bachurParticipant
over all 19 people were executed in the Salem witch trials.November 1, 2021 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #2023270
Avira, I was only addressing Yseribus’ narrow point about about the gentiles right/obligation to try capital cases. I considered adding to the comment that this case in particular may have been a gross miscarriage of justice. (It sounds like it was, from those here with better knowledge of Salem.) But, technically, they did judge and convict actual not just suspected guilt.November 1, 2021 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #2023340
@ujm I forgot to elaborate on Giles Corey. He was one of the accused and he was tortured for a confession by having rocks put on his chest. He grinned at his molester, said “More weight” and died. By their own admission of the Salem court, Corey was completely innocent and still died.
So all else aside, the Salem Witch Trials absolutely murdered at least one innocent man.November 1, 2021 8:30 pm at 8:30 pm #2023366
Yseribus: They weren’t ketanos halachicly. And kishuf falls into the same general category as Avoda Zora, even if it isn’t necessarily Avoda Zora. Kishuf, in its own right, is assur for Goyim.
Salem isn’t being defended. We’re discussing technical halachic points.November 1, 2021 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #2023395
ADA -“A similar scare occurred with the help of daytime television hosts in the 80s and early 90s, referred to as the “satan scare”, whereby “survivors” of purported satanic human slaughter cults would recount their traumatic experiences, having supposedly witnessed suburban well-off families engage in ritual human sacrifice.”
I don’t know what you’re talking about, but there are known cases of killings by sacrifice.
I remember one case in Rural NY. It seems that the investigators couldn’t find who actually did the killing.
In these small towns, they aren’t trying too hard, because e/o knows each other!
This wasn’t a dream situation, just the perps got away with it.
This Satan Worship is pretty common in Rural America, but they usually don’t kill people.November 1, 2021 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm #2023418
@ujm Halachically, the Salem Witch Trials involved the murder of 20 people. (The one person who actually may have practiced some form of kishuf or Avodah Zara survived.) There’s nothing else to it. If you want to discuss halachic points, a goyishe court can’t just wantonly kill people for suspicion, they actually have to show proof. There was no proof for any of the 20 people executed, therefore they were all murdered.November 1, 2021 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #2023424
Yseribus: You make good points. Keep in mind that in American courts today, they routinely convict without definitive proof.November 1, 2021 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #2023427
@ujm Any conviction today that results in execution, even under the shadiest circumstances, still has far more proof than any convicted witch at Salem. The raya to this is Giles Corey. If they could knowingly and willingly execute an innocent man, who’s to say they wouldn’t do the same to many others?November 1, 2021 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm #2023428
@Health There isn’t a single shred of evidence that there is, or ever has been, some massive underground cult of Satanists that routinely murder people. The Satanic Panic was merely a blood libel with different targets and different window dressings (although many did attempt to attack Jews as complicit in this alleged child murder ring). Most of the child witnesses from places like the McMartin Preschool recanted their testimony when they got older, and a lot of the testimony was re-examined and found to be either contradictory, implanted by the interviewer, or both.November 1, 2021 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #2023436
Yseribus: Salem’s miscarriage of justice isn’t any consolation to a “convict” today in a case without definitive proof where an innocent is imprisoned for life.November 1, 2021 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #2023438
Similarly, many convicted in that same timeframe (~1980s) of sexual abuse of children, and duly imprisoned, turned out to be false convictions based on prosecution psychologists induced false recalled memories in the children.November 2, 2021 2:18 am at 2:18 am #2023470
Yesr -“There isn’t a single shred of evidence that there is, or ever has been, some massive underground cult of Satanists that routinely murder people. Satan panic, etc.”
Like I posted before, I don’t know anything about Satan panic, etc.
But there such a thing as Satan worship – it’s pretty common in Rural America.
The case I was talking about was a group of young people, probably in their teens.
They weren’t sure whether the girl was put on the Altar or they were afraid she saw them worship and thought she’d snitch.
Either way – she was murdered. I’m sure that there are more cases, but killing for Satan is Not common!November 2, 2021 10:22 am at 10:22 am #2023560
@Health Says “I don’t know anything about the Satanic Panic”. @Health also says “Satan worship is pretty common in rural America”. You keep professing your ignorance, yet still claiming that you “know” that it’s very common.
The closest thing I can find to your story is the death of Jeanette DePalma who was from New Jersey not New York. Her death is still an unsolved mystery but a local priest drummed up some panic due to her body being found at a place called Devil’s Teeth. There was no altar, no group of teens, and like the Salem Witch Trials, no evidence that Satan worship was involved at all.
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