Makkot, Chapter Three, Mishnah Seven

 

Introduction

Mishnah seven discusses a nazirite who violates the prohibition of drinking wine. 

 

Mishnah Seven

1)                     If a nazirite has been drinking wine all day, he is liable for only one lashing.

a)                                           If they said to him, “Don’t drink wine”, “Don’t drink wine”, and he kept drinking, he is liable for each instance.

 

Explanation

A nazirite is forbidden to shave his hair, drink wine or become impure (Numbers 6:1-21).  Our mishnah asks the question about a nazirite who drinks wine all day long.  Is this considered one violation or many violations?  In other words, what splits one act of violation from another, in order to make him liable on multiple counts? 

The mishnah states that it is his awareness of his crime, proven by others warning him to cease drinking, that separates counts of violations.  If he drinks all day long yet no one warns him, it is only considered one violation.  If others warn him, it is considered a violation every time he continues to drink.

 

Questions for Further Thought:

·                      How does this mishnah compare to Rabbi Eliezer’s statement at the end of mishnah five?  Does this mishnah go according to his opinion or not?

 

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