Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View Karaite Judaism re: stoning as punishment for adultery
3 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 4:33PM #1
Shusha
Posts: 4,791
A question for those who are more intimately familiar with Karaite Judaism than I am: 

Would Karaite Judasim support the punishment of death by stoning of adulterers, in practice?

It is my understanding (and I could be entirely wrong on this) that BOTH Karaite Judaism and normative Rabbinical Judaism agree that death by stoning is the correct punishment for adultery (in certain, clearly defined circumstances, which, btw, appear to me to be more akin to rape than adultery, but that is an aside and not the main thrust of my question).

In normative (Rabbinical) Judaism, however, this punishment is mitigated by other commandments and legal interpretations (such as the sanctity of human life, the need for witnesses, the need for acknowledgement from the perpetrator that they understand they are breaking G-d's law, the concept that it is preferrable to allow 1000 guilty to free than to punish even one innocent, etc).  Thus, in practice, stoning for adultery is essentially unheard of.

Would Karaite Judaism use the same interpretations and thus have the same result, in practice?  My intent is to illuminate the differences between Karaite and normative Judaism. 


(This question originiated on the Discuss Islam board, which is why I post it on the Discuss Judaism board rather than the Learn about Judaism board.  We have invited a cross discussion on this issue.)

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 4:55PM #2
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

Yikes.


I think you would need to ask some actual Karaites, and then first you'd have to find some.


Good luck!

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 5:22PM #3
Shusha
Posts: 4,791

What?!  I've stumped Dan?!  What is the world coming to?!  (Grin). 


Wait, I'll go see if I can find a Karaite...

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 5:24PM #4
ffb
Posts: 2,259

according to my limited understanding of Karaite Judaism, if there was the proper legal system and the truth could be told through the karaitic version of drisha vchakira, then stoning would be used. The karaite system is not without an interpretive framework, but without a unifiede and codified one with an origin myth sourced at sinai.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 5:34PM #5
vra
Posts: 6,407

Hey, probably about half of the IDF after finishing their military obligation go over to India to get stoned.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 5:45PM #6
Shusha
Posts: 4,791

Mar 29, 2012 -- 5:24PM, ffb wrote:


according to my limited understanding of Karaite Judaism, if there was the proper legal system and the truth could be told through the karaitic version of drisha vchakira, then stoning would be used. The karaite system is not without an interpretive framework, but without a unifiede and codified one with an origin myth sourced at sinai.





ffb,


Yes, this is my understanding as well.  The question would then be whether the requirement for witnesses and a legal undertaking of some sort can be interpreted directly from the Tanach or does it come from another source?  Thoughts?




Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 9:01PM #7
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,931

BS"D


My thought is that no human being has the authority to kill another in this age for adultery as there exists no human body which is just and compassionate according to Torah standards on the Earth at this time.


And as for the Karaite's alleged desire to implement such a brutal and barbaric punishment, this may be an exemplary reason why they are nearly extinct as a people. 

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 6:03AM #8
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617
Yes, the requirement for 2 witnesses is in the Written Torah (Deuteronony 19:15). Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that Karaites would have the same principle.
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 6:47AM #9
ffb
Posts: 2,259

Mar 29, 2012 -- 5:45PM, Shusha wrote:

Mar 29, 2012 -- 5:24PM, ffb wrote:


according to my limited understanding of Karaite Judaism, if there was the proper legal system and the truth could be told through the karaitic version of drisha vchakira, then stoning would be used. The karaite system is not without an interpretive framework, but without a unifiede and codified one with an origin myth sourced at sinai.





ffb,


Yes, this is my understanding as well.  The question would then be whether the requirement for witnesses and a legal undertaking of some sort can be interpreted directly from the Tanach or does it come from another source?  Thoughts?





the torah reads simply that one must investigate -- the written text sets no standard for what that investigation is so I would assume that it is up to the local sage to set the boundaries for the textual requirement. This would (much like the laws of slaughter and kashrut) become a community standard, unapplicable to any other community. it would also beg the quesiton of process -- how does the sage set the expectations or from where does he develop the interpretive groundrules or material upon which he expands the meaning of the written text.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 8:07AM #10
river8101
Posts: 5,568

Mar 29, 2012 -- 5:34PM, vra wrote:


Hey, probably about half of the IDF after finishing their military obligation go over to India to get stoned.




Could be! Unfortunately,  don't know anyone in the IDF.   They used to come in to this club, not far from where I lived, and I never thought to ask.  But one of my daughter in laws is from India, and when they all go for a visit, I'll have to ask next time.   My son does look awfully happy in some of those pictures.  You can see them on Facebook.  Facebook is so much fun!!   I guess it's forbidden to bring that sort of happiness back to the US.  Sometimes I wish it were the 70's again.

“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook