Assumptions are made about a rebellious child regarding the course his future will take and therefore he is killed to prevent him from sinning further. Assumptions are also made regarding a robber – the assumption is that a robber will come to kill if the owner of the house stands up to him and therefore it is permitted to kill him. The gemara discusses the circumstances in which one can assume the robber is coming to kill. Since at the time of the robbery, there is a “death penalty” on the robber, the robber is exempt from damages caused to the property because of the law that if one incurs two punishments at the same come, one is exempt from the more lenient one. Rav takes this even further to say he is exempt from returning the stolen items. Rava disagrees. Does one who breaks into another’s house need to be warned? Rav Huna says no. The gemara raises questions and also potential proofs to Rav Huna’s statement, including a mishna in Ohalot that discusses aborting a fetus to save the mother’s life.
More details that narrow the possibility of the rebellious son are brought. A debate ensues regarding whether or not there was or ever will be a rebellious son. A similar debate is brought regarding a city who all worship idols and a leprous house. What is the exact process by which one can be convicted as a rebellious child and will get stoned? If the son is brought to court but then runs away and by the time they catch him, he is no longer within the age range of one who can be killed for being a rebellious child, what happens? It depends on whether he was convicted before he ran away. A halacha is brought regarding a ben Noach who curses God and then converts – he is now innocent as the laws for him have changed. Is it or is it not similar to the case in our mishna? Various sources are brought as an attempt to prove or disprove this halacha but all are unsuccessful.
Why is a daughter not killed for being a wayward child? In order to be killed for being a wayward son, one needs to eat a certain amount of meat and drink a certain amount of wine. However, there are various conditions set by the rabbis as to what type of meat/wine, what kind of meal, in what company, etc. The dangers of wine are discussed through the lens of various stories/texts in the Tanach, including Adam, Noah, and King Solomon and additionally, a debate about what type of tree the tree of knowledge was. Details regarding exceptions brought in the mishna are discussed and compared to other sources that seem to contradict.
The standard halacha is that one who violates Shabbat gets stoned. However, there are two possible exceptions to this rule. In what cases is one who curses his mother or father stoned? Details regarding one who incites others to worship idols is brought, including two important laws that an inciter can get killed even without being warned by witnesses and that if the inciter tried to incite an individual, he is allowed to hide witnesses and encourage him to incite again so as to be able to convict him.
What are the definitions of the various types of witchcraft mentioned in the Torah? Why is baal ov and yidoni mentioned in this mishna but in the mishna in critut only baal ov is mentioned? Rabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish offer two different answers. Their opinions are analyzed in the gemara. What is considered an action? Generally one is only obligated for actions, according to the rabbis. How much of an action is needed to obligate one? Is moving one’s lips an action? Bowing to an idol? Rabbi Akiva obligates even without an action – but does he include any non-action? Or does he have some minimal criteria?
Did the Jews worship idols because they believed in them or for other reasons? How is it that the evil inclination for idol worship doesn’t exist anymore? A story, based on the elaboration on a verse if Zecharia is brought to illustrate how this transpired. How does one violate the prohibition to pass one’s son or daughter to Molech?
If one does various forbidden acts to another god and doesn’t know that it is forbidden and then finds out, is one obligated to bring several sin offerings for each act or is it all considered one act? Does one get lashes for acts that he does relating to idols mentioned in the mishna for which one does not receive the death penalty? Is one allowed to mention the name of other gods or cause others (non Jews) to swear in the name of other gods? Can one go into a partnership with an idol worshipper?
Rabbi Yirmiya explains that slaughtering was specified in the verse in the Torah to teach you that anyone who worships other gods in ways that God is worshiped in the temple, whether it’s the typical way of worshiping that god or not, one is obligated in the death penalty. Then bowing is specified to teach that bowing has the same law (even though it is not one of the ways Jews worship God) as the others but all other methods of worshiping idols is only if they are done in the way that that idol is typically worshiped. Rava bar Rav Natan questions Rabbi Yirmiya and suggests the opposite – that one should learn from bowing that any act of worshiping idols is forbidden even if not done in the typical way or worship. Various difficulties with Rava’s suggestion are brought. Rav Hamnuna is asked a question about contradictory mishnayot – one indicates that only worship is forbidden but not saying I will worship. The other says that saying “I will worship idols” is enough to obligate one. SEveral answers are brought to explain the contradiction. Is one obligated if one worships idols out of love or fear for another?
There are those who have 8 Noachide laws. From where did they derive the 8th one? The process in the court mentioned in the mishna of how the witnesses actually tell how the person cursed God and the reaction of the judges is discussed and derivations from the Tanach for the laws are brought. For what acts of idol worship is one killed? How are these learned out from the Torah verses? For what idol worship is one considered to have violated a negative commandment (lashes)?
The gemara brings statements saying that non-Jews cannot keep Shabbat or learn Torah. What are possible reasons for these prohibitions? A rule is brought that says how we know whether a commandment given to sons of Noach originally continued to be for everyone even after Jews received the Torah. Additionally, how do we know which ones were meant to be for only for Jews. Exceptions to the rule are brought to question the general rule and are resolved. Noach was permitted to eat meat but Adam was not allowed. The gemara questions this and through the questions a number of interesting issues are raised including, why did the snake seduce Adam and Chava? What is the status of meat that falls from the sky – can it assumed to be pure? Perhaps this is an image relating to heavenly voices vs. court rulings as referred to in other contexts in the gemara.