Punishing and disciplining on Shabbos

Punishments on Shabbos:

Court hearings:[1] Court cases involving monetary matters are not adjudicated on Shabbos.[2]

Punishments and imprisonment:[3] Punishments are not delivered on Shabbos [and in certain cases it is a Biblical prohibition to do so[4]].[5] [Some Rishonim list this prohibition as one of the 365 negative commands, in addition to the other commands listed regarding Shabbos.[6] Accordingly, Chazal state that the punishment of Gehennam ceases over Shabbos.[7]] Therefore, it is forbidden to capture and incarcerate [i.e. arrest] a criminal who is liable for punishment [see Q&A] in order so he does not run away, [and one desires to hold him until his due punishment is met]. This applies even if the criminal may become a fugitive if the incarceration is delayed. Rather, if he runs away we have no responsibility.[8]  Certainly it is forbidden to give lashes on Shabbos.[9]

 

Q&A on imprisonment

May one imprison a man who desires to leave his wife an Aguna?[10]

One may arrest a man on Shabbos if he is trying to leave his wife an Aguna.

 

May one arrest a man who has perpetrated crimes against society, such as robbery, abuse, bodily injury?[11]

Yes.

 

Is there a prohibition involved in trapping humans, such as locking a child in his room, or a lunatic in his room?

There is no trapping prohibition involved in trapping humans.[12] One may thus lock a child in his room if needed[13], and arrest a man on Shabbos who is trying to leave his wife an Aguna.[14] However, there are Poskim[15] who question that perhaps the trapping prohibition applies to a child.[16] Others[17] forbid capturing a lunatic which would otherwise run away from society. In any event, it is forbidden to arrest an individual on Shabbos [unless there is extreme reason to do so] due to the prohibition to bestow punishments on Shabbos, irrelevant of the trapping issue.[18]

 

 

Disciplining children on Shabbos:

It is permitted to discipline or punish children on Shabbos.[19] One may thus lock a child in his room for disciplinary purposes.[20] Nonetheless, it is possibly even Biblically forbidden to hit or spank a child if doing so can cause a bruise to the child.[21] Furthermore, it is not in the spirit of Shabbos to show anger or fury, or give punishment even for the sake of Chinuch, as learned from the reason why the Torah prohibited a Beis Din from giving punishment on Shabbos. The Torah desired that Shabbos be a day of rest for all, even those who deserve punishment, and hence one is to abstain from punishing or showing any anger on Shabbos to the utmost extreme.[22]

 

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[1] Admur 339:3; 306:27; Michaber 339:4 and Mishneh Beitza 36b “We do not judge on Shabbos”

[2] The reason: This is due to a decree one may come to write down the details of the hearing. [Admur ibid; M”A 339:3; Beitza 37a] Now, although the Sages permitted communal matters to be done on Shabbos and did not suspect for the above decrees, nonetheless, judging on Shabbos is complete Rabbinical prohibition [i.e. Shvus], and a complete Rabbinical prohibition is never permitted even for communal purposes. [Admur 306:27]

[3] Admur 339:3;

[4] M”A 339:3; Rambam Shabbos 24:7; Minyan Hamitzvos 322; Sefer Hachinuch Mitzvah 114; Yerushalmi brought in Chinuch ibid; Elya Raba 339:15; Kaf Hachaim 339:15; See Minchas Chinuch ibid that this command contains Sekila/Kareis/Chatas

The source: This is learned from the verse “Lo Sivaru Eish”, which is understood to mean that one may not give the capital punishment of burning on Shabbos, and the same applies to other punishments. [Rambam ibid; Chinuch ibid]

What punishments are included in the Biblical prohibition: Some sources imply that only capital punishment is included in the Biblical prohibition. [See Chinuch ibid] Other sources imply that all punishments that contain Shabbos desecration are Biblically forbidden on Shabbos, and thus possibly even lashes are included. [M”A ibid that so is implied from Rambam in Minyan Hamitzvos ibid and Shabbos 106; Sanhedrin 35; See Machatzis Hashekel ibid] Although perhaps from the word Moshvoseichem one can learn that all forms of punishment are included in the Biblical prohibition. [M”A ibid; Implication of Rambam 24:7; See Chinuch ibid]

When the Biblical prohibition applies: The Biblical prohibition only applies to a Beis Din and only in Temple times. [Chinuch ibid]

[5] Admur ibid; M”A 339:3; Rambam 24:7

The reason: As Hashem desired for everyone to find rest and peace on Shabbos, even the Reshaim. [Sefer Hachinuch; Elya Raba 339:15; M”B 339:13; Kaf Hachaim 339:15]

[6] Rambam Minyan Hamtzvos 322; Sefer Hachinuch Mitzvah 114; Maggid Mishneh on Rambam ibid

[7] Admur 295:1; Bach 297; Mateh Moshe in name of Rokeiach brought in Shaar Hakolel 31:1; Mordechaiy Pesachim 105; Tosafus Beitza 33b ru[7] 473:6

[8] Admur ibid; Rama 339:4; Beis Yosef 263; Shivlei Haleket 60 in name of Rav Sharira Gaon

[9] Admur ibid; Rama 339:4; Beis Yosef 263; Shivlei Haleket 60 in name of Rav Sharira Gaon

The reason: As this is included in the prohibition against giving judgment. [Implication of Admur ibid in parentheses; Rama ibid] Alternatively, some Poskim suggest that perhaps giving lashes is Biblically forbidden because it may cause a wound, which is a Biblical prohibition, and is thus included in the Biblical prohibition against giving punishment. [Rambam 24:7 as explained in M”A ibid; M”A 278:1 in name of Turei Even 40 and Rashal regarding a fight that this applies even according to Rebbe Shimon who holds Eino Tzarich Legufa is exempt; P”M 339 A”A 3] However, in truth, perhaps it is only a Rabbinical prohibition, as it is a Melacha She’eiyno Tzarich Legufa and one has no intent to make a wound. [See Machatzis Hashekel on M”A ibid that he has no intent to make a wound; P”M ibid that the above Biblical prohibition only applies according to opinion of Eino Tzarich Legufa Chayav; Admur 316:16 regarding trapping]

[10] Shvus Yaakov 1:14; Birkeiy Yosef 339:2; Shaareiy Teshuvah 339:3; M”B 339:14; Kaf Hachayim 316:27

[11] Aruch Hashulchan 339:11; Tzitz Eliezer 11:23

[12] Implication of Admur 339:3, Rama 339:4; Beis Yosef 263; Shivlei Haleket 60 in name of Rav Sharira Gaon in which no trapping prohibition is mentioned for the reason in why it is forbidden to jail a person on Shabbos; Avnei Nezer 189:22 that is no trapping prohibition by an adult however regarding a child he leaves this matter in question; Piskeiy Teshuvos 316:23

Other opinions: Some Poskim question that perhaps there is a trapping prohibition involved in trapping humans. [Makor Chaim 316; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 220]

[13] Tzitz Eliezer 15:41 brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 316:23

[14] Shvus Yaakov 1:14; Birkeiy Yosef 339:2; Shaareiy Teshuvah 339:3; M”B 339:14; Kaf Hachayim 316:27

[15] Avnei Nezer ibid based on Tosafus Menachos 64a

[16] And accordingly it would remain forbidden to lock a child in his room. However Tzitz Eliezer writes that a child is in fear of his parents and is thus in any event already considered like trapped and there is thus no problem in locking him there.

[17] Rav SZ”A in Yesodei Yeshurun, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 316:3

[18] Admur 339:3; In Yesodei Yeshurun, in name of Rav SZ”A they mention that arresting a person never involves the trapping prohibition as they do not run away from society to be considered a trapping needed creature.

[19] Setimas Hapoksim as the above prohibition is only in reference to a Beis Din, or community, punishing or incarcerating an individual, and not to a parent who does so for educational purposes.

[20] Tzitz Eliezer 15:41 brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 316:23

The trapping prohibition: There is no trapping prohibition involved in trapping humans. [Setimas Hapoksim in 339; Piskeiy Teshuvos 316:23] One may thus lock a child in his room if needed. [Tzitz Eliezer 15:41 brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 316:23]

Other opinions: Some Poskim question that perhaps the trapping prohibition applies to a child. [Avnei Nezer 189:22 based on Tosafus Menachos 64a]

[21] Some Poskim suggest that perhaps giving lashes is Biblically forbidden because it may cause a wound, which is a Biblical prohibition, and is thus included in the Biblical prohibition against giving punishment. [Rambam 24:7 as explained in M”A ibid; M”A 278:1 in name of Turei Even 40 and Rashal regarding a fight that this applies even according to Rebbe Shimon who holds Eino Tzarich Legufa is exempt; P”M 339 A”A 3] However, in truth, perhaps it is only a Rabbinical prohibition, as it is a Melacha She’eiyno Tzarich Legufa and one has no intent to make a wound. [see Machatzis Hashekel on M”A ibid that he has no intent to make a wound; P”M ibid that the above Biblical prohibition only applies according to opinion of Eino Tzarich Legufa Chayav; Admur 316:16]

[22] Piskeiy Teshuvos 339:7

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