created at: 2012-02-27Posted by Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels, Congregation Shaarei Tefillah, Newton Centre, MA

The Talmud offers a curious teaching about the consequences of intimidation and abuse within the family context (TB Gittin 6b):

Rabbi Judah said in the name of Rabbi: Whoever terrorizes his or her household, will eventually commit three sins:

1. Infidelity
2. Murder
3. The desecration of the Sabbath

Several questions immediately come to mind. Why these three sins? Is their order of presentation telling? And most peculiar, why group the desecration of the Sabbath with infidelity and murder? The first two seem of a different order of magnitude in terms of their injury and offense.

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