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Are certain sins worse than others?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


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Certain sins are more destructive than others. For example, murder is much more harmful (and its harm is irreversible) than lying. For this reason different sins carry different punishments - murder is a capital offense, eating non-Kosher intentionally is punished by lashes, and lying isn't punishable by the courts at all.

No matter which sin one transgresses, the will of G-d has been ignored... From this perspective there is no difference between the most severe and the "slightest" sin.
However, no matter which sin one transgresses, the will of G-d has been ignored and there has been a rebellion against the decree of the Creator. From this perspective there is no difference whatsoever between the most severe and the "slightest" sin.


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Posted by: R. Fellman, DELRAY BEACH, FL on Oct 15, 2005

If there is no real difference, to GOD, between sins; this suggests that GOD could or would forgive a murderer.

Editor's Comment

That is correct. If the murderer sincerely repents.

3 Transgressions...

Posted by: Simcha M, Indianapolis, IN, US on Jan 06, 2006

Should a clear distinction be made between the 3 transgressions a Jew should make all efforts to avoid:
1) Idol Worship
2) Sexual Misconduct (specifically some adultery etc.)
3) Murder

Editor's Comment

See Tanya chaper 24 (
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.