Additionally, the Gemara in Yevamos 6a says that the lav of Shabbos is more stringent and perhaps cannot be nidche by an assei. Rashi explains that the reason that the lav of Shabbos is more stringent is because it is comparable to avodah zarah. This Gemara is not only referring to one who desecrates Shabbos in public, but in private as well.

Therefore the logic that Moshe entertained that one who is michallel Shabbos should deserve the same punishment as one who does avodah zarah applies equally to one who does so in public as well as in private. So when Hashem answered that the mekoshesh deserves death by stoning, the same should apply to one who desecrates Shabbos in private – even if the punishment of stoning stems from the avodah zarah aspect of chillul Shabbos.

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For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.

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Rabbi Fuchs learned in Yeshivas Toras Moshe, where he became a close talmid of Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a. While he was there he received semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlit”a. He then learned in Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and became a close talmid of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. Rabbi Fuchs received semicha from the Mirrer Yeshiva as well. After Rav Shmuel’s petira Rabbi Fuchs learned in Bais Hatalmud Kollel for six years. He is currently a Shoel Umaishiv in Yeshivas Beis Meir in Lakewood, and a Torah editor and weekly columnist at The Jewish Press.
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