The aim of the discussion in this article is to explore two different Rabbinic explanations for the status of repentance in human and divine punishment, and to emphasize the essential distinction between them. According to the first explanation the source of accepting repentance is divine mercy upon human beings. Since mercy is not a legitimate consideration in conviction or even in determination of punishment in Jewish criminal law there is no wonder why repentance does not have any role during the criminal procedures in rabbinic court. According to the second explanation the acceptance of repentance by God is similar to the acceptance of flattery and bribe by a Roman corrupted judge. God decides to accept repentance and to forgive the transgressors since it better serves God’s interests. This analogy between repentance and flattery and bribery then explains why rabbinic courts do not take repentance into account.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State