🛎 AT Daily! #130 – 🕵🏻‍♂️ Does Ignorance of The Law Exempt One From Liability? – 🕯🕯 Shabbos 68

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One who forgets the essence of Shabbos (that it exists and applies to Jews) brings one sin-offering for all the Shabbats he violated. Who is this person? Rav and Shmuel liken him to the child-captive raised among non-Jews and the convert who converted without learning about Shabbos. They hold like R’ Akiva that all three groups bring a single sin-offering for the all the Shabbats they violated during their period of unawareness. R’ Yochanan, Reish Lakish and Munbaz exempt the child captive and self-convert because they never knew the law. The issue turns on the distinction between “unwitting” and “due to circumstances beyond one’s control.” Akiva says ignorance of the law is unwitting, and this one is liable to bring the offering. Coercion would be an example of circumstances beyond one’s control, and this oerson would be exempt from bringing any offering. At first glance this seems unfair, but holding one liable to bring a single sin-offering for all the violations during his unawareness actually creates a beautiful opportunity for growth, learning, redemption, prayer and charity.

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