Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Kedoshim: Adultery and The Fear Factor
"A man who will commit adultery with the wife of his friend shall be put to death". Rashi tells us that they are executed by the death penalty of strangulation.  We find in Parshas Ki Seitzei that a Naarah HaMurasah - a young girl who is engaged to a man- who is Mezaneh, is put to death by stoning. The question arises; we know that stoning is a harsher punishment than strangulation. Why is it that a woman who is married and is Mezaneh gets the lesser of the 2 death penalties as opposed to the one who is just engaged (only went through the process of Airusin) will get the stricter punishment  of stoning for being Mezaneh?

Sefer HaChaim (the brother of the Maharal) answers, when the woman is only engaged, she still lives by her father. Her future husband is not living near her. Therefore, when she commits adultery, she has no fear that her future husband might barge in the middle of the act. Her act of Znus is done with complete pleasure; since she has no fear of her husband. Such an act warrants the stricter punishment of stoning. However, when she is already married, her husband lives with her. Throughout the act of her Znus she has a fear that her husband might come home at any moment. This lessens the pleasure of the act, and the punishment is therefore only strangulation.