185. Ov and Yidoni

Avodas Kochavim 11:14

We are not permitted to inquire of a medium or a necromancer (an ov or a yidoni – see Avodas Kochavim 6:1 and 6:2), as per Deuteronomy 18:10-11, “There shall not be found among you… one who inquires of a medium or a necromancer.” One who practices these forms of sorcery is liable to the penalty of death by stoning; one who inquires of them violates a prohibition, the penalty for which is stripes for acting rebelliously. One who plans his actions based on their advice is liable for the penalty of lashes.

Avodas Kochavim 11:15

A sorcerer is liable to execution by stoning if he has committed a sorcerous act. If he only tricked others into thinking that he performed such an act, he is punished with stripes for acting rebelliously. The prohibition against sorcery is part of Deuteronomy 18:10-11, “There shall not be found among you…” but it is punishable by execution as per Exodus 22:17, “Do not permit a witch to live.” This is why lashes are not given for violating the prohibition against sorcery.