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Torah Reading for Mishpatim

Torah Reading for Mishpatim

Exodus 21:1-24:18

Select a portion:

Chapter 21

1. And these are the ordinances that you shall set before them.   א. וְאֵלֶּה הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר תָּשִׂים לִפְנֵיהֶם:
And these are the ordinances: Wherever it says, “these” [in the Torah,] it [(this word) is used to] separate from what has been stated previously. [Where it says,] “And these,” [it means that] it is adding to what has been previously stated (Tanchuma Mishpatim 3). [Thus] just as what has been previously stated [namely the Ten Commandments,] were from Sinai, these too were from Sinai. Now why was the section dealing with laws juxtaposed to the section dealing with the altar? To tell you that you shall place the Sanhedrin adjacent to the Beth Hamikdash (other editions: the altar). — [From Mechilta]   ואלה המשפטים: כל מקום שנאמר אלה פסל את הראשונים, ואלה מוסיף על הראשונים, מה הראשונים מסיני, אף אלו מסיני. ולמה נסמכה פרשת דינין לפרשת מזבח, לומר לך שתשים סנהדרין אצל המקדש [המזבח]:
that you shall set before them: The Holy One, blessed is He, said to Moses: Do not think of saying, “I will teach them the chapter or the law [both terms seemingly refer to the Oral Torah] two or three times until they know it well, as it was taught, but I will not trouble myself to enable them to understand the reasons for the matter and its explanation.” Therefore, it is said: “you shall set before them,” like a table, set [with food] and prepared to eat from, [placed] before someone. — [From Mechilta, Eruvin 54b]   אשר תשים לפניהם: אמר לו הקב"ה למשה לא תעלה על דעתך לומר אשנה להם הפרק וההלכה ב' או ג' פעמים עד שתהא סדורה בפיהם כמשנתה, ואיני מטריח עצמי להבינם טעמי הדבר ופירושו, לכך נאמר אשר תשים לפניהם, כשלחן הערוך ומוכן לאכול לפני האדם:
before them: But not before gentiles. Even if you know that they [gentiles] judge a certain law similarly to the laws of Israel, do not bring it to their courts, for one who brings Jewish lawsuits before gentiles profanes the [Divine] Name and honors the name of idols to praise them (other editions: to give them importance), as it is said: “For not like our Rock [God] is their rock, but [yet] our enemies judge [us]” (Deut. 32:31). When [we let] our enemies judge [us], this is testimony to [our] esteem of their deity. — [From Tanchuma 3]   לפניהם: ולא לפני גוים, ואפילו ידעת בדין אחד שהם דנין אותו כדיני ישראל, אל תביאהו בערכאות שלהם, שהמביא דיני ישראל לפני גוים מחלל את השם ומיקר שם עבודה זרה להחשיבה, שנאמר (דברים לב לא) כי לא כצורנו צורם ואויבינו פלילים, כשאויבינו פלילים זהו עדות לעלוי יראתם:
2. Should you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall work [for] six years, and in the seventh [year], he shall go out to freedom without charge.   ב. כִּי תִקְנֶה עֶבֶד עִבְרִי שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים יַעֲבֹד וּבַשְּׁבִעִת יֵצֵא לַחָפְשִׁי חִנָּם:
Should you buy a Hebrew slave: A slave who is himself a Hebrew. Or perhaps it means only a slave of a Hebrew, a Canaanite [servant] whom you bought from a Hebrew. And concerning him, he [the Torah] says, “he shall work [for] six years.” How [then] can I apply the [law in the following] verse, “and you shall bequeath them” (Lev. 25:46) ? [Does this verse apply] concerning one [a servant] purchased from a non-Jew, but one [a servant] purchased from an Israelite goes free after six years? Therefore, the Torah states: “Should your brother, a Hebrew man… be sold to you, [he shall serve you for six years]” (Deut. 15:12). [This is the clarification that] I [God] said this only regarding your brother. — [From Mechilta]   כי תקנה עבד עברי: עבד שהוא עברי, או אינו אלא עבדו של עברי, עבד כנעני שלקחתו מישראל, ועליו הוא אומר שש שנים יעבוד, ומה אני מקיים (ויקרא כה מו) והתנחלתם אתם, בלקוח מן הגוי, אבל בלקוח מישראל יצא בשש, תלמוד לומר (דברים טו יב) כי ימכר לך אחיך העברי, לא אמרתי אלא באחיך:
Should you buy: from the hand of the court, who sold him [into servitude] because of his theft, as it is said: “If he has no [money], he shall be sold for his theft” (Exod. 22:2). Or perhaps it refers only to one who sold oneself [into servitude] because of poverty, but if the court sold him, he does not go free after six [years]? When he [the Torah] says: “And if your brother becomes impoverished beside you and is sold to you” (Lev. 25:39), one who sells oneself because of poverty is mentioned [here]. So [to avoid repetition,] how do I apply “Should you buy” ? [By understanding that this is] concerning one sold by the court.   כי תקנה: מיד בית דין שמכרוהו בגנבתו כמו שנאמר (שמות כב ב) אם אין לו ונמכר בגנבתו. או אינו אלא במוכר עצמו מפני דוחקו, אבל מכרוהו בית דין לא יצא בשש, כשהוא אומר (ויקרא כה לט) וכי ימוך אחיך עמך ונמכר לך, הרי מוכר עצמו מפני דוחקו אמור, ומה אני מקיים כי תקנה, בנמכר בבית דין:
to freedom: Heb. לַחָפְשִׁי, to freedom.   לחפשי: לחירות:
3. If he comes [in] alone, he shall go out alone; if he is a married man, his wife shall go out with him.   ג. אִם בְּגַפּוֹ יָבֹא בְּגַפּוֹ יֵצֵא אִם בַּעַל אִשָּׁה הוּא וְיָצְאָה אִשְׁתּוֹ עִמּוֹ:
If he comes [in] alone: Heb. בְּגַפּוֹ, meaning that he was not married, as the Targum renders: אִם בִּלְחוֹדוֹהִי. The expression בְּגַפּוֹ means “with his skirt,” [i.e., the skirt of his cloak, meaning] that he came only as he was, alone within his clothing, in the skirt of his garment.   אם בגפו יבא: שלא היה נשוי אשה כתרגומו אם בלחודוהי. ולשון בגפו בכנפו, שלא בא אלא כמות שהוא, יחידי, בתוך לבושו בכנף בגדו:
he shall go out alone: [This] tells [us] that if he was not married at first, his master may not give him a Canaanite maidservant from whom to beget slaves. — [From Kid. 20a] [   בגפו יצא: מגיד שאם לא היה נשוי מתחלה, אין רבו מוסר לו שפחה כנענית להוליד ממנה עבדים:
if he is a married man: [Lit., if he is someone’s husband, meaning] an Israelite [woman]. — [From Mechilta]   אם בעל אשה הוא: ישראלית:
his wife shall go out with him: Now who brought her in that she should go out? Rather, the text informs us that whoever purchases a Hebrew slave is [also] responsible for supporting his wife and his children. [From Mechilta, Kid. 22a]   ויצאה אשתו עמו: וכי מי הכניסה שתצא, אלא מגיד הכתוב, שהקונה עבד עברי חייב במזונות אשתו ובניו:
4. If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone.   ד. אִם אֲדֹנָיו יִתֶּן לוֹ אִשָּׁה וְיָלְדָה לּוֹ בָנִים אוֹ בָנוֹת הָאִשָּׁה וִילָדֶיהָ תִּהְיֶה לַאדֹנֶיהָ וְהוּא יֵצֵא בְגַפּוֹ:
If his master gives him a wife: From here we deduce that his master has the option to give him [the slave] a Canaanite maidservant [in order] to beget slaves from her. Or, perhaps this means only an Israelite woman? Therefore, Scripture says: “The woman and her children shall belong to her master.” Thus, He is speaking only about a Canaanite woman, for a Hebrew woman she, too, goes free after six [years], and even before six [years], when she develops signs [of puberty], she goes free, as it is said: “your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman [that one shall serve you for six years]” (Deut. 15:12). [This] teaches [us] that a Hebrew [maidservant] also goes free after six [years]. — [From Mechilta, Kid. 14b]   אם א-דניו יתן לו אשה: מכאן שהרשות ביד רבו למסור לו שפחה כנענית להוליד ממנה עבדים. או אינו אלא בישראלית, תלמוד לומר האשה וילדיה תהיה לאדוניה, הא אינו מדבר אלא בכנענית, שהרי העבריה אף היא יוצאה בשש, ואפילו לפני שש אם הביאה סימנין יוצאה, שנאמר (דברים טו יב) אחיך העברי או העבריה, מלמד, שאף העבריה יוצאה בשש:
5. But if the slave says, "I love my master, my wife, and my children. I will not go free,"   ה. וְאִם אָמֹר יֹאמַר הָעֶבֶד אָהַבְתִּי אֶת אֲדֹנִי אֶת אִשְׁתִּי וְאֶת בָּנָי לֹא אֵצֵא חָפְשִׁי:
my wife: [This refers to] the maidservant.   את אשתי: השפחה:
6. his master shall bring him to the judges, and he shall bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall bore his ear with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.   ו. וְהִגִּישׁוֹ אֲדֹנָיו אֶל הָאֱלֹהִים וְהִגִּישׁוֹ אֶל הַדֶּלֶת אוֹ אֶל הַמְּזוּזָה וְרָצַע אֲדֹנָיו אֶת אָזְנוֹ בַּמַּרְצֵעַ וַעֲבָדוֹ לְעֹלָם:
to the judges: Heb. אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים, to the court to consult his sellers, for they sold him [the slave] to him [to his master]. — [From Mechilta]   אל הא-להים: לבית דין, צריך שימלך במוכריו שמכרוהו לו:
to the door or to the doorpost: I might think that the doorpost is [a] qualified [place] on which to bore [the servant’s ear]. Therefore, Scripture says: “and you shall thrust it into his ear and into the door” (Deut. 15:17), [meaning] “into the door,” but not “into the doorpost.” What then does or to the doorpost mean? [The text is] comparing the door to the doorpost. Just as the doorpost is upright [i.e., attached to the house; otherwise it is not called a doorpost], so is the door upright. [A detached door may not be used for the ritual of ear boring.]-[From Mechilta, Kid. 22b]   אל הדלת או אל המזוזה: יכול שתהא המזוזה כשרה לרצוע עליה, תלמוד לומר (דברים טו יז) ונתתה באזנו ובדלת, בדלת ולא במזוזה, הא מה תלמוד לומר או אל המזוזה, הקיש דלת למזוזה מה מזוזה מעומד אף דלת מעומד:
and his master shall bore his ear: [I.e.,] the right [ear]. Or perhaps it means the left one? Therefore, the Torah states אֹזֶן “ear,” here and אֹזֶן [elsewhere] for [the purpose of making] a גְזֵרָה שָׁוָה, [which means two places having similar wording, which indicates that the rulings pertaining to one situation also apply to the other]. It is stated here: “and his master shall bore his ear,” and it is stated regarding the mezora [person with the disease of zara’ath]: “the cartilage of the right ear of the one who is becoming pure” (Lev. 14:14). Just as there the right [ear] is specified, here too the right [ear] is meant. Now, why was the ear chosen to be bored out of all the organs of the body? Rabban Jochanan ben Zakkai said: The ear that heard on Mount Sinai, “You shall not steal” (Exod. 20:13) and [then] went and stole, shall be bored. And if [the text is referring to] one who sold himself [into servitude, the reason is that] the ear that heard, “For the children of Israel are slaves to Me” (Lev. 25:55) and [then] went and acquired a master for himself, [this ear] shall be bored. Rabbi Shimon used to interpret this verse [in a beautiful manner] like a bundle of pearls [or a great amount of perfume in this way:]-why were the door and the doorpost singled out from all the fixtures in the house? The Holy One, blessed is He, said: The door and the doorpost were witnesses in Egypt when I passed over the lintel and the two doorposts, and I said, “For the children of Israel are slaves to Me; they are My slaves,” but [they are] not slaves to slaves, and [yet] this one went and acquired for himself a master-[his ear] shall be bored before them [for everyone to see]. — [From Kid. 22b]   ורצע א-דניו את אזנו במרצע: הימנית. או אינו אלא של שמאל, תלמוד לומר אזן, אזן לגזרה שוה נאמר כאן ורצע אדוניו את אזנו, ונאמר במצורע (ויקרא יד יד) תנוך אזן המטהר הימנית, מה להלן הימנית, אף כאן הימנית. ומה ראה אזן להרצע מכל שאר אברים שבגוף, אמר רבי יוחנן בן זכאי (קדושין כב ע"ב) אזן זאת ששמעה על הר סיני לא תגנוב, והלך וגנב, תרצע. ואם מוכר עצמו, אזן ששמעה על הר סיני (ויקרא כה נה) כי לי בני ישראל עבדים, והלך וקנה אדון לעצמו, תרצע. ר' שמעון היה דורש מקרא זה כמין חומר מה נשתנו דלת ומזוזה מכל כלים שבבית, אמר הקב"ה דלת ומזוזה שהיו עדים במצרים כשפסחתי על המשקוף ועל שתי המזוזות ואמרתי כי לי בני ישראל עבדים, עבדי הם ולא עבדים לעבדים, והלך זה וקנה אדון לעצמו, ירצע בפניהם:
and he shall serve him forever: Heb. לְעֹלָם, until the Jubilee year [the fiftieth year of the cycle]. Or perhaps it means literally forever, as its apparent meaning? Therefore, the Torah states [in reference to the Jubilee year]: “and each man to his family you shall return” (Lev. 25:10). [This] informs [us] that fifty years are called עֹלָם. But [this does] not [mean] that he must serve him [his master] the entire fifty years, but he must serve him until the Jubilee year, regardless of whether it is near or far off. — [From Mechilta, Kid. 15a]   ועבדו לעלם: עד היובל. או אינו אלא לעולם כמשמעו, תלמוד לומר (ויקרא כה י) ואיש אל משפחתו תשובו, מגיד שחמישים שנה קרוים עולם, ולא שיהא עובדו כל חמשים שנה, אלא עובדו עד היובל בין סמוך בין מופלג:
7. Now if a man sells his daughter as a maidservant, she shall not go free as the slaves go free.   ז. וְכִי יִמְכֹּר אִישׁ אֶת בִּתּוֹ לְאָמָה לֹא תֵצֵא כְּצֵאת הָעֲבָדִים:
Now if a man sells his daughter as a maidservant: Scripture is referring [here] to a minor girl. I might think that even if she develops signs [of initial puberty, the father may sell her]. [But] you must agree that a kal vachomer [the inference of a major rule from a minor rule] applies here namely if she who is already sold goes free with signs [that is, when she has signs of initial puberty], as it is written: “she shall go out for nothing, without money” (Exod. 21:11), which we interpret as referring to the signs of initial puberty, does it not make sense that she who is not sold [and has initial signs of puberty] should not be sold [at all]? -[From Mechilta, Arachin 29a] [At the moment when a female has two pubic hairs, usually when she is twelve years old, she is no longer considered a minor. She is then called נַעִרָה. She is, however, still under her father’s jurisdiction until six months later, when her breasts have developed to a certain stage. Then she is called בּוֹגֶרֶת, a mature girl. In the case of a Hebrew maidservant, the father may sell her only when she is a minor, not after she has become a נַעִרָה   וכי ימכר איש את בתו לאמה: בקטנה הכתוב מדבר. יכול אפילו הביאה סימנים. אמרת קל וחומר ומה מכורה קודם לכן יוצאה בסימנין, כמו שנאמר (פסוק יא) ויצאה חנם אין כסף, שאנו דורשים אותן לסימני נערות, שאינה מכורה אינו דין שלא תמכר:
she shall not go free as the slaves go free: [I.e.,]-like the emancipation of Canaanite slaves, who go free because of [the loss of] a tooth or an eye. [See below, verses 26, 27.] This one [a Hebrew maidservant], however, will not go free because of [the loss of] a tooth or an eye, but she will work for [her complete] six years or until the Jubilee year or until she develops signs [of initial puberty]. Whichever comes first will be the first [event] to effect her emancipation, and [her master] will reimburse her for the value of her eye or the value of her tooth. Or perhaps this is not so [i.e., the intention of the verse], but “she shall not go free as the [male] slaves go free” [meaning] after six years or in the Jubilee year? Therefore, the Torah states: “Should your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, be sold to you…” (Deut. 15:12). This compares the Hebrew woman to the Hebrew man in regard to all the ways he can be emancipated: just as a Hebrew man goes free following six years [of service] or in the Jubilee year, so too does a Hebrew woman go free following six years [of service] or in the Jubilee year. What then is the meaning of “she shall not go free as the slaves go free” ? [This means] she shall not go free with [the loss of] the tips of her limbs, as do the Canaanite slaves. I might think [then] that [only a Hebrew maidservant does not go free due to the loss of the tips of her limbs, but] a Hebrew man does go free with [the loss of] the tips of his limbs. [Therefore, the Torah] compares the Hebrew man to the Hebrew woman: just as the Hebrew woman does not go free with [the loss of] the tips of her limbs, neither does the Hebrew man go free with [the loss of] the tips of his limbs. — [From Mechilta]   לא תצא כצאת העבדים: כיציאת עבדים כנענים שיוצאים בשן ועין, אבל זו לא תצא בשן ועין, אלא עובדת שש או עד היובל, או עד שתביא סימנין, וכל הקודם קודם לחירותה ונותן לה דמי עינה או דמי שינה, או אינו אלא לא תצא כצאת העבדים בשש וביובל, תלמוד לומר (דברים טו יב) כי ימכר לך אחיך העברי או העבריה. מקיש עבריה לעברי לכל יציאותיו מה עברי יוצא בשש וביובל, אף עבריה יוצאה בשש וביובל, ומהו לא תצא כצאת העבדים, לא תצא בראשי אברים כעבדים כנענים. יכול העברי יוצא בראשי אברים, תלמוד לומר העברי או העבריה, מקיש עברי לעבריה מה העבריה אינה יוצאה בראשי אברים, אף הוא אינו יוצא בראשי אברים:
8. If she is displeasing to her master, who did not designate her [for himself], then he shall enable her to be redeemed; he shall not rule over her to sell her to another person, when he betrays her.   ח. אִם רָעָה בְּעֵינֵי אֲדֹנֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר לוֹ יְעָדָהּ וְהֶפְדָּהּ לְעַם נָכְרִי לֹא יִמְשֹׁל לְמָכְרָהּ בְּבִגְדוֹ בָהּ:
If she is displeasing to her master: [Meaning] that she does not please him to the extent that he would [want to] marry her. — [From Mechilta]   אם רעה בעיני א-דניה: שלא נשאה חן בעיניו לכונסה:
who did not designate her: For he should have designated her and married her, and the money paid for her purchase is the money of her betrothal. Here Scripture hints that it is a mitzvah [for the master] to perform יִעוּד, designation for marriage, [with the maidservant] and it hints that she would not require any other betrothal. [I.e., neither money nor articles of value would have to be given to the girl’s father in order to marry her. The money the father originally received for selling his daughter now would become the money of betrothal from her master.]-[From Kid. 19b]   אשר לא יעדה: שהיה לו ליעדה ולהכניסה לו לאשה, וכסף קנייתה הוא כסף קידושיה. כאן רמז לך הכתוב שמצוה ביעוד ורמז לך שאינה צריכה קדושין אחרים:
he shall enable her to be redeemed: [This means] he [the master] should give her the opportunity to be redeemed and go free, for he too assists in her redemption. Now what is this opportunity that he gives her? That he deducts from her redemption, according to the number of years that she worked for him, as if she had been hired by him [and was not a slave]. How so? Let us say that he bought her for a maneh [one hundred zuz], and she worked for him for two years. We say to him, “You knew that she would ultimately leave at the end of six years. This means that you bought each year’s work for one-sixth of a maneh, and she has worked for you for two years, which equals one-third of a maneh. Accept two-thirds of a maneh [from her, to pay for the remaining four years] and let her leave you.” -[from Kid. 14b]   והפדה: יתן לה מקום להפדות ולצאת, שאף הוא מסייע בפדיונה ומה הוא מקום שנותן לה, שמגרע מפדיונה כמספר השנים שעשתה אצלו, כאלו היא שכורה אצלו. כיצד, הרי שקנאה במנה ועשתה אצלו שתי שנים אומרים לו יודע היית שעתידה לצאת לסוף שש, נמצא שקנית עבודת כל שנה ושנה בששית המנה, ועשתה אצלך שתי שנים, הרי שלישית המנה, טול שתי שלישיות המנה ותצא מאצלך:
to another person: Heb. לְעַם נָכְרִי. [Meaning] that neither the master nor the father has the right to sell her to anyone else. — [from Kid. 18a]   לעם נכרי לא ימשל למכרה: אינו רשאי למכרה לאחר, לא האדון ולא האב:
when he betrays her: If he [the master] comes to betray her and not fulfill the commandment of designation, and the father, too, since he betrayed her and sold her to this one.   בבגדו בה: אם בא לבגוד בה, שלא לקיים בה מצות ייעוד, וכן אביה, מאחר שבגד בה ומכרה לזה:
9. And if he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the law of the daughters [of Israel].   ט. וְאִם לִבְנוֹ יִיעָדֶנָּה כְּמִשְׁפַּט הַבָּנוֹת יַעֲשֶׂה לָּהּ:
And if he designates her for his son: [I.e., if] the master [chooses her as a wife for his son]. [This] teaches [us] that his son also stands in his [the master’s] place to designate her if his father so desires, and he does not require another betrothal, but he [can] say to her, “Behold, you are designated to me with the money your father received [originally] for your value.” -[From Kid. 18b]   ואם לבנו ייעדנה: האדון. מלמד, שאף בנו קם תחתיו ליעדה, אם ירצה אביו, ואינו צריך לקדשה קידושין אחרים. אלא אומר לה הרי את מיועדת לי בכסף שקיבל אביך בדמיך:
according to the law of the daughters [of Israel]: Meaning sustenance, clothing, and marital relations. — [From Mechilta]   כמשפט הבנות: שאר, כסות ועונה:
10. If he takes another [wife] for himself, he shall not diminish her sustenance, her clothing, or her marital relations.   י. אִם אַחֶרֶת יִקַּח לוֹ שְׁאֵרָהּ כְּסוּתָהּ וְעֹנָתָהּ לֹא יִגְרָע:
If he takes another [wife] for himself: in addition to her. — [From Mechilta]   אם אחרת יקח לו: עליה:
he shall not diminish her sustenance, her clothing, or her marital relations: from the maidservant whom he had already designated. — [From Mechilta]   שארה כסותה וענתה לא יגרע: מן האמה שיעד לו כבר:
her sustenance: Heb. שְׁאֵרָהּ, [referring to] food. — [From Mechilta, Keth. 47b]   שארה: מזונות:
her clothing: Heb. כְּסוּתָה, lit., her covering As its apparent meaning [namely her clothing].   כסותה: כמשמעו:
her marital relations: Heb. עֹנָתָה, [meaning physical] intimacy. — [From Mechilta, Keth. 47b]   ענתה: תשמיש:
11. And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go free without charge, without [payment of] money.   יא. וְאִם שְׁלָשׁ אֵלֶּה לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה לָהּ וְיָצְאָה חִנָּם אֵין כָּסֶף:
And if he does not do these three things for her: If he does not do any one of these three things for her. Now what are these three things? He should designate her for himself or for his son [as a wife], or he should deduct from the money of her redemption and allow her to go free. But this one [master] designated her neither for himself nor for his son, and she could not afford to redeem herself [even after the deduction]. — [From Mechilta]   ואם שלש אלה לא יעשה לה: אם אחת משלש אלה לא יעשה לה, ומה הן השלש, ייעדנה לו, או לבנו, או יגרע מפדיונה ותצא, וזה לא ייעדה לא לו ולא לבנו, והיא לא היה בידה לפדות את עצמה:
she shall go free without charge: [The text] adds [another means of] emancipation for this [maidservant] beyond what it provided for male slaves. Now what is this [means of] emancipation? וְיָצְאָה חִנָם informs you that she goes free when she shows [initial] signs [of puberty], and she must stay with him until she develops [these] signs. If six years pass before the appearance of these signs, we have already learned that she goes free, as it is said: “Should your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman [be sold to you, that one] shall serve you for six years” (Deut. 15: 12). What then is the meaning of “she shall go out without charge” ? If the signs [of puberty] precede the [end of] six years, she shall go free because of them. Or perhaps it means only that she goes out when she reaches maturity [i.e., at twelve and a half years]? Therefore, Scripture says: “without [payment of] money,” to include her emancipation at maturity. If both of them [i.e., that she goes free “without charge” and “without money”] were not stated, [and “she shall go out without charge” was stated,] I would say that “she shall go out without charge” refers to [her being freed at] maturity. Therefore, both of them were stated, so that the disputant has no opportunity to differ. -[From Mechilta, Kid. 4a]   ויצאה חנם: ריבה לה יציאה לזו יותר ממה שריבה לעבדים, ומה היא היציאה, ללמדך שתצא בסימנין ותשהה עמו עד שתביא סימנין. ואם הגיעו שש שנים קודם סימנין, כבר למדנו שתצא, שנאמר (דברים טו יב) העברי או העבריה ועבדך שש שנים, ומהו האמור כאן ויצאה חנם, שאם קדמו סימנים לשש שנים תצא בהן, או אינו אומר שתצא אלא בבגרות תלמוד לומר אין כסף לרבות יציאת בגרות ואם לא נאמרו שניהם הייתי אומר ויצאה חנם זו בגרות, לכך נאמרו שניהם, שלא ליתן פתחון פה לבעל הדין לחלוק:
12. One who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.   יב. מַכֵּה אִישׁ וָמֵת מוֹת יוּמָת:
One who strikes a man so that he dies: Several verses have been written in the section dealing with murderers, and I will explain what I am able to explain [about] why they [these verses] are needed.   מכה איש ומת: כמה כתובים נאמרו בפרשת [במיתת] רוצחין, ומה שבידי לפרש למה באו כולם, אפרש:
One who strikes a man so that he dies: Why was this said? Because it says: “And if a man strikes down any human being, he shall surely be put to death” (Lev. 24:17), I understand [that even if he deals him] a blow without death. Therefore, the Torah says: “He who strikes a man and he dies,” meaning that he is liable only for a blow causing death. If it said: “He who strikes a man,” and it did not say, “And if a man strikes down any human being,” I would say that one is liable only if one strikes a man. If one strikes a woman or a minor, how do we know [that one is liable]? Therefore, the Torah says: “if [a man] strikes down any human being,” referring even to a minor or even a woman. Also, if it said: “He who strikes a man,” I would understand that even a minor who struck and killed [someone] would be liable. Therefore, the Torah [specifically] says: “if a man strikes down,” but not a minor who strikes [someone] down. Also, “if… strikes down any human being” implies even a nonviable infant. Therefore, the Torah [here] says: “He who strikes a man,” implying one is liable only if one strikes a viable infant, one [who is] capable of becoming a man [i.e., an adult]. -[From Mechilta]   מכה איש ומת: למה נאמר, לפי שנאמר (ויקרא כד יז) ואיש כי יכה כל נפש אדם מות יומת, שומע אני בהכאה בלא מיתה, תלמוד לומר מכה איש ומת, אינו חייב אלא בהכאה של מיתה. ואם נאמר מכה איש, ולא נאמר ואיש כי יכה, הייתי אומר אינו חייב עד שיכה איש, היכה את האשה ואת הקטן מנין, תלמוד לומר כי יכה כל נפש אדם, אפילו קטן ואפילו אשה. ועוד אלו נאמר מכה איש, שומע אני, אפילו קטן שהכה והרג יהא חייב, תלמוד לומר ואיש כי יכה, ולא קטן שהכה. ועוד, כי יכה כל נפש אדם, אפילו נפלים במשמע, תלמוד לומר מכה איש, אינו חייב עד שיכה בן קיימא ראוי להיות איש:
13. But one who did not stalk [him], but God brought [it] about into his hand, I will make a place for you to which he shall flee.   יג. וַאֲשֶׁר לֹא צָדָה וְהָאֱלֹהִים אִנָּה לְיָדוֹ וְשַׂמְתִּי לְךָ מָקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יָנוּס שָׁמָּה:
But one who did not stalk [him]: He did not lie in wait for him, and he did not intend [to kill him]. -[From Sifrei, Num. 35:22]   ואשר לא צדה: לא ארב לו ולא נתכוין:
stalk: Heb. צָדָה, an expression meaning “lie in wait.” And so does Scripture say: “but you are stalking (צֹדֶה) my soul to take it” (I Sam. 24:12). It is, however, impossible to say that צָדָה is an expression [that is] related to [hunting animals as in the following verse:] “the one who hunted game צַיִד) (הַצָּד ” (Gen. 27:33) [and to render: he did not hunt him down], because in [the expression of] hunting beasts, there is no “hey” in its verb, and the noun related to it is צַיִד, whereas the noun in this case is צְדִיָּה (Num. 35:20), and its verb is צוֹדֶה, but the verb of this one [namely hunting] is צָּד. I say, [therefore,] that this is to be interpreted as the Targum [Onkelos] renders: But he who did not stalk [him]. Menachem, however, classified it (Machbereth Menachem, p. 148) in the grouping along with הַצָּד צַיִד, but I disagree with him. If it is at all possible to classify it in one of the groupings of צד [enumerated by Menachem], we may classify it in the grouping of “on the side (צַד) you shall be borne” (Isa. 66:12); “I shall shoot to the side (צִדָּה) ” (I Sam. 20:20); “And he will speak words against [lit., to the side of] (לְצַד) the Most High” (Dan. 7:25). Here, too, אִשֶׁר לֹא צָדָה means that he did not look sideways (צִדֵּד) to find for him some occasion [lit., side] to kill him. This [interpretation] too is questionable. In any case, it is an expression of stalking. [   צדה: לשון ארב, וכן הוא אומר (שמואל א כד יא) ואתה צודה את נפשי לקחתה, ולא יתכן לומר צדה לשון הצד ציד (בראשית כז לג), שצידת חיות אין נופל ה"א בפועל שלה, ושם דבר בה ציד, וזה שם דבר בו צדיה ופועל שלו צודה, וזה פועל שלו צד. ואומר אני פתרונו כתרגומו ודלא כמן ליה. ומנחם חברו בחלק צד ציד, ואין אני מודה לו. ואם יש לחברו באחת ממחלוקת של צד, נחברנו בחלק (ישעיה סו יב) על צד תנשאו, צדה אורה (שמואל א' כ כ), ומלין לצד עלאה ימלל (דניאל ז כה). אף כאן אשר לא צדה לא צדד למצוא לו שום צד מיתה, ואף זה יש להרהר עליו, סוף דבר לשון אורב הוא:
but God brought [it] about into his hand: Heb. אִנָּה, made it ready for his hand, an expression similar to “No harm will be prepared (תְאוּנֶּה) for you” (Ps. 91:10); No wrong shall be prepared (יְאוּנֶּה) (Prov. 12:21); [and] “he is preparing himself (מִתְאַנֶה) against me” (II Kings 5:7), [meaning that] he is preparing himself to find a pretext against me..   והא-להים אנה לידו: זימן לידו, לשון לא תאונה אליך רעה (תהלים צא י), לא יאונה לצדיק כל און (משלי יב כא), מתאנה הוא לי (מלכים ב' ה ז), מזדמן למצוא לי עילה:
but God brought [it] about into his hand: Now why should this go out from before Him? That is what David said, “As the proverb of the Ancient One says, ‘From the wicked comes forth wickedness’” (I Sam. 24:14). The proverb of the Ancient One is the Torah, which is the proverb of the Holy One, blessed is He, Who is the Ancient One of the world. Now where did the Torah say, “From the wicked comes forth wickedness” ? [This refers to:] “but God brought [it] about into his hand.” To what is the text referring? To two people, one who killed unintentionally and one who killed intentionally, but there were no witnesses who would testify to the matter. This one [who killed intentionally] was not executed, and that one [who killed unintentionally] was not exiled [to the refuge cities]. So the Holy One, blessed is He, brings them [both] to one inn. The one who killed intentionally sits under a ladder, and the one who killed unintentionally is ascending the ladder, and he falls on the one who had killed intentionally and kills him, and witnesses testify about him and sentence him to exile. The result is that the one who killed unintentionally is exiled, and the one who killed intentionally was killed. -[From Mechilta, Makkoth 10b]   והא-להים אנה לידו: ולמה תצא זאת מלפניו, הוא שאמר דוד (שמואל א' כד יג) כאשר יאמר משל הקדמוני מרשעים יצא רשע, ומשל הקדמוני היא התורה, שהיא משל הקב"ה שהוא קדמונו של עולם. והיכן אמרה תורה מרשעים יצא רשע, והא-להים אנה לידו. במה הכתוב מדבר, בשני בני אדם, אחד הרג שוגג ואחד הרג מזיד, ולא היו עדים בדבר שיעידו, זה לא נהרג וזה לא גלה, והקב"ה מזמנן לפונדק אחד, זה שהרג במזיד יושב תחת הסולם, וזה שהרג שוגג עולה בסולם ונופל על זה שהרג במזיד והורגו, ועדים מעידים עליו ומחייבים אותו לגלות, נמצא זה שהרג בשוגג גולה, וזה שהרג במזיד נהרג:
I will make a place for you: Even in the desert, where he [the man who has murdered] shall flee, and what place affords him asylum? This is the camp of the Levites. -[From Mechilta, Mak. 12b]   ושמתי לך מקום: אף במדבר, שינוס שמה, ואיזה מקום קולטו, זה מחנה לויה:
14. But if a man plots deliberately against his friend to slay him with cunning, [even] from My altar you shall take him to die.   יד. וְכִי יָזִד אִישׁ עַל רֵעֵהוּ לְהָרְגוֹ בְעָרְמָה מֵעִם מִזְבְּחִי תִּקָּחֶנּוּ לָמוּת:
But if… plots deliberately: Why was this said? Because it said: “One who strikes [a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death]” (verse 12), I [may] understand [this to apply to] a physician [who killed a patient], the agent of the court who killed by [administering] forty lashes, the father who strikes his son, the teacher who disciplines his pupil, and the unintentional [killer]. Therefore, the Torah states: “But if [a man] plots deliberately,” but not the unintentional [killer]; “to slay him with cunning,” but not the agent of the court, the physician, or the one who disciplines his son or his pupil, for although they are intentional [in striking], they do not act with cunning. -[From Mechilta]   וכי יזיד: למה נאמר, לפי שנאמר מכה איש וגו' שומע אני אפילו גוי, והרופא שהרג ושליח בית דין שהמית במלקות ארבעים, והאב המכה את בנו, והרב הרודה את תלמידו, והשוגג, תלמוד לומר וכי יזיד ולא שוגג על רעהו ולא על גוי. להרגו בערמה - ולא שליח בית דין והרופא והרודה את בנו ותלמידו, שאף על פי שהם מזידין אין מערימין:
[even] from My altar: if he were a kohen and wanted to perform the [sacrificial] service, you shall take him to die. [From Mechilta, Yoma 85a]   מעם מזבחי: אם היה כהן ורוצה לעבוד עבודה, תקחנו למות:
15. And one who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.   טו. וּמַכֵּה אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ מוֹת יוּמָת:
And one who strikes his father or his mother: Since we learned that one who strikes one’s fellow is liable to make monetary compensation (Exod. 21:18, 19, 24, 25), but he is not liable to death, the text had to state that one who strikes his father is liable to the death penalty, but he is not liable except for a blow that causes a wound. -[From Mechilta, Sanh. 84b]   ומכה אביו ואמו: לפי שלמדנו על החובל בחבירו שהוא בתשלומין ולא במיתה, הוצרך לומר על החובל באביו שהוא במיתה, ואינו חייב אלא בהכאה שיש בה חבורה:
his father or his mother: Either this one or that one. -[From Mechilta, Sanh. 85b]   אביו ואמו: או זה או זה:
shall surely be put to death: by strangulation. -[From Mechilta, Sanh. 85b]   מות יומת: בחנק:
16. And whoever kidnaps a man, and he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.   טז. וְגֹנֵב אִישׁ וּמְכָרוֹ וְנִמְצָא בְיָדוֹ מוֹת יוּמָת:
And whoever kidnaps a man: Why was this said [here since the law of kidnapping is mentioned elsewhere (Ho’il Moshe)]? Since it says (Deut. 24:7): “Should a man be found stealing a person from among his brothers” [meaning from the children of Israel, and he has worked with him and sold him, that thief shall die, and you shall clear away the evil from your midst]. [From here] I know only [that] a man who kidnapped a person [is liable to death]. How do I know if a woman, one of indeterminate sex, or a hermaphrodite kidnap [a person, that they too are liable to death]? Therefore, the Torah states: “And whoever kidnaps a man and sells him…” And since it says here: “And whoever kidnaps a man,” I know only that one who kidnaps a man [is liable to death]. How do I know that if one kidnaps a woman [he is also liable… to death]? Therefore, the Torah states (Deut. 24: 7): “stealing a person.” Therefore, both of them [both verses] were needed; what one [verse] left out the other [verse] filled in [lit., revealed]. -[From Mechilta, Sanh. 85b]   וגנב איש ומכרו: למה נאמר, לפי שנאמר (דברים כד ז) כי ימצא איש גונב נפש מאחיו, אין לי אלא איש שגנב נפש, אשה או טומטום או אנדרוגינוס שגנבו מנין, תלמוד לומר וגונב איש ומכרו. ולפי שנאמר כאן וגונב איש, אין לי אלא גונב איש, גונב אשה מנין, תלמוד לומר (שם) גונב נפש, לכך הוצרכו שניהם, מה שחסר זה גלה זה:
and he is found in his possession: [I.e., this means] that witnesses saw him that he kidnapped him and sold him, and he [the kidnapped man] was found in his hand prior to the sale. -[From Mechilta]   ונמצא בידו: שראוהו עדים שגנבו ומכרו ונמצא בידו כבר קודם מכירה:
shall surely be put to death: By strangulation. Every death penalty mentioned in the Torah without qualification is strangulation (Mechilta, Sanh. 84b). [God] interrupts the subject [of discussing sins against parents] and writes, “and whoever kidnaps a man” between [the verses] “one who strikes his father or his mother” and “one who curses his father or his mother.” It appears to me that that is [the underlying reason for] the controversy [found in Sanh. 85], that one Tannaic master believes that we are comparing striking [someone] to cursing [i.e., just as one is liable only if one curses a person who keeps the commandments as befits a Jew (see Exod. 22:27), so too is one liable only for striking a person who keeps the commandments, but not for striking a Cuthite], and the other master believes that we do not compare cursing to striking [and thus one would be liable for striking a Cuthite even though he does not keep the commandments]. -[Rashi, referring to Sanh. 85b]   מות יומת: בחנק, כל מיתה האמורה בתורה סתם חנק היא. [והפסיק הענין וכתב וגונב איש, בין מכה אביו ואמו למקלל אביו ואמו, ונראה לי היינו פלוגתא, דמר סבר מקשינן הכאה לקללה, ומר סבר לא מקשינן]:
17. And one who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.   יז. וּמְקַלֵּל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ מוֹת יוּמָת:
And one who curses his father or his mother: Why was this said? Since [Scripture] says: “any man, any man who curses his father [or his mother shall surely be put to death]” (Lev. 20:9). [From there] I know only that if a man curses his father [he is liable to death]. How do I know that if a woman curses her father [she too is liable to death]? Therefore, Scripture says [here]: “And one who curses his father or his mother….” It makes an unqualified statement, meaning whether it is a man or a woman. If so, why does it say, “any man who curses” ? [In order] to exclude a minor. -[From Mechilta]   ומקלל אביו ואמו: למה נאמר, לפי שהוא אומר (ויקרא כ ט) איש איש אשר יקלל את אביו, אין לי אלא איש שקלל את אביו, אשה שקללה את אביה מנין, תלמוד לומר ומקלל אביו ואמו סתם בין איש ובין אשה. אם כן למה נאמר איש אשר יקלל, להוציא את הקטן:
shall surely be put to death: By stoning. Wherever it says: “his blood is upon him,” [it means that he is to be put to death] by stoning. The model for all of them is “with rocks they shall stone them; their blood is upon them” (Lev. 20:27). Regarding the one who curses his father, it says: “his blood is upon him” (Lev. 20:9). -[From Mechilta; Sanh. 66a; Sifra, end of Kedoshim]   מות יומת: בסקילה, וכל מקום שנאמר דמיו בו, בסקילה ובנין אב לכולם (ויקרא כ כז) באבן ירגמו אותם דמיהם בם, ובמקלל אביו ואמו נאמר דמיו בו (ויקרא כ ט):
18. And if men quarrel, and one strikes the other with a stone or with a fist, and he does not die but is confined to [his] bed,   יח. וְכִי יְרִיבֻן אֲנָשִׁים וְהִכָּה אִישׁ אֶת רֵעֵהוּ בְּאֶבֶן אוֹ בְאֶגְרֹף וְלֹא יָמוּת וְנָפַל לְמִשְׁכָּב:
And if men quarrel: Why was this said? Since it says: “An eye for an eye” (Exod. 21:24), we learn only [that if one assaults his fellow, he must pay] the value of his limbs [which he amputated or rendered permanently useless], but [payment for] idleness and healing we have not [yet] learned. Therefore, this section, [which delineates those payments,] was stated. -[From Mechilta]   וכי יריבן אנשים: למה נאמר, לפי שנאמר (פסוק כד) עין תחת עין, לא למדנו אלא דמי איבריו, אבל שבת ורפוי לא למדנו, לכך נאמרה פרשה זו:
but is confined to [his] bed: Heb. וְנָפַל לְמִשְׁכָּב, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders: לְבוּטְלָן, and he falls into idleness, [meaning] into an illness that prevents him from working.   ונפל למשכב: כתרגומו ויפול לבוטלן, לחולי שמבטלו ממלאכתו:
19. if he gets up and walks about outside on his support, the assailant shall be cleared; he shall give only [payment] for his [enforced] idleness, and he shall provide for his cure.   יט. אִם יָקוּם וְהִתְהַלֵּךְ בַּחוּץ עַל מִשְׁעַנְתּוֹ וְנִקָּה הַמַּכֶּה רַק שִׁבְתּוֹ יִתֵּן וְרַפֹּא יְרַפֵּא:
on his support: Heb. עַל-מִשְׁעַנְךְתּוֹ, with his health and his strength. -[From Mechilta].   על משענתו: על בוריו וכחו:
the assailant shall be cleared: Now would it enter your mind that one who did not kill should be killed? But rather, [the Torah] teaches you here that they imprison him until it becomes apparent whether this one [the victim] will get well, and this is its meaning: When this one gets up and walks on his support, then the assailant shall be cleared, but before this one [the victim] gets up, the assailant shall not be cleared. -[From Keth. 33b]   ונקה המכה: וכי תעלה על דעתך שיהרג זה שלא הרג, אלא למדך כאן שחובשים אותו, עד שנראה אם יתרפא זה, וכן משמעו כשקם זה והולך על משענתו אז נקה המכה, אבל עד שלא יקום זה לא נקה המכה:
only [payment] for his [enforced] idleness: Heb. שִׁבְךְתּוֹ, the [enforced] idleness from his work due to the illness. If he cut off his hand or his foot, we assess [payment for] the idleness as if he were a watchman of a cucumber field, because even after [recovery from] the illness, he is not fit for work that requires a hand or foot, and he [the assailant] already gave him as payment for his damage the value of his hand and his foot, as it is said: “a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot” (Exod. 21:24). -[From B.K. 83b, 85b, Tosefta B.K. 9:1]   רק שבתו: בטול מלאכתו מחמת החולי, אם קטע ידו או רגלו, רואין בטול מלאכתו מחמת החולי כאילו הוא שומר קשואין, שהרי אף לאחר החולי אינו ראוי למלאכת יד ורגל, והוא כבר נתן לו מחמת נזקו דמי ידו ורגלו, שנאמר (פסוק כד) יד תחת יד רגל תחת רגל:
and he shall provide for his cure: As the Targum [Onkelos] renders: and he shall pay the physician’s fee.   ורפא ירפא: כתרגומו, ישלם שכר הרופא:
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