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Rabbi Gordon - Mishpatim: 2nd Portion

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5 Comments
Terrenza Texas, USA June 20, 2015

re: ox vs lamb compensation Please excuse my impertinence for offering an answer to Terry from Broomall, PA. One of the first video classes I watched on Chabad was "An Introduction to Talmud," by Eliezer Wolf. He explains in detail how the compensations are determined, using the examples of both livestock and personal property. He also details liability issues for borrowers, lenders, thieves, partners, spouses, heirs, etc. I am certain you will find the answer to your question there. I believe when it comes to livestock, the compensation includes potential loss of future earnings and offspring. Reply

Terry Broomall, PA February 10, 2015

Value of an Ox vs value of a lamb Thank you..my question is related specifically to what rabbi Gordon mentioned as the difference between the value of a bull vs that of the lamb. He mentioned that it was due to the nature of the ox as a working animal, hence the loss was greater than that of the lamb when sold or slaughtered by thievery. So, I am wondering why this principle does not apply to the theft of a recovered animal. As you point out, Torah teaches that the penalty value of theft of the recovered animals is the same. What now lacks clarity, for me, is why there is a difference when the animals are sold or slaughtered by the thief? This leads me to think that the principle for recovered property then, is that the twofold penalty is sufficient as regards to the pain of the loss. If unrecovered, then the pain of the loss of the working animal is greater. Does this make sense as a principle for evaluating loss? Do any commentators deal with this? Reply

Shaul Wolf Chabad.org February 10, 2015

Re: The additional penalty of paying either four or five times the value of the stolen animal is only applicable if the animal is either sold or slaughtered. This is made clear in 21:37, where it states "If a man steals a bull or a lamb and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five cattle for the bull or four sheep for the lamb."
For any other theft, when the animal was not slaughtered or sold, only double compensation is paid. Reply

Terry Broomall, PA February 9, 2015

Question about Value In 21:37 we learn that the penalty for stolen animals reflects their ability to perform work (five for a bull and four for a lamb). The penalty in 22:3 for any animal, working or non-working, still in possession of the thief, is twofold - the same. How is this explained? The value of work has still been lost to the owner. Reply

Carole Holt Bournemouth, UK May 18, 2012

Explaining the Laws I just love the way you explain all the laws Rabbi Gordon, you make it so interesting. I read my Study Bible first and then listen to your class, you make it so clear and fun, that it is the most wonderful start to the day. Thank you, may you keep your classes going for ever. Reply

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