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Parsha Gems: Shelach

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Parsha Gems: Shelach

Study some of the highlights of the weekly Torah portion with insights from various commentaries.
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Spies, Shlach

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Shmary Brownstein July 17, 2013

To David Rosen What is the purpose of punishment? In secular law it can be revenge, or as a deterrent from future violations. In the Divine Torah, consequences of disobedience are predicated on the idea that transgression is not only antisocial, but unholy and damaging to the soul. Punishment repairs the damage done to one's own soul, as well as to the universal purpose of G-d for creation. The death penalty is prescribed when one has violated G-d's holiness almost irreparably, for which only death can atone. Violating the holiness of the Sabbath is one such instance. Rape, on the other hand, is a crime against a fellow human being as well as against G-d. The victim gains nothing from the perpetrator's corporal punishment; but Torah requires that the victim be paid for her pain, shame, medical costs, any permanent damage, and wages lost. In some cases the rapist must obligate himself to her forever through marriage. A life would be taken only to protect future victims. Reply

David Rosen July 7, 2013

Stoned for gathering Sticks Would you comment on why such a harsh treatment for gathering sticks and not a harsh punishment for rape. I am confused by this Reply

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