[Avodah] "An eye for and eye," etc.

Zvi Lampel zvilampel at gmail.com
Tue Feb 20 19:24:12 PST 2024

On Tue, Feb 20, 2024 at 5:12 PM Micha Berger <micha at aishdas.org> wrote:

> RMB: On Tue, Feb 20, 2024 at 02:17:46PM -0500, Zvi Lampel via Avodah wrote:

> ZL: > Avodah readers are of course aware that the Talmud (Bava Kamma 8:1,
> 28a, )
> > states that the actual consequence for physically damaging someone is a
> > monetary fine...
> ....
> > Rav Yitzchak Isaac Halevy in Doros HaRishonim (II:16, p. 426ff.) strongly
> > maintains that it is not that the translation of the phrase is monetary
> > compensation...
> RMB: The gemara uses this example to discuss whether a derashah needs to be
> panui mishnei tzedadim / qera yatira, or if only one of the two pesuqim
> has to be available for derashah. So, it's definitely derashah.

ZL: The Gemara offers several explanations for why  the application of
"ayin tachas ayin" is not the blinding of the criminal's eye. Most are
drashos, such as the one you reference. But as I mentioned, another is not
drash, but the Torah's way of saying what ought to be done if compensation
is not provided.

> RMB: Which explains Unqelus and R Saadia Gaon saying peshat is physical.

ZL: But Unqelos sometimes "translates" pesukim the way Chazal darshan. For
example, "Do not cook a kid in its mother's milk," Unqelos "translates as
"Do not cook meat and milk together,"

> RMB: But, given how often "tachas" does mean payment, *why* is this
> considered
> derashah, and not simply idiom? That bothers me.

 ZL: The idea that "tachas" means payment is indeed another explanation the
Gemara offers. It doesn't say that this is a drash.

> RMB: Also related, taking some edge off my question... "They say" that
> peshat
> in the pasuq is the Mussar, whereas derashah contains the Halakhah. This
> pasuq being a usual example; peshat in the pasuq is about being as
> careful with someone else's safety as one would with one's own, because
> in a sense a person would deserve the same injury that they caused. That
> is the attitude, values and middos message. And this is true for Tanakh
> as a whole. Neviim don't source halakhah because they are only peshat
> (and remez and sod?) not derashah. Tanakh is a Mussar book. It's just
> that Chumash has a second layer as well.

ZL: Rambam and Ibn Ezra say something similar: That the posuk is saying
that the perpetrator really deserves to have the same injury inflicted on
him, although kofer is an alternative. (As I mentioned, the Doros
HaRishonim supports himself with this.
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