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  • Torah and Jewish Thought

Parshas Shoftim ch. 19, verse 21


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Elul 28, 5778
Parshas Shoftim ch. 19, verse 21 states, "...your eyes shall not pity; life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand etc." As per commentary, the offender will make monetary compensation Q1: As per halacha, if anyone murders other, if murder’s accidental he goes to quarantine; if deliberate, he’ll suffer death sentence. If this is so, the "life for life" crime shouldn’t be included in the category, "monetary compensation" - complete contradiction? Q2: If the offender hasn’t got money to pay the victim, then what happens to the offender? Thank you, kol tuv R Sankar
ב"ה Shalom The Torah is talking about witnesses who testify falsely against a person that he had committed murder or stolen and they plotted so that the person they testified against be punished. The Torah then says that if other witnesses came and refuted the original false testimony and it was verified that indeed the original witnesses testified falsely, the false witnesses are punished with the same punishment they had plotted against this person. If they plotted for him to be killed , they are killed if they plotted for him to pay money, they must pay money. Therefore, there is no contradiction because the false witnesses are punished according to what they plotted. All the best and Shana Tova
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