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September 11, 2016 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Ki Tetze

One of the more unusual laws in the Torah (Deut. 25:11) states that if two men “get into a fight with each other, and the wife of one comes up to save her husband from his antagonist and puts out her hand and sizes him by his genitals, you shall cut off her hand.” (I note that the Talmud requires payment of damages by the wife rather than hand-slicing).

JPS refers to the fighting males as “men.”  However, Arama calls them “brothers” and writes that this language “indicates that the quarrel was not that serious that one parth tried to kill the other.  When the wife interferes in such a situation in a manner that endangers the life of her husband’s opponent, she has heightened the tension between them.”

I am not sure Arama’s translation is right.  But I like the ethical point he is trying to make: when two acquaintances are having a quarrel, try to avoid escalating the conflict.

 

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