In this week’s Torah Portion the laws of slaves, cattle, damages, money matters, idolatry, how to treat a foreigner in the land of Israel, laws of shmitah (no work to be done on the land inc.. vineyards & olive groves .. during the seventh year no –cropping and planting), reminder to keep the three festivals: Passover, Shavouth and Sukkoth, laws of kosher (not to cook meat in milk ), land of Israel and Moses (Moshe) ascends on top of the mountain of Sinai for forty nights and days to receive the stone tablets(Torah= Bible) and commandments
It’s fascinating to note the way the torah deals with stealing.
If a person steals an ox or sheep one would think he would be responsible to pay back an ox for an ox. The torah explains that one’s material possessions are worth more. If one steals an ox he/she would be responsible to pay back five oxen. If one sheep was taken than he/she would pay back four sheep.
What if the thief doesn’t have any money to pay back for his/her theft? He/she must than be sold as a slave to make full restitution for his/her theft. The laws of how to treat slaves is also very detailed. The Torah takes great care in explaining in detail how one must treat a slave. We must remember and not forget the slavery of Egypt. Slaves were not allowed to be abused or mistreated and even were allowed to marry their owners.
What happens if a burglar broke in to one’s house and was killed in the process…? Who is responsible? Well, according to the Torah if a burglar was caught in the act of breaking in and was killed it would not be considered murder. But if he/she killed in broad day light it is considered an act of murder to kill him! The day light by commentaries refers to the idea that the act is done in the presence of witnesses!
Beth Shifra Crew