Wednesday, February 15, 2012

TORAH LAW 101:202

Repayment for stolen properly
 If a man is to steal an ox he is to repay the man 5x more; however, if he is to steal a sheep, he only has to repay him 4x more. What is the discrepancy between the ox and the sheep? There are two opinions as follows:
1.     Because the ox is considered a more valuable animal, it can provide labors the sheep cannot, hence, it is deemed more valuable; thereby, the theft is charged 5x.

2.     When someone steals an ox, he can merrily walk away with it, which deems to be a less shameful experience. However, when a person steals a sheep, he must degrade himself and pick it up and carry it on his shoulders; thereby, suffering embarrassment. From this, Hashem diminishes the repayment punishment for the man who steals the sheep, for he already suffered some embarrassment from stealing the sheep in the first place.
It is incredible to see how compassionate Hashem is, to even be concerned about the honor of a thief. From this, we should all have in mind, that indeed Hashem does punish those who sin; however, in His great mercy, He provides punishment in an honorable way. Hashem is not looking to harshly smite His children for sinning, rather, He is acknowledging that we do sin and He punishes us accordingly, but He is still empathetic and punishes with the utter most sensitivity when we do succumb to be sinful. 

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