Aliya Summary: This Aliya continues with laws of personal injury: the punishment for one who kills or injures his servant and for one who causes a woman to miscarry. The Torah then shifts its focus to a person’s liabilities for damages caused by his possessions, such as an ox that gores; or his actions, such as leaving an open pit uncovered. A person who steals is liable to pay the capital plus punitive damages. The section concludes with a person’s right to self-defense when facing a marauding thief.
The Torah elaborates on the rules of personal injuries requiring the guilty party to pay compensatory damages. The famous “an eye for an eye…” passage has stimulated much slander against the Torah and Judaism by being construed literally. Our Oral Tradition explains the passage as requiring a thorough evaluation by the court to determine the proper amounts to be paid to the injured party.