When telling us the laws of damages, the Torah says, "Ayin Tachas Ayin" - "An Eye For An Eye". What doeas this mean are we to literally take our eye out if we damage someone else's eye??

No, Chazal explain, this shouldn't be taken literally. Rather, if one blinded his fellow man's eye, he gives him the value of his eye. This is assessed in terms of how much value was decreased by his blinding, with respect to selling him as a slave in the marketplace.

The Vilna Gaon finds a hint to this is the wording of the pasuk. The correct way of phrasing, "An Eye For An Eye", would have been, "Ayin BiAd Ayin". Why does the Torah use this unusual term "Tachas" - which means "Under"?

He answers, "Tachas Ayin" tells us, to take the letters that are "under" - "after"- the letters "Ayin Yud Nun" in the word "Ayin". After Ayin is a Pay, After Yud is a Kuf, After Nun is a Samach

This Kuf Samach and Pay spells "Kesef" - "Money", alluding to the payment one must give for blinding another Jew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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