Stealing Juxtaposition by Tzvi Zuckier


Parshat Mishpatim states (21:16), “VeGoneiv Ish UMcharo VeNimtza VeYado Mot Yumat,” “One who kidnaps a man and sells him…shall be killed.” This Pasuk is surrounded by two Pesukim dealing with one who curses or hits his parents.  The Torah easily could have put the two Pesukim dealing with children who mistreat parents next to each other, and placed the Pasuk regarding kidnapping somewhere else.  Why did the Torah go out of its way to place kidnapping between two Pesukim dealing with rebellious children?

Alexander Zushye Friedman, in his Sefer Maayanah Shel Torah, answers this question.  He cites Ibn Ezra, quoting Rav Saadia Gaon, who states the following: normally, it is extremely rare to find a case of someone who strikes or curses his parents.  However, when one who was kidnapped as a child discovers his true parents, he may curse or hit them out of pain and anger.  This is why a kidnapper receives such a harsh punishment – not just for kidnapping, but also for causing the child who was stolen to transgress a sin which also entails the death penalty. 

In his comments on the Pesukim about mistreating parents and kidnapping, Rashi states that the Pasuk regarding kidnapping is the source of a Machloket in the Gemara in which one side holds that we compare striking and cursing parents for punishment purposes, while the other holds that we do not.  The one who says that we do not compare the two can answer our original question.  According to that opinion, the Torah must have placed kidnapping between cursing and hitting parents to show that hitting and cursing should not be compared.  By creating a barrier between the two Pesukim, the Torah shows that we should not connect them.

Triple Crown by Willie Roth

Missed the Point by Yitzchak Richmond