Simcha Feuerman
Psychology, Torah and the Daf Yomi

If You Insult a Person, You Insult God (God forbid!) Nazir 48 Psych of the Daf

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph quotes a verse (Vayikra 24:18)

וּמַכֵּ֥ה נֶֽפֶשׁ־בְּהֵמָ֖ה יְשַׁלְּמֶ֑נָּה נֶ֖פֶשׁ תַּ֥חַת נָֽפֶשׁ׃

One who smites the soul of a beast shall make restitution for it: life for life.

Rav Yosef Bekhor Shor (ibid 24:17) says a remarkable peshat based on juxtaposition of two prior verses:

וְנֹקֵ֤ב שֵׁם המ֣וֹת יוּמָ֔ת …

and one who also pronounces the name of Hashem (to curse Him) shall be put to death…

וְאִ֕ישׁ כִּ֥י יַכֶּ֖ה כָּל־נֶ֣פֶשׁ אָדָ֑ם מ֖וֹת יוּמָֽת׃

If any party kills any human being, that person shall be put to death

Rav Yosef Bekhor Shor says that though Hashem demands honor and the death penalty if His name is disrespected, in the next verses God also demands that human life be guarded, and even further, a man’s possessions also must be guarded. Restitution is demanded of the offender.

This is along the lines of what we have seen in prior dappim.  The human form represents the form of God even to the extent that we place the highest priority on the dignity of a corpse. If that is how we are to treat a lifeless corpse, how much more must we treat a live human. Hashem is equating financial restitution of a human with His own honor.  Man is made in God’s image, and an affront to a person is an affront to God.

About the Author
Rabbi, Psychotherapist with 30 years experience specializing in high conflict couples and families.
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