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Parsha Mitzvot-Mishpatim-Mitzvah 46 – Concept 481

“If men quarrel and one strikes his fellow with a stone or a fist, and he does not die but falls into bed. If he gets up and goes about outside under his own power, the one who struck him is absolved. Only for his lost time shall he pay, and he shall provide for healing.” (Exodus 21:18-19)  The court must implement laws against one who assaults another or damages another’s property. (Rambam, Hilchot Chovail U’Mazik – The Laws of Assault and Battery.

It is possible to read this verse as describing a person’s inner battle with his Yetzer Harah – Evil Inclination. The Yetzer Harah attacks in different ways. There are times when he attempts to cause the person to become depressed and give up hope. This is similar to placing a heavy weight on the person – “with a stone.” There are other times when the Evil Inclination will confront the person with sheer force, described in this verse as “a fist.” (Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Elazar of Piltz – Siftei Tzaddik.)

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