Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Emor: Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik - The Torah Means An Eye For Eye
"Ayin Tachas Ayin Kasher Yitein Moom BaAdam Kein Yinasein Bo; An eye for an eye when you maim your friend the same should be done to you." (Emor 24:20)   The Halacha L'Moshe MiSinai tells us that despite what the words appear to say, the Torah means that the perpetrator pays for the injury rather than Bais Din maiming him.  If so why does the Torah clearly say that we avenge him in kind?

The Iturei Torah brings from Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik that had the Torah told us the halacha explicitly, we would become less sensitive to the value of a person's limb.  We would see it as a price tag.  We would get the feeling that you can injure someone, if the math added up, and it was worth your while.  When the victim will be angry, the perpetrator will ask him why he is so angry since he will compensate him for the full value.

The Rambam clearly says that a person who maims his friend deserves to lose his limb but the Torah allows him to pay Kofer.  The Torah is teaching us that Min HaDin, if someone takes from his friend the incredible gift of sight that Hashem bestowed upon him, justice demands that his ability to see be taken away as well.  Even though the Torah limited the punishment to a monetary value, surely it is not a fair trade.