Monthly Archives: February 2016

Parshat משפטים Exodus 23:5 – More Concerning Non-Jewish Property

Exodus 23:5  If you see your enemy’s donkey lying under its burden would you refrain from helping him? You shall surely help along with him.

Gemora Pesachim (113b): “your enemy” – who exactly is meant by “your enemy”? Could it mean an “idol worshipper’s” donkey? That can’t be because we learn in a beraita that this teaching refers explicitly to a Jewish enemy. A Jewish enemy? Who gave permission to hate a Jewish person? Doesn’t it say in the Torah (Parshat Kedoshim): “don’t hate your brother in your heart”? It must mean a Jewish person who you saw do an immoral act.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #36:

This is referencing the braita in Gemora in Bava Metzia (32b) where it states that one is not obligated to help the animals of idol worshippers.  That statement [in the gemora] is dealing with the idol worshippers in that day] in previous times who did not keep the seven commandments of the sons of Noah. They were comparable to wild animals and constituted a danger to civil society. This is as I wrote on the verse above regarding a Jew’s ox that gores an ox of a non-Jew (Exodus 21:35).

However, regarding the non-Jews of our day, the financial laws [halacha pertaining to monetary issues] pertaining to them are not different than the financial laws pertaining to Jews. Therefore, certainly one is obligated to help their animals due to the same issues of relieving the suffering of animals [as would apply if it were a Jewish person’s ox.]

Editor’s Note: This is one of several places where the Torah Temimah stresses that in our times, the financial laws pertaining to non-Jews is the same as the financial laws pertaining to Jews.