Vol 31.01 - Shmot 1                                                    Spanish French Audio  Video

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Explanation of the three opinions in the law of raising one's hand against his fellow that he is called an evildoer -
1) The words of the Aggadah
2) That it is a complete rabbinical prohibition
3) That one transgresses a biblical negative commandment
- And their sources in the words of the sages (Tal. Sanh 58b, Sh. Rab.1:29, Tanchuma Korach 8).
The explanation according to Chassidut (5748)


When one raises a hand against another, he is doing more than threatening to inflict pain; he is acting in an evil and ugly manner - and a person who does so is considered “evil.”

Man was created to “serve his Maker” with all his liimbs. When one raises a hand against another, he demeans the hand's purpose and sins against G‑d as well as against man. For instead of using his hand for kindness, he is using it for cruelty.

Moreover, since the hands perform most of the Mitzvot, when they are used in an antithetical manner, he contradicts the purpose of his creation — which is “to serve his Maker.”

However, every Torah matter also contains an inner dimension that is entirely good. So too, 'lifting one’s hand against one’s fellow' can be explained in a positive manner, for example:

When a person “raises his hand” in order to perform life-saving surgery, then the act is good. Also, by utilzing one's hands for doing good in an unnatural manner, such as - giving another far beyond his natural inclinations, one is “raising” his hand, as it were, to a more elevated spiritual level

The practical lesson is: Aside from the clear instruction to not do any semblance of violence against our neighbors, there is also the positive lesson of addressing the needs of our neighbors and performing for them acts of kindness and goodness in a way that exceeds our natural inclination. By doing so, we do not just raise our hands - but also our very beings - to a level that surpasses all limitations.


“….He went out on the second day, and behold, two hebrew men were quarreling. he said to the wicked one, “why will you strike your friend?…” – Shemot 2:13

״….ויצא ביוםהשני והנה שני אנשים עברים נצים ויאמר לרשע למה תכה רעך….״ – ב,יג

Moshe reprimanded the quarrelers even before their fight came to actual blows, as indicated by the future tense of his plea, “why will you strike your friend.” Implied is that the one whom Moshe rebuked stood poised to hit his friend, but had not yet actually done so.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 58b) points out that although the man had merely lifted his hand to strike his fellow, yet the Torah already refers to him as “the wicked one.” Thus, the Rambam (Chovel u’Mazik 5:2) rules, “It is even forbidden to raise up one’s hand against a colleague. Whoever raises a hand against a colleague, even though he does not hit him, is considered a wicked person.”

Hands Down

The Rambam’s words indicate that lifting one’s hand against a colleague is condemned not only for the future harm it may cause. It is forbidden because it is in and of itself a wicked act and gives expression to a contemptible character trait.

Support for the Rambam’s view can be found in the idea that every aspect of human existence was created to enable man to serve G-d, each limb in the human body corresponding to another mitzvah (see Sefer Chareidim.) Particularly, the hand is emblematic of the mitzvos associated with giving to others. (In a more general sense, almost all positive mitzvos require a physical action involving the hand.) Therefore, to use or even raise one’s hands in a manner associated with causing harm and strife is forbidden and considered wicked even if one doesn’t actually strike his friend. For the motion itself defies the hand’s G-dly ordained purpose – to perform acts of giving and loving-kindness.

(From https://www.atzmut.com/hands-down-parashat-shemot/)








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