Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 165:13-14

Yesterday’s halakhah made me aware of this short snippet of laws about teachers that deal with interpersonal halakhah.


יב: הַמְלַמֵּד, צָרִיךְ לֵישֵׁב וּלְלַמֵּד אֶת הַתִּינוֹקוֹת כָּל הַיּוֹם וּקְצָת מִן הַלַּיְלָה, כְּדֵי לְחַנְּכָם לִלְמֹד בַּיּוֹם וּבַלָּיְלָה. וְלֹא יְבַטְּלוּ הַתִּינוֹקוֹת כְּלָל, חוּץ מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת וְעֶרֶב יוֹם-טוֹב בְּסוֹף הַיוֹם. אֵין מְבַטְּלִין אֶת הַתִּינוֹקוֹת אֲפִלוּ לְבִנְיַן בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ

A teacher must sit and instruct the children all day and part of the night, so that he teaches them to study [Torah] at day and at night. They may not desist from the children at all, except for erev Shabbos and erev Yom Kippur toward the end of the day. We do not interrupt the children even for the building of the Temple.

יב: מְלַמֵּד תִּינוֹקוֹת שֶׁמַּנִּיחַ אֶת הַתִּינוֹקןת וְיוֹצֵא, אוֹ שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה אַחֶרֶת עִמָּהֶם, אוֹ שֶׁמִּתְרַשֵּׁל בְּתַלְמוּדוֹ, הֲרֵי זֶה בִּכְלַל אָרוּר עוֹשֶׂה מְלֶאכֶת ה’ רְמִיָה. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין לְהוֹשִׁיב מְלַמֵּד אֶלָּא בַּעַל יִרְאָה, מָהִיר לִקְרֹא וּלְדַקְדֵּק. וְאֵין לַמְלַמֵּד לִהְיוֹת נֵעוֹר בַּלַיְלָה יוֹתֵר מִדַּי, שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה עָצֵל בַּיּוֹם לְלַמֵּד. וְכֵן לֹא יִתְעַנֶּה אוֹ יַעֲצֹר אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִמַּאֲכָל וּמִשְׁתֶּה אוֹ יֹאכַל יוֹתֵר מִדַּי, כִּי כָּל אֵלּוּ הַדְבָרִים, גוֹרְמִים ֹשֶלֹּא יוּכַל לְלַמֵּד הֵיטֵב. וְכָל הַמְשַׁנֶה, יָדוֹ עַל הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה וּמְסַלְּקִין לֵהּ

A teacher of children who puts the children to rest and leaves, or does some other work with them, or slacks off in his learning, he is in the category of “cursed is one who is lax in doing Hashem’s work” (Yirmiyahu 48:10). Therefore, one does not setp up a teacher anyone but a person of fear/awe [of the Almighty], who is quick to read and be careful.

A teacher should not stay up too late at night, so that he won’t be lazy during the day. Similarly, he shouldn’t fast, or stop himself from food or drink, nor eat too much, for all these things will cause him to be unable to teach well. And anyone who veers from this, his hand is on the lower [i.e. his claim in a court would be weaker], and we fire him.

יב: לֹא יַכֶּה אוֹתָם מַכַּת אוֹיֵב, מוּסָר אַכְזָרִי, לֹא בְשׁוֹטִים וְלֹא בְמַקֵּל, אֶלָּא בִּרְצוּעָה קְטַנָה

He should not hit them as an enemy would smite, the rebuke of the callous, neither with whips nor with a stick, only with a thin strap.


Note that by citing 165:12 as being similar to the laws of 185, Rabbi Ganzfried is giving a second reason for it. Not only is it bad education for the children to learn that their studies are interruptable and hence unimportant, nor is such interruption good for the universe (their studies take priority even over building the Beis haMiqdash!), but here the Qitzur adds that it would be prohibited for the same reasons as for any other employee. The same could be said of the negligent teacher in se’if 13.

Se’if 14 touches on the question of corporeal punishment. Clearly R’ Ganzfried’s approach would be counterproductive with today’s children. However, as we saw in 184:2, the Qitzur only permits hitting children where that is the most effective way to correct behavior.

Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 184:11

יא: מְעֻבֶּרֶת ֹשֶהִיא מַקְשָה לֵילֵד, כָּל זְמַן שֶהָעֻבָּר בְּתוֹךְ מֵעֶיהָ, מֻתָּרִין לְחַתְּכוֹ בֵּין בְסַם בֵּין בְּיָד, שֶׁכֹּל שֶׁלֹּא יָצָא לַאֲוִיר הָעוֹלָם, אֵין שֵם נֶפֶשׁ עָלָיו. וּבִשְׁבִיל לְהַצִּיל אֶת הָאֵם, מֻתָּרִין לְחַתְּכוֹ, מִֹשּוּם דַּהֲוֵי לֵהּ כְּמוֹ רוֹדֵף אַחַר חֲבֵרוֹ לְהָרְגוֹ. אֲבָל כְּשֶׁהוֹצִיא רֹאשׁוֹ, אֵין נוֹגְעִין בּוֹ, שֶׁאֵין דּוֹחִין נֶפֶשׁ מִפְּנֵי נֶפֶשׁ, וְזֶהוּ טִבְעוֹ ֹשֶל עוֹלָם

 A pregnant woman who is difficulty giving birth, as long as the fetus is in her insides, one may divide it [to ease delivery and save the mother] whether by drugs or manually. For as lone as it did not emerge into the air of the world, it doesn’t have a title of nefesh [living soul]. Therefore in order to save the mother we permit cutting it, because it is like one who pursues his friend to kill him. However, once its head emerges, we do not touch it, for we do not push aside a nefesh for [another] nefesh, and this is the nature of the world [for a mother to be put at risk giving birth].

Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 184:10

י:נוֹהֲגִין שֶׁשִּׁבְעָה טוֹבֵי הָעִיר דָּנִין דִינֵי קְנָסוֹת, כְּגוֹן עַל חֲבָלוֹת וְחֵרוּפִים וְכַדּוֹמֶה, וְאֵין לָהֶם לַעֲשׂוֹת דָּבָר בְּלִי בֵית-דִּין, כִּי יֵשׁ בְּעִנְיָנִים אֵלּוּ הַרְבֵּה חִלוּקֵי דִינִים, וְאֵין לַעֲשׂוֹת יוֹתֵר מִן הָרָאוּי עַל פִּי הַדָּת, וְאַל יְהִי קַל בְּעֵינֵיהֶם כְּבוֹד הַבְּרִיוֹת

The custom is that the seven who organize the city [shiv'ah tuv'ei ha'ir -- loosely: city elders] judge cases of fines, like for [causing someone else] bruises or becoming unconsious and the like. It is not for them to do anything with a court, for there are in these matters many disputes and distinctions in the laws. They may not do more than is appropriate according to the rite, and they can not have the honor of people as a light [matter] in their eyes.

Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 184:9

ט: מִי שֶׁעוֹסֵק בְזִיּוּפִים וְיֵש לָחוּשׁ שֶׁיְסַכֵּן בָּזֶה רַבִּים, דִּינוֹ כְּמוֹ רוֹדֵף, וּמַתְרִין בּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂה. וְאִם אֵינוֹ מַשְׁגִּיחַ, מֻתָּר לְמָסְרוֹ לְמַּלְכוּת וְלוֹמַר, שֶׁאֵין אַחֵר מִתְעַסֵּק בָּזֶה אֶלָּא פְלוֹנִי לְבַדּוֹ. וְכֵן יָחִיד שֶׁמַּעֲלִילִים עָלָיו בִּגְלָלוֹ, יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לָהֶם, אֲנִי אֵינִי עוֹשֶׂה, אֶלָּא פְלוֹנִי לְבַדּוֹ

Someone who is working in fprgeries and there is reason to be afraid that he will thereby endanger the public, his law is the same as that for someone pursuing [another to kill him] and and we warn him not to do it. If he isn’t influenced, it is permissible to hand him over to the government and say, “No one else is working in this but so-and-so alone.” Similarly an individual that the community is libeled on account of him, he could say to them [the government, "I do not do this; only so-and-so alone [does].”


While in general it is prohibited to turn another Jew in to the government, it may be done to protect the community. Moreso, since we are told that he has a law of a “rodeif“, a potential murderer, in cases where his behavior risks lives we are OBLIGATED to do so.

This includes child and spouse abusers.

Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 184:8

ח: הָרוֹאֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּצָרָה, רַחְמָנָא לִצְּלָן, וְיָכוֹל לְהַצִּילוֹ הוּא בְעַצְמוֹ אוֹ לִשְׂכֹּר אֲחֵרִים לְהַצִּילוֹ, חַיָב לִטְרֹחַ וְלִשְׂכֹּר וּלְהַצִּילוֹ, וְחוֹזֵר וְנִפְרָע מִמֶּנּוּ אִם יֶשׁ לוֹ. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ, מִכָּל מָקוֹם לֹא יִמָּנַע בִּשְׁבִיל זֶה, וְיַצִּילֶנּוּ בְמָמוֹן שֶׁלּוֹ. וְאִם נִמְנַע, עוֹבֵר עַל “לֹ֥א תַֽעֲמֹ֖ד עַל־דַּ֣ם רֵעֶ֑ךָ”. וְכֵן אִם שָׁמַע מֵאֵיזֶה רְשָׁעִים מְחַשְׁבִים רָעָה עַל חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ טוֹמְנִים לוֹ פַח וְלֹא גִלָּה אָזְנוֹ לְהוֹדִיעוֹ, אן שֶׁיָכוֹל לְפַיְסָם בְּמָמוֹן בִּגְלַל חֲבֵרוֹ וּלְהָסִיר מַה שֶׁבִּלְבָבָם וְלֹא פַיְסָם, וְכַיּוֹצֵא בַּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ, עוֹבֵר עַל לֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל דַּם רֵעֶךָ. וְכָל הַמְקַיֵם נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מִישְׂרָאֵל, כְּאִלּוּ קִיֵם עוֹלָם מָלֵא – ועיין יורה דעה סימן קנח

Someone who sees his friend in trouble, heaven forbid, and he could help [the person with a problem] himself or hire others to save him, he is obligated to put in the effort, and hire, and save him. He can then return and collect [expenses] from him if he has it. If [the person in trouble] doesn’t have it, you can not in any case hold back because of this — he should save him with his own money. And if he holds back, he violates “do not stand by on your friend’s blood” (Vayiqra 19:16).

Similarly, if he heard from some wicked people that they plan to do some evil to his friend, or they set [literally: bury] a trap for him and he doesn’t reveal that he heard to let him [the potential victim] know, or he could appease them with money on behalf of his friend and they would remove [the idea] that is in their hearts and he doesn’t appease them, and everything derived along these ideas, he violates “do not stand by on your friend’s blood”.

“And whomever saves one soul of Israel, it is as thought he saved the full world.”

(And see Yoreh Dei’ah siman 158.)


A note about the closing quote. It comes in numerous variants and it is unclear that the version in the Qitzur was the original. Or that the original limits the saying to souls of Israel. The following discussion was posted by Amitai Halevi on scj on 4-Nov-1994:

The source for this saying is in the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5. It appears in several versions:

1. In the standard edition of the Mishnayot, the wording is: “Whoever destroys the life of a single human being [nefesh a`hat mi-bnei adam] … it is as if he had destroyed an entire world; and whoever preserves
the life of a single human being … it is as if he had preserved an entire world”.

2. In the Talmud Bavli, where this mishnah appears on Sanhedrin 37a, the wording is the same, except for the substitution of “life of a single Jew” [nefesh a`hat \mi-yisrael] for “life of a single human being”.

3. In the Talmud Jerushalmi, Mishnah 5 is divided into subsections (Halakhot). In my edition the saying appears in Halakhot 12-13. Others divide Mishnah 5 differently: e.g. MTR locates it in Halakhah 9. It reads “destroys a single life” [ma'abed nefesh a`hat] and “preserves a single life” [meqayem nefesh a`hat]. There is no specific mention of either “human being” or “Jew”, though the former is clearly implied.

The question is: Which is the original version? Was the limitation to Jewish lives there to begin with, and then taken out as a result of Church censorship? This is suggested in the book of corrigenda, Hesronot Ha-shas. Alternatively, was the universal formulation the original one, and the limitation to Jewish lives introduced into it at some later date, perhaps in a period when particularly severe persecution of Jews generated a justified feeling of xenophobia?

The answer would seem to be obvious from the context, which is the same in all three versions. The citation is preceded by the words: “This is why Adam was created alone. It is to teach us that …”. A bit father down it reads: “When a man mints a number of coins from a single die, they are all identical; but the King of the kings of kings, the Holy One blessed be He, minted every human being from the die of the primal Adam, and not one of them is like any other”.

Evidently, if the original had referred to the preservation of Jewish lives alone, the reference would have been to Abraham at the earliest. The repeated reference to Adam, progenitor of all mankind, makes it clear that the original must have referred to the preservation of human life in general.

This is apparently how the Rishonim (medieval commentators) understood it as well. Rambam adopts the Yerushalmi version, (3.) slightly altered, in Hilkhot Sanhedrin 12:3, but also cites the Bavli version (2. above) briefly in Hilkhot Rotzea`h 1:6. Hameiri too bases his commentary on the Yerushalmi version, illustrating “the destruction of a whole world” by pointing out that Cain’s murder of Abel eliminated all of his victim’s descendants at one fell swoop. Abel, like Adam was not Jewish; he was not even the ancestor of Jews.

The humanistic version was not universally accepted by the A`haronim (later commentators). MaHaRSh”A, for example, in Hidushei Agadot on Sanh.37a, stays with Version 2, and explains at some length why it is only important to save Jewish lives, even though the Mishnah bases the dictum on Adam’s being the father of all mankind. I would be interested in learning what present-day Orthodox Judaism regards as the authentic reading.

(Posted and mailed)
Amitai

Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 184:6-7

ו: הַמַּבְעִית אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ, כְּגוֹן שֶׁצָּעַק עָלָיו מֵאֲחֲרָיו אוֹ שֶׁנִּרְאָה לוֹ בַּאֲפֵלָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָזֶה, חַיָב בְּדִינֵי ֹשָמָיִם

Someone who frightens his neighbor, such as he yells at him from behind, or appears to him in the dark, or the like, is culpable by the laws [and court] of heaven.

ז: הַחוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵרוֹ, אַף-עַל-פִּי שֶׁנָּתַן אֶת הַמָּמוֹן לְנֶּחְבָּל מָה שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵב לוֹ עֲבוּר הַחֲבָלָה, וְכֵן גַנָּב אוֹ גַזְלָן, אַף-עַל-פִּי שֶׁהֶחֱזִירוּ אוֹ שִׁלְּמוּ, מִכָּל מָקוֹם אֵין מִתְכַּפֵּר לָהֶם עַד שֶׁיְבַקְשוּ מְחִילָה מֵאֵת הַנֶּחְבָּל אוֹ הַנִּגְזָל אוֹ הַנִּגְנָב עַל הַצַּעַר שֶׁהָיָה לָהֶם. וְהֵם יִמְחֲלוּ וְלֹא יִהְיוּ אַכְזָרִים. – עַיֵן לְעֵיל סִימָן קלא סָעִיף ד

Someone who wounds his friend, even though he gave money to the woundered person what he was obligated to because of the wound, and similarly a burglar or a thief even though they returned it [the stolen item] or repaid [its worth], in any case they do not get atonement until they ask forgiveness from the wounded person, or the victim of theft or robbery for the pain that they had. And they should forgive and not be stubborn. See above, 131:4


Siman 131 is about Yom Kippur, so it’s outside the scope of this project. I will instead include the referenced se’if here:

סִימָן קלא סָעִיף ד:
עֲבֵרוֹת ֹשֶבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֵין יוֹם-הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר עַד ֹשֶׁיְרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֶמַר, מִכֹּל חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם לִפְנֵי ה’ תִּטְהָרוּ. כְּלוֹמַר, חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם שֶׁהֵם לִפְנֵי ה’ בִּלְבַד, יוֹם-הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. אֲבָל מַה שֶּׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֵין יוֹם-הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, עַד שֶׁיְרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ. לָכֵן צָרִיךְ כָּל אָדָם לְדַקְדֵּק, שֶׁאִם יֵשׁ בְּיָדוֹ מָמוֹן ֹשֶל אֲחֵרִים שֶׁלֹּא כַדִּין, יַחֲזִיר לוֹ וִיפַיֵס אוֹתָן. וְאִם יֵשׁ בְּיָדוֹ מָמוֹן ֹשֶהוּא מְסֻפָּק בּוֹ, אִם הוּא שֶׁלוֹ עַל פִּי הַדִּין אוֹ לֹא, יוֹדִיע לַחֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה לַעֲמֹד עִמּוֹ מִיָד לְאַחַר יוֹם-הַכִפּוּרִים לְדִין הַתּוֹרָה הַקְּדוֹשָׁה, וִיקַבֵּל עָלָיו בֶּאֶמֶת לְקַיֵם כַּאֲשֶׁר יֵצֵא מִפִּי בֵּית-הַדִּין. וְגַם אִם לֹא חָטָא כְּנֶגֶד חֲבֵרוֹ אֶלָּא בִּדְבָרִים, צָרִיךְ לְפַיְסוֹ, וּמְחֻיָב לָלֶכֶת בְּעַצְמוֹ לְפַיְסוֹ. אַךְ אִם קָשֶׁה עָלָיו, אוֹ שֶׁהוּא מֵבִין כִּי יוֹתֵר קָרוֹב שֶׁיִתְפַּיֵס עַל יְדֵי אֶמְצָעִי, יַעֲשֶׂה עַל יְדֵי אֶמְצָעִי. וְהָאִישׁ אֲֹשֶר מְבַקְשִֹין מִמֶּנוּ מְחִילָה, יִמְחוֹל בְּלֵב שָׁלֵם וְלֹא יְהֵא אַכְזָרִי, כִּי אֵין זֶה מִמִּדַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֶלָּא מִמִּדַּת עֵשָׂו, שֶׁעָלָיו נֶאֱמַר, וְעֶבְרָתוֹ שְׁמָרָה נֶצַח. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר עַל הַגִבְעוֹנִים, לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא מָחֲלוּ וְלֹא נִתְפַּיְסוּ, וְהַגִּבְעוֹנִים לֹא מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָה. אֲבָל דַרְכָּן ֹשֶל זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא לִהְיוֹת קָשֶׁה לִכְעֹס וְנוֹחַ לִרְצוֹת. וּכְשֶׁהַחוֹטֵא מְבַקֵּשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ לִמְחוֹל, יִמְחוֹל בְּלֵב שָׁלֵם וּבְנֶפֶשׁ חֲפֵצָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ הֵצֵר לוֹ הַרְבֵּה, לֹא יִקֹּם וְלֹא יִטֹּר. וְאַדְרַבָּה, אִם הַחוֹטֵא אֵינוֹ מִתְעוֹרֵר לָבוֹא אֵלָיו לְבַקֵֹּש מְחִילָה, יֵשׁ לוֹ לְהָאִישׁ הֶעָלוּב לְהַמְצִיא אֶת עַצְמוֹ לְאוֹתוֹ שֶׁחָטָא, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְבַקֵּשׁ מִמֶּנוּ מְחִילָה. וּמִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַעֲבִיר שִׂנְאָה בְּיוֹם-הַכִּפּוּרִים, אֵין תְּפִלָתוֹ נִשְׁמַעַת, חַס וְֹשָלוֹם. וְכָל הַמַּעֲבִיר עַל מִדּותָיו, מַעֲבִירִין לוֹ עַל כָּל פְּשָׁעָיו

Since which are between a person and his friend, Yom Kippur does not atone [for them] until he appeases his friend, as it says, “from all your sins before G-d you shall be purified.” As if to say, “the sins that are before G-d alone Yom Kippur atones.” But that which is between a person and his friend, Yom Kippur does not atone for until he appeases his friend.

Therefore, every person must be exacting, that if he has in his possession any money of other people’s that is not [by him] lawfully, he should return it to him and appease them. And if he has in his possession money which he is unsure about if it is his lawfully or not, he should inform his friend that he wishes to stand with him immediately after Yom Kippur in a court case according to the holy Torah, and will truthfully accept to fulfill whatever comes out of the mouth of the court.

Also if he only sinned against his friend with words, he must appease him, and he is obligated to personally go to appease him. However, if it is hard for him, or if he understands that it is more likely that he will be appeased through the aegis of a middleman, then he should do it through a middleman.

The person who they ask from him forgiveness should forgive [them] wholeheartedly and he should not be stubborn. For that is not a middah of Israel bur rather a middah of Eisav, about whom it is said “and his trespasses are guarded forever”. Similarly it says about the Giv’onim, because they didn’t forgive and they didn’t allow themselves to be appeased, the the Giv’onim are not Jews. [Their attempted conversion was proven to be without a real acceptance of the Torah, and thus rejected.]. However, the way of the offspring of Israel is to be hard to anger and easy to appease. When the sinnes asks him to forgive him, he should forgive wholeheartedly and with a soul that desires to.

Even if he cause him a lot of pain, he should not take revenge and he should not hold a grudge. On the contrary, if the sinner does not wake himself up to go to him to ask forgiveness, it’s proper for the humble person to make himself available to the one who sinned, so that he would ask him forgiveness.

Someone who doesn’t release his hatred by Yom Kippur, his prayer is not listened to, G-d forbid. “And whomever allows his rights to be violated, they [in heaven similarly] pass over his sins.”

Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 184:5

ה: יֵשׁ עוֹד הַרְבֵּה דְבָרִים בְּעִנְיַן נִזְקֵי שְׁכֵנִים אוֹ לִבְנֵי רְשׁוּת-הָרַבִּים. וְהַכְּלָל הוּא, שֶׁאָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת שׁוּם דָּבָר אֲפִלּוּ בִרְשׁוּתוֹ, וּמִכָּל-שֶׁכֵּן בִּרְשׁוּת-הָרַבִּים, דָּבָר שֶׁיָכוֹל לְהַגִּיעַ מִמֶּנוּ אֵיזֶה הֶזֵּק לִשְׁכֵנוֹ אוֹ לְעוֹבְרִים בִּרְשׁוּת-הָרַבִּים. אִם לֹא בְדָבָר שֶׁפָּשַט הַמִּנְהָג שֶעוֹשֶׂה כֵּן כָּל מִי שֶׁרוֹצֶה, שֶׁהֲרֵי זֶה, כְּאִלּוּ מָחֲלוּ כָּל אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר, כְּדֵי שֶׁיּוּכַל כָּל אֶחָד לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן כְּשֶׁיִצְטָרֵךְ לָזֶה, הוּא אוֹ בָנָיו אַחֲרָיו

There are many more things in the topic of injuring neighbors of people in the public thoroughfare.

The general rule is that it is prohibited to do anything — even within his own property and all the more so on public property — anything that could cause from it some injury to his friend or those who pass in the public domain, if it is not in something that the custom is widespread that anyone who wants to does it. For  in this case [where there is such a widespread custom], it’s as though everyone in the city forgave him so that each of them could do it as well when they need to — them or their children after them.


This explanation reminds me of the social contract theory of law. In Leviathan (written 1651), Thomas Hobbes describes the rise of law as an “occurrence” in which people give up some of their rights in exchange for not being impinged upon by others exercising those same rights. The state exists to enforce that contract.

Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 184:2-4

ב: אֲפִלּוּ מְשָׁרְתוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ שׁוֹמֵעַ בְּקוֹלוֹ, אָסוּר לְהַכּוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל מֻתָּר לְהַכּוֹת בָּנָיו הַקְּטַנִּים אוֹ יָתוֹם שֶׁהוּא מְגַדֵּל בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ, כְּדֵי לְהַדְרִיכָם בְּדֶרֶךְ יְשָׁרָה, שֶׁזּוֹהִי טוֹבָתָם

Even if his servants isn’t listening to him, it is prohibited to hit him [the servant]. But it is permissible to hit his children who are minors or an orphan that he is raising in his home in order to teach them the straight path, for this is for their best

ג: צָרִיךְ לִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא לְהַשְלִיךְ שִׁבְרֵי כְּלֵי זְכוּכִית וְכַדּוֹמֶה בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁיּוּכְלוּ לְהַזִּיק

One must be careful not to throw broken glass or the like in a place where they would be likely to injure.

ד: אִם יֵשׁ לִֹשְׁכֵנוֹ חֳלִי הָרֹאשׁ, רַחֲמָנָא לִצְּלָן, וְקוֹל הַהַכָּאָה מַזִּיק לוֹ, לֹא יכְתּוֹשׁ אֲפִלּוּ בְבֵיתוֹ רִיפוֹת וְכַיוֹצֵא בָהֶן, דְּבָרִים שֶׁקּוֹל הַכָּאָתָם מַגִּיעַ לְבֵית שְׁכֵנוֹ וּמַזִּיק לוֹ

If his neighbor has a head illness [migraine?], heaven forbid, and the sound of the banging would harm him, one may not pound medicines and the like even in his house. Anything that the sound of pounding them would reach his neighbors home and harm him.


The halakhah in sei’f 2 implies a requirement to study parenting techniques. Hitting a child is only permissible when it is in their best interest. One has to therefore take all efforts to know when that is.

Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 184:1

סִימָן קפד – הִלְכוֹת נִזְקֵי הַגּוּף

184: Laws of Bodily Injury

א: אָסוּר לְאָדָם לְהַכּוֹת אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ. וְאִם הִכָּהוּ, עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַעֲשֶׂה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר,”וְהָיָ֛ה אִם־בִּ֥ן הַכּ֖וֹת הָרָשָׁ֑ע” וְגוּ’ “אַרְבָּעִ֥ים יַכֶּ֖נּוּ לֹ֣א יֹסִ֑יף פֶּן־יֹסִ֨יף” וְגוֹ’, אִם הִקְפִּידָה הַתּוֹרָה בְּהַכָּאַת הָרָשָׁע שֶׁלֹּא לְהַכּוֹתוֹ יוֹתֵר עַל רִשְׁעוֹ, קַל-וָחֹמֶר בְּהַכָּאַת צַדִּיק. וְכָל הַמֵּרִים יַד עַל חֲבֵרוֹ לְהַכּוֹתוֹ, אַף -עַל-פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הִכָּהוּ, נִקְרָא רָשָׁע, שֶׁנֶאֱמַר,”וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לָֽרָשָׁ֔ע לָ֥מָּה תַכֶּ֖ה רֵעֶֽךָ”, “לָמָּה הִכִּיתָ” לֹא נֶאֱמַר, אֶלָּא “לָמָּה תַכֶּה”, אַף-עַל-פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא הִכָּהוּ, נִקְרָא רָשָׁע. וְכָל מִי שֶׁהִכָּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ, הֲרֵי הוּא מָחֳרָם בְּחֵרֶם הַקַּדְמוֹנִים, וְאֵין לְצָרְפוֹ לְמִנְיַן עֲשָׂרָה לְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁבִּקְדֻשָּׁה, עַד שֶׁיַתִּירוּ לוֹ בֵּית-דִּין אֶת הַחֵרֶם, כְּשֶׁמְּקַבֵּל עָלָיו לִשְׁמֹעַ דִּינָם. וְאִם אֶחַד מַכֶּה אוֹתוֹ אוֹ לְישְׂרָאֵל אַחֵר וְאִ אֶפְשָׁר לְהַצִיל אֶת עַצְמוֹ אוֹ אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ מִיַד מַכֵּהוּ אֶלָּא עַל יְדֵי שֶׁיַכֶּה אוֹתוֹ, מֻתָּר לְהַכּוֹתוֹ

A person is prohibited from hitting his friend, and if he does hit him, he violated a prohibition. As it says, “If” the court “must give the wicked person lashes, [the judge will knock him down and whip him before him according to his evil in number." A maximum of under "forty times you shall hit him, no more; [lest you exceed hitting him for these, a great smiting, and your brother will be ashamed before you].” (Devarim 25:2-3) If the Torah was careful with the corporal punishment of someone evil that he should not be hit more than his wickedness [merited], a fortiori with the hitting of a righteous person!

Whomever raises a hand against his friend to hit him, even though he didn’t actually hit him, is called “a wicked person”. As it says, [that Moshe "went out on the 2nd day" from Par'oh's palace "and he saw two men, Hebrews, arguing,] and he said to the wicked one, “Why will you hit your peer?” It does not say, “Why did you hit?” but rather “Why will you hit?” Even though he didn’t hit him yet, he is still called a wicked person.

Whomever hits his friend, he is excommunicated with an excommunication of the ancients. One does not include him to a minyan of ten for any declaration of sanctity until a beis din releases him from the excommunication, when he accepts upon himself to listen to their ruling.

If someone is hitting him or another Jew and there is no way to save himself or his friend from the hand of his attacker accept by hitting him [the attacker], it is permissible to hit him.