Saturday, April 2, 2016

Importance of Intent when interpreting Torah commandments

I wanted to emphasise the importance of intent for interpretation of the Torah commandments. Many Written Torah commandments, especially obscure ones, all rely on intent in their interpretation. 

This is why it is always important to remember INTENT.

For example, if there was a murder, was it an accidental murder or intentional murder. As you can see, Torah makes clear difference here and there is a lesser punishment for unintentional murder. Number 35:22-25.

Other commandments rely on intent too. For example, in case of a rape of a woman, if she was screaming this is considered as a proof of her innocence. However, if she was not screaming, it is considered as INTENT to commit adultery. (Deut 22:24) Once again, importance of intent is paramount.

Same with Shabbat. If you are a taxi driver and want to drive your family to the beach on Shabbat, you most certainly can do that because it would not be considered a SLAVE WORK. On the other hand, if you are driving a client on Shabbat, there is a clear INTENT to make money and work, thus it violates the Shabbat.

So remember to check for INTENT when interpreting Written Torah commandments. It will make understanding the commandments much easier.

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