Ketubot 30 - The logic of punishment

Earlier we saw that a rapist who violates a girl must pay a penalty and, if she so desires, must marry her without the possibility of divorce unless she grants it. We also said that if he cannot marry her because of another prohibition, he still pays the penalty.

However, some say that the Torah only meant for two things to go together, and if he cannot marry her (such as in the case of a girl who is a mamzer), he does not pay the penalty either. He would still pay the regular assault damages. And yet, if he violates a girl who is a niddah , they agree that even though he deserves a punishment of being cut off from the people, he still pays the penalty.

Why should the last be true? We have a rule that when one causes damages but at the same time puts his soul in danger, he is only given the harsher penalty, but is free from repayment!? - That law only applies to actual execution by the court, but not to that by the hand of Heaven.

The last explanation still does not work according to Rabbi Nechunia ben HaKanah, who makes all kinds of danger, whether by the hand of man (court) or Heaven (cut off) the same, so that he would not pay the penalty for violation. - True, according to Rabbi Nechunia, he does not pay the penalty for violating a niddah, because he puts his soul in danger.

Incidentally, all mishaps that happen to a person are considered by the hand of Heaven, except for illnesses come from too cold or too hot weather, because it is the person's own negligence that causes him to become sick.

Art: The sick neighbour By Jozef Israels