Meaning of Word in Torah
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 12:15:43 -0500 (EST)

Our Torah study class at Beth Am in Teaneck, NJ spent a great deal of our
class debating the meaning of the word "oil" or "ointment" in Shmot,
Chapter 21, verse 10. This is the section which details the
responsibility towards women serfs, whether kept by an owner or given away
to a son in marriage. Since the Hebrew word, according to Plaut, occurs
only once in the entire Torah, we all wanted to know more about it and its
meaning. Some interpretations have it meaning "conjugal relations" or
"marital relations."

We would be pleased if anyone has thoughts on the matter, most especially,
because these three verses seem to set the stage for most of the
responsibilities of men towards women throughout the rest of the Torah.


Marc Chelemer
Tenafly, NJ