Our ideas and our thoughts are metaphorically our offspring.  When a person formulates an idea, he or she goes through a process of “conception”, literally and metaphorically.  The execution of the idea, bringing it from conception to delivery, is the final birth of the thought, as it now becomes action.  Our sages teach us, “The main progeny of the righteous are their good deeds.” (Rashi Bereishis 6:9, based in Bereishis Rabbah 30:6)

Our Gemara on this Daf continues to explore the theme of Kim Ley Bederabbah Mineh, which is regarding a case where a person simultaneously incurs liability for two punishments, such as a capital or corporal punishment, and at the same time, a financial liability.  There are varying opinions about the severity of the punishment, and potential versus actual liability, but the gist of the legal logic is that the Torah only imposes the stricter of two liabilities that simultaneously incurred.  

One of the proof texts for this legalism comes from the case in Shemos (21:22) which describes a situation of two people engaging in a physical quarrel, and then while in the the fight, one of them shoves a pregnant woman causing her to miscarry:

וְכִֽי־יִנָּצ֣וּ אֲנָשִׁ֗ים וְנָ֨גְפ֜וּ אִשָּׁ֤ה הָרָה֙ וְיָצְא֣וּ יְלָדֶ֔יהָ וְלֹ֥א יִהְיֶ֖ה אָס֑וֹן עָנ֣וֹשׁ יֵעָנֵ֗שׁ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֨ר יָשִׁ֤ית עָלָיו֙ בַּ֣עַל הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה וְנָתַ֖ן בִּפְלִלִֽים׃

When [two or more] parties fight, and one of them pushes a pregnant woman and a miscarriage results, but no other damage ensues, the one responsible shall be fined according as the woman’s husband may exact, the payment to be based on reckoning. 

The derash is, financial restitution is only required if, as the verse states, “וְלֹ֥א יִהְיֶ֖ה אָס֑וֹן”, no other damage ensues.  That is, if the woman herself was not killed.  (Side point, we see from here that at least at some point in pregnancy, the destruction of a fetus is not considered murder.  That is not to say it is permitted.  Many, many things are prohibited in the Torah and are not considered murder.  It is grossly cruel to hack off someone’s limb, but it is still not murder.) In any case, this particular verse is explained metaphysically by Likkutei Moharan (II:20):

An idea, is like a pregnancy.  It is full of potential and ability to fulfill and produce. Taking the metaphor further, just as a fetus requires incubation, so do ideas.  If one tries to enact an ideas to hastily, it is similar to a premature birth, which can lead to a stillborn. In addition, hostile quarrels destroy ideas. This is alluded to in the verse about the fight causing the miscarriage. If the damage is mild and there is merely a miscarriage, then there is only financial loss. That is, relatively repairable effects. If the damage is great, than the “woman” dies too, that is the generator of the idea is destroyed too. 

In our relationships to our colleagues and loved ones we must be careful to hold off on arrogant and dismissive argumentation lest we kill the ideas, and sometimes even emotionally murder their spirits.

 

 

Translations Courtesy of Sefaria, (except when, sometimes, I disagree with the translation cool.)