Kidnapping Has Always Been a Crime
In Parshat Mishpatim, Shmot 21:16 we read: “Whoever steals (kidnaps) a man and sells him, if he is found in his hand, he shall be put to death.”


In Parshat Ki Tetze, Devarim 24:7 there is a similar pasuk: “If a man is found kidnapping a person of his brethren among B’nai Yisrael and he enslaves him and sells him, that kidnapper shall die and you shall remove the evil from your midst.”


Rashi asks why it is necessary to have two psukim about kidnappin.


His answer is that in the first pasuk it says “whoever steals” which teaches us that this law does not only apply to men. Women also would be prohibited from kidnapping.

In the second pasuk it says “if he steals a person” which teaches us that one is not allowed to kidnap a man or a woman.


We see from here that what one pasuk omits the other pasuk reveals.


Unfortunately there are too many kidnapping cases in the news on a daily basis.


One case just took place this past week where a 5 year old boy from Alabama was kidnapped and held hostage in an underground bunker for a week. The boy is now safe and the kidnapper is dead.


Etan Patz was kindnapped in New York City in 1979. His body was never found and the police still aren’t sure what exactly happened to him. His case was reopened this past year.


Once in a while we find out that a child who was kidnapped and thought to be dead is actually alive. In 2009, eighteen years after she was kidnapped, Jaycee Dugard was found alive in California hidden away in her kidnapper’s back yard.


We must do everything that we can to protect ourselves and our children from kidnappers who have been preying on innocent people since the days of the Torah.