What does "Ayin Tachas Ayin" mean?
Rashi and Ramban (both citing Bava Kama 84a) and Targum Yonasan: It means that (if Reuven blinded Shimon
Rashi: If one were to sell him in the market, how much less he would be worth without the eye than with it.
Ramban: As we find in Vayikra 24:18. Even though taking ransom money to free a murderer from the death-penalty is forbidden, in this case (to save his eye) the Torah permits it. See Ramban, who elaborates.
Kesuvos (Ibid.): In case he dies as a result, and the Torah writes "Ayin Tachas Ayin", and not 'Ayin ve'Nefesh Tachas Ayin'.
See Torah Temimah, note 173.
See Oznayim la'Torah.
Seeing as the Mazik pays the value of an eye for an eye, why does the Torah say "Ayin Tachas Ayin"?
Ramban #1 (citing the Ibn Ezra): Because, in the event that he fails to atone through paying ransom money, his eye is taken out. 1
Ramban #2: The Pasuk is speaking about where the blemish is permanent, in which case the Mazik's eye, tooth, hand or foot is removed. 2 In that case however, he is Patur from paying Sheves and Ripuy. 3
Seforno: Because in reality, the culprit deserves to lose an eye (Midah Ke'neged Midah), but a traditon teaches that he pays money, in case we err and inflict a greater damage than was done,.
See Ramban, who rejects the Ibn Ezra's explantion.
And the Pesukim that talk about Sheves and Ripuy are speaking where the wound is not permanent, and where the Nizak is only temporarily bed-ridden. See Ramban DH ;'u'Lefi Derech ha'Peshat', where he elaborates, concluding 've'ha'Kelal ki Derech ha'Kabalah be'Chol Makom Emes' (Refer to 21:24:1:1 - 5)..
QUESTIONS ON RASHI
Rashi writes that "Ayin Tachas Ayin" is money. What is the source for this?
Ramban (citing the Mechilta) and Bava Kama, 84a: This is the standard expression for the obligation to pay - as we find in Vayikra 24:18. This is according to the tradition as passed down to Chazal (which is always Emes). 1
Hadar Zekenim (23) - it cannot mean that we similarly afflict him. If so, why does he pay Sheves and Ripuy? The same was done to him!
Rosh: If we remove his eye, sometimes he dies through this, and it would be Nefesh Tachas Ayin.
Divrei Eliyahu, Kol Eliyahu: If one removed an eye, the penalty is Tachas Ayin, i.e. the letters after Ayin, Yud and Nun, i.e. Pei, Chaf and Samech, the letters of 'Kesef'.
Rashi writes that "Yad Tachas Yad" is money. It says in Nidah (13b) that a hand that often checks (touches) the Ever should be cut off. This is the law, and not just a curse!
Moshav Zekenim left this difficult. (It says that he asks that if sometimes Beis Din truly cuts the hand off, we should say so also here! - PF) For answers to this, refer to 21:24:151:1-4.