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In this week's parsha Avimelech takes Sarah as a wife (20;2).
However, why wasn't Avimelech killed for taking Sarah? The Rambam (Hilchos
Melachim, 9;14) states that Shechem was killed just for taking Dinah (34;26)!
Therefore, even though Avimelech didn't even touch Sarah he should have still
been killed just for taking her like Shechem was for taking Dinah!?!
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig explains that the difference in the 2 cases is that in
Shechem Dinah was a complete tourist, as the torah (34;1) states that she "went
out to look over the daughters of the land." By Avimelech, however, Sarah had
actually moved to Gerar-as the pasuk (20;1) states: "and he lived in Gerar." And
why does this make a difference? Rabbi Zweig explains that according to the
Rambam a king is only allowed to take someone in his country as a wife if she is
actually living there. Dinah however was only looking around touring the
land-therefore, Shechem was killed for taking her as wife. Avimelech on the
other hand was somewhat justified in taking Sarah as she had moved in to his
country to which he had complete control over. Thus, Rabbi Zweig explains that
Shechem was killed for merely taking Dinah whereas Avimelech was kept alive
despite taking Sarah.