As we learned on yesterday’s daf during the time of the Talmud there were two types of coins. Matbe’ah Tzori was a silver-based coin that was viewed as being biblical money. Kesef medina (provincial coinage) were coins that had the same names as the more valuable matbe’ah Tzori, but were made of cheaper metals and were worth one-eighth the value of kesef Tzori. These coins were used for payments whose obligations were of Rabbinic origin. The Gemara on today’s daf offers an example of a Rabbinic payment.
The Mishna in Bava Kamma (daf 90a) rules that hatoke’a leḥavero noten lo sela – that if someone strikes another, and he remains uninjured, he is obligated to pay him a sela because of the embarrassment and disrespect that he caused. The Gemara explains that this does not mean a sela of four dinars, rather it means half a dinar (that is, an eighth of a sela Tzori), for people call half a dinar a sela.
The definition of toke’a is a matter of some dispute. While Rashi explains that it either means that he hit him on his head near his ear or that he shouted in his ear, others suggest that he hit him with the palm of his hand, or even that he did not touch him at all, rather he clapped his hands together in a mocking gesture towards his friend.
The payment of a sela or a maneh (the position taken by Rabbi Yehuda quoting Rabbi Yosei HaGelili in the Mishna in Bava Kamma) is understood by Rashi (Bava Kamma daf 36b) as a standard payment for embarrassment, but if any injury occurred, that would be evaluated and paid for separately. Others suggest that it covers pain and suffering – tza’ar – as well. The Rambam rules that the payment of a sela or a maneh includes all damages, since the Mishna is discussing a case where the main damage that was done was the embarrassment.