In the Bava Kamma Mishnah (the traditional Jewish interpretation of the law), a slap incurred a fine of 200 silver coins - but a backhanded slap required a payment of 400, the same amount as for spitting on someone. It was more than violence. It was degrading
We are living, sentient beings, full of life and wonder, and the way we treat each other should go some way in to reflecting that wonder.
Their full humanity, dignity, and willingness to work must have stung them every morning as they watched those who were stronger walking to their gainful employment while the human leftovers stayed in the market, kept there only by vain hope.