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April 15, 2018 – 12:09 am | 61 views

Past behavior is often a harbinger of the future, but to judge fairly we must consider the very latest episode of the past behavior. I was once at a wedding, where the groom’s elderly venerated teacher danced with vigor and joy, and his many students, their eyes sparkling with admiration …

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Articles in Mishpatim

Mishpatim: Sift and Sort

February 4, 2018 – 2:27 pm | 167 views
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The Torah portion that follows the awe-inspiring story of Mount Sinai, presents formulaic monetary laws and laws of personal injury. Why should the resolution of petty squabbles be the first subject to follow the Sinai event, which surely placed our ancestors on a higher plane? Many answers have been offered, …

Mishpatim: Why Should I?

February 18, 2017 – 8:58 pm | 511 views
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The Big Question
A young lady asked me why she should obey G-d’s many instructions in the Torah. She understands that without G-d she would not exist and feels that she owes it to him, but she feels that G-d forced her into this bargain without asking her. Why did He …

Mishpatim: Festival And Season

January 30, 2016 – 11:59 pm | 690 views
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The Name
The Jewish festivals celebrate the miracles of our history. The festival of Passover celebrates the exodus. Shavuot, celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments. Sukkot, celebrates the miracles that our ancestors experienced during their journey through the desert.
The festivals are named according to the miracles that they commemorate. The …

Mishpatim: Learn to Absorb

January 21, 2014 – 3:39 am | 26,124 views
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Absorb It
hortly after giving the Ten Commandments at Sinai, G-d summoned Moses and said, “These are the laws that you should place before them.” He then taught him the Torah, commencing with the laws of slavery, “When you acquire a Hebrew slave…”[1]

Mishpatim: Finding the Truth

February 3, 2013 – 10:00 pm | 956 views
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The Heart of an Argument
In Halachic jurisprudence there is a rigorous protocol for the conduct of a Jewish court on the day of a capital trial. Halacha requires that the case be heard in expedited fashion and with an eye toward finding the truth.  As soon as testimony is given …

Mishpatim: Dont Be Crass

February 12, 2012 – 4:32 am | 1,014 views
Burglar

Two Laws
If you catch a burglar in your home in the middle of the night and kill him, you are not guilty of murder by Jewish law even if the burglar didn’t draw a weapon. This is because it is logical to suppose that thieves in the night intend to …

Mishpatim: Whom do You Serve?

January 23, 2011 – 10:17 pm | One Comment | 1,139 views
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One and Others
Have you ever noticed that the classic proclamation of Jewish faith, the call Hashem Echad – G-d is one, can be easily mispronounced as hashem Acher – another G-d? Rather than proclaiming our faith in a single – one and only – G-d we can inadvertently slide into …

Mishpatim: Throwing Indecent Stones

February 7, 2010 – 4:09 am | 1,052 views
bribery

Bribery
Among the pantheon of laws enumerated in the Torah there are many that appeal to human reason and intuitive sense of right and wrong. Law abiding societies would have promulgated these laws even if the Torah would not. Yet, it is important for us to realize that even when the …