Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Mishpatim
To dedicate this lesson

Receiving the Torah every day

How do "simple" laws allow us to experience every day the giving of the Torah?


Rabbi Yisrael Wende

Shvat 5773
The weekly Torah portion (Parasha) "Mishpatim" discusses mostly laws between people, laws that fit the simple human sense. The portion begins with the words "And these are the laws", even though a sentence usually doesn't start with the word "and". The famous commentator Rashi refers to this special opening and says that the Torah wishes to connect this portion with the previous one - Parshat Yitro, that discussed Matan Torah - Giving of the Torah.
The Torah emphasises that as the previous commandments were given at Mount Sinai, so the rules in this case were given at Sinai.

There are two features of many of the laws in Parashat Mishpatim.
A: They concern the simple, daily things like the laws of damages, guards or loans.
B: Everyone can see their logic and if they were not written in the Torah, the civil secular law would probably include them anyway

The Torah teaches us that commandments are directed not only towards heaven. The Torah is also manifest in practical life and in the simplest details. Proper behaviour between people is not only a civil law or a courtesy designed to enable normal life, it is a Mitzvah! God's will is that we have these laws and keep them not because of their logic or because practical life needs some law, but because they are Mitzvot.

Such an attitude to the "simple" laws uplifts our lives. Every act is not only an act necessary for life, an act which is not unique and has no meaning of itself, but is itself a Mitzvah. Performing these laws helps to lift us up to a Divine level, to the Torah and logic from Sinai! Understanding this meaning and its application in every action, every interaction between people, allows experiencing every day the giving of the Torah.
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר