Exodus 21:1 - 24:18

II Kings 12:1 - 12:17 | Shabbat Shekalim

In this Torah portion, Moses details many of God’s laws to the Israelites. These include laws about worshiping other gods, kashrut, business ethics and treatment of animals. God outlines the details of three holidays: Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot. God provides an angel to protect the Israelites from their enemies and warns the Israelites not to worship other gods. Moses ascends Mount Sinai to meet with God for 40 days and 40 nights, leaving Aaron and Hur in charge.

FULL COMMENTARY

Ascending the Mountain

The work of covenant involves a lot less feeling and a lot more action.

More on this Torah Portion

The Slave Wife

By highlighting the shadowy woman in the background, we get a rare, ironic glimpse of the dilemma of slavery in the Bible.

The Death Penalty and Conservative Judaism

Beware of selective Bible-passage quoting.

Lying, Stay Far Away

Avoid actions you may need to lie about.

Insults Leave a Lasting Impact

Insults are easy to give but hard to retract.

Fun vs. Principles

Mishpatim: A resource for families.

The Ban on Tereifah

Parashat Mishpatim includes a very curious law about eating meat.

Parashat Mishpatim Quiz

Questions and answers about the weekly Torah portion.

Humans as Co-Creators

People cannot be proprietors over nature--they are not even absolute masters of their own creations.

Who’s In, Who’s Out

The ordinances in this portion emphasize issues relevant to society and the interactions among groups.

Exodus Morality

Whether or not we know the suffering of the slaves, we are commanded to act as if we do.

Under God’s Feet

How do we reconcile our desire to see God with God's statement that no one can see God and live?

Parashat Mishpatim: Summary

Moses informs the people of numerous ethical and ritual laws and seals the covenant between the Children of Israel and God.

Murder And Atheism

In claiming power over human lives, a murderer denies that God alone possesses that power.

Critiquing Our Leadership

While it's easy to complain about poor leadership, Parshat Mishpatim challenges us to critique from a committed, engaged perspective.

An Eye for $100, A Tooth for About Ten Bucks

Several interpretations of "an eye for an eye" all provide valuable insights into ethical lessons of the Torah.

We Are The Narrative

In the shift from narrative to law, we become the actors performing the narrative of liberation.

Here Comes The Judge

Parashat Mishpatim teaches us that our society cannot function without laws, judges, and courts of justice.