Mishpatim 5777–Shabbat Torah Study–Are You Listening?

This week’s Parasha contains numerous Mishpatim (a kind of mitzvah), thus the name of the Parasha. Falling on the heels of receiving the 10 commandments, the Rabbis hasten to use this as proof that all of these laws and the entire Torah came directly from God to Moses on Sinai, not just the Big 10.

One particularly curious mishpat is the one that requires a Jewish slave who wishes to remain in servitude to have a hole drilled in his ear. (Shemot/Exodus 21:6)

Rashi says that this is to mark the ear that heard and disobeyed God’s admonition that the Jewish people were to be servants only to God, but found a different master instead.

God wants us so much to have freedom. The question is what do we do with our freedom?

Are we servants only of God or have we made ourselves slaves to other masters—our work, ambition, materialism, addictions (God forbid)?

We must use our ears to hear the voice of God directing us all on proper paths.

Are we listening? Are we using all of our freedoms wisely?

This Shabbat we learn with Rabbi Aaron Bergman 9:45 a.m. He will lead a discussion of another concept raised in this week’s Parasha—lex talionis– and calls his talk, “An eye for an eye: balancing the desire for vengeance with the demand for justice.”

Remember that this Torah study is very casual and always very interesting . Come as you are. Stay as long as you like.

Shabbat shalom!


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