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[These Are the] Rules

These are the rules that you shall set before them. - Exodus 21:1

  • Interpersonal laws ranging from the treatment of slaves to the exhibition of kindness to strangers are listed. (21:1-23:9)
  • Cultic laws follow, including the commandment to observe the Sabbatical Year, a repetition of the Sabbath injunction, the first mention of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals, rules of sacrificial offerings, and the prohibition against boiling a kid in its mother's milk. (23:10-19)
  • The people assent to the covenant. Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel ascend the mountain and see God. Moses goes on alone and spends forty days on the mountain. (24:1-18)

When do we read Mishpatim?

2017 Feb 25 /29 Shevat, 5777
2018 Feb 10 /25 Shevat, 5778


  • By Rabbi Ana Bonnheim

    Man helps a stranger up the hill demonstrating tikkun olam

    In Parashat Mishpatimwe find the Israelites in the midst of the Revelation at Sinai, experiencing the communal wonder and intensity of their encounter with God. Mishpatim, which means “laws,” dives into the details. The Revelations in Mishpatim are among the words Moses writes down on stone when he and Aaron ascend the mountain. Scholars call these laws the Book of the Covenant or Sefer HaB’rit. It’s the Torah’s first pass at the legal details that govern Jewish living.

  • Torah for Tots

    You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. -Exodus 22:20

  • Torah for Tweens

    Parashat Mishpatim, which follows the Ten Commandments, continues the Torah's presentation of Divine legislation.

  • Torah for Teens

    In this week’s parashah, Mishpatim, we read a series of laws that God dictates to Moses.

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