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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 Beth Kalisch

    Following the giving of the Ten Commandments in last week’s Torah portion, Parashat Mishpatim brings us a diverse collection of civil, criminal, ritual, and ethical laws. Included in the parashah is a section of text that has become relevant to a topic that is highly contested in our day.

    Next month, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Whole Woman's Health v. Cole, a challenge to a restrictive Texas abortion law. It will be the first time in more than 20 years that the Supreme Court has heard an abortion case.

  • 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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