Posted by: mosesfromsinai | February 3, 2013

Mishpateem – Civil Laws

The Torah Reading for this week is Mishpateem which deals with mostly civil laws.  The previous Torah Reading ended with a very strange rule.  One should build the altar of stones with a ramp and not steps.  The reason being that steps would expose ones nakedness to the stones as they ascend the steps.  A ramp does not.  This is very strange to be concerned about an inanimate object, a stone.  However this sets the tone for Mishpatim.  That if we are concerned about a simple stone, how much more so should we be concerned about our fellow human being, not to cause him or her harm or embarrassment.

Similarly, the Torah Reading  of Mishpateem ends with describing that Moshe should prepare 6 days and on the 7th the Al-mighty would call on him.  According to one opinion in the Talmud this actually took place during the 40 days Moshe was up on Mt. Sinai.  The first 6 days were days of preparation and then on the 7th day the Al-mighty called to him.  This implies that our higher level of attachment to the Al-mighty requires first 6 days of preparation.

This theme is actually the concept of the Shabbat.  Six days you should work, being involved in the physical world the Al-mighty created and bring out the positive energy in this physical world.   Then on Shabbat an entire new level is reached.  The Al-mighty, so to speak, calls on each and every one of us to enter a new level of spirituality.  We become close to the Al-mighty on a new level. 

Moshe would experience this on the 7th day and enter a new stage in receiving the laws during those 40 days.  Each Shabbat we have the opportunity to experience a similar level of closeness to the Al-mighty.

With this experience, when we begin our new week, it should help us to avoid harming our fellow being. Thus avoiding civil litigation.

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