Posted by: mosesfromsinai | January 19, 2014

Mishpateem – Civil Laws

This week’s Torah Reading is Mishpateem – Civil Laws.

Toward the end of the Torah Reading we find the mentioning of the 3 festivals that we are to go to Jerusalem and celebrate, namely, Pesach, Shavuous and Succos. This really is not part of Civil Laws. Nor is the law that comes next, which is not to cook milk and meat. This last law is mentioned 3 times in the Torah (perhaps a connection to the 3 festivals). We learn that the 3 times is to prohibit the act of eating, the act of even benefiting from the end product and finally even the simple act of cooking them together.

The Holy Land of Israel is described as a land flowing with milk and honey. Milk we know is a primary source in our early years as a life giver. (It is also important in our later years). When approaching life it must be done with a degree of holiness, (milk). Do not approach life like an animal. Do not treat other people like an animal. Hence the law is again taught in the section of Mishpateem which deals with Civil Laws and how we are to treat our fellow human being. (Even if he is a slave as the Torah Reading begins with). We also end the Torah Reading with the holiness of the 3 festivals to remind us that we are to lead a holy life in our day to day activities. Which is then finalized again by the reference to abstain from milk and meat together. Approach life and interact with our fellow beings in a holy manner. This is the key to Civil Laws.


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