Posted by: mosesfromsinai | February 8, 2015

Mishpateem – Civil Laws

This week’s Torah Reading is Mishpateem – Civil Laws. This coming Shabbos is also referred to as Shekaleem, where we read the additional portion of each male Jew, 20 years and older, giving a half shekel.  It is also Shabbos Mevorcheem, the Shabbos where we bless the new month of Adar, the Hebrew month that Purim falls out on.  A very packed Shabbos.

In the actual Torah Reading we find among the Civil Laws the law not to take bribery.  The reason given is that bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and would lead to a mistake in justice.  Thus the Torah is not referring to outright corruption of bribery.  That is an obvious.  The Torah is referring to subtle bribery.  Someone did me a simple favor and now he stands before me in court.  I may see him in the positive light as a result of the favor done for me.  This, the Torah tells me will affect my clear vision of justice.

This is true in our own personal lives when we are asked to make sort of judgemental decisions on some of our own actions.  We need to be careful not to distort our decision by being blinded by the apparent benefits that could result.  We need to make a decision based on what is right.  In this way we will avoid or over-ride areas of greyness.

This will also help to lead our lives in a righteous way that would avoid civil litigation as our actions will reflect the right form of activity.


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