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  • Mishpatim 2012

    The opening commentary of Rashi, seeks to explain the reason for civil litigation. Halacha is juxtaposed to the concluding topic in the previous sedra which stated “Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold. Make an altar of …. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.” [Ex 20:22-26].

  • Mishpatim 2009

    Just out of interest how many of the 54 sedrahs in the Torah start with the word ‘and’?    At least 36 according to the Art Scroll chumash. Today’s is one of them – even tho’ Hertz translates as ‘now’. Its opening words are ‘and these are the judgments’. Rashi points out that today’s ‘and’ links the detailed social and ethical laws to the ‘ritual’ laws about the altar which precedes them. Other commentators say that the ‘and’ connects the detailed laws described this week with the general principles contained in the Ten Commandments we read last week.


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