Week Parsha


Parashat Mishpatim

Shabbat Shekalim / Shabbat Mevarekhim Hahodesh

February 24 & 25, 2017 – 29 Shevat 5777

Annual: Exodus 21:1024:18 p 456-480

Triennial: Exodus 21:1-22:3 p 456-465

Haftarah: 2 Kings 12:1-17 p 1276 – 1279


By Vered Hollander-Goldfarb, CY Faculty
We ended last week with the revelation at Sinai. As part of that, the people received some of the laws of the Torah (“Mishpatim” means ‘laws’.) Here is a taste of a few of them:
1) 21:12-14 are laws concerning homicide. What is the punishment for this crime? V. 13-14 recognize that not all homicide cases are equal. What should the court look at when deciding the penalty of a person who killed another person? When is the penalty of v.12 applicable?
2) V. 22:4 brings the law of an owner of an animal who released his animal and it ate from another person’s field. What is the problem with what the animal did? What is the penalty for the owner? Why do you think that the owner is held responsible? – After all, the animal went by itself!
3) In 22:24 we have a case of a person who lent money (or silver) to another person. Why did the person borrow the money? What is the lender forbidden to do? Why do you think that the Torah forbids this practice in this case?
4) 23:14-19 lists the 3 pilgrimages during the year. Which holidays are pilgrimages? What does one do on a pilgrimage holiday? None of these hagim (holidays) are listed by the names that we use for them today (but we do keep them!) Try to match each hag to its current name.  
5) This week we add a special reading as Maftir (the last Aliya to Torah) because we are about to enter the month of Adar. We read about Shekalim (Shmot 30:11-16). What did every person have to give towards the work in the Tabernacle? Why do you think that the Torah forbids people to give more or less than the instructed amount? This section is read now as a reminder to get ready to deliver the ½ shekel by Nissan (the next month.)

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