Mishpatim (Judgments) Exodus(Sh’mot) 21:1-24:18

Torah Portion:  Mishpatim (Judgments) Exodus(Sh’mot) 21:1-24:18

Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26

This is one of those Torah portions that sometimes gets pushed to the back of our minds. These judgments seem to be mostly outside of our more enlightened way of viewing our faith. Do we really need to consider these judgments as having any place in our modern world view?

Mishpatim (Rulings) Exodus 21-24

Torah Portion:  Mishpatim (Rulings) Exodus 21-24

HafTorah: Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26

This week we read a Torah portion that covers the way Israel was to deal with many relationship issues that arose in their daily life. Since some of these no longer concern us we are tempted to skim over them and see them as unrelated to our present life.  For this reason I would like us to look at several judgments and see what Torah is saying to us on a deeper spiritual level. What are we to learn from these judgments that will affect how we live our lives as believers?

Vayera (He Appeared) Gen. 18-22

Torah Portion: Vayera (He Appeared) Genesis 18-22

HafTorah: II Kings 4:1-37

Tonight we look at a Torah portion that is truly filled with verses that challenge us on a number of levels. We will pick our way through some of these as well as others you might have questions about. However, I would like to begin with my first question this week – comparing Abraham’s actions with other earlier Biblical characters. For example, how did Adam and Eve handle their sinful actions when confronted by G-d? What did they do? They denied any personal responsibility. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. I asked you to look at Genesis 13:8-9 where a quarrel breaks out between the herdsmen of Lot and those of Abraham over the availability of grazing land for their herds. How does Abraham deal with this? He takes personal responsibility. He does not pass judgment. He does not ask whose fault the argument was. He does not seek to reap any financial rewards. No, He gives Lot his choice of land. He sees the problem and acts to solve it without passing judgment or blame. Many times we are more involved with blaming rather than bringing growth.