0

I suggest that per the Rambam it's a Mishpat.

The Rambam in Laws of Meilah 8:8 states: רָאוּי לָאָדָם לְהִתְבּוֹנֵן בְּמִשְׁפְּטֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַקְּדוֹשָׁה וְלֵידַע סוֹף עִנְיָנָם כְּפִי כֹּחוֹ. וְדָבָר שֶׁלֹּא יִמְצָא לוֹ טַעַם וְלֹא יֵדַע לוֹ עִלָּה אַל יְהִי קַל בְּעֵינָיו וְלֹא יַהֲרֹס לַעֲלוֹת אֶל ה' פֶּן יִפְרֹץ בּוֹ. וְלֹא תְּהֵא מַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ בּוֹ כְּמַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ בִּשְׁאָר דִּבְרֵי הַחל. בּוֹא וּרְאֵה כַּמָּה הֶחְמִירָה תּוֹרָה בִּמְעִילָה. וּמָה אִם עֵצִים וַאֲבָנִים וְעָפָר וָאֵפֶר כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּקְרָא שֵׁם אֲדוֹן הָעוֹלָם עֲלֵיהֶם בִּדְבָרִים בִּלְבַד נִתְקַדְּשׁוּ וְכָל הַנּוֹהֵג בָּהֶן מִנְהַג חֹל מָעַל בָּהּ וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה שׁוֹגֵג צָרִיךְ כַּפָּרָה. קַל וָחֹמֶר לְמִצְוֹת שֶׁחָקַק לָנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִבְעַט הָאָדָם בָּהֶן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֵדַע טַעְמָן. וְלֹא יְחַפֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא כֵּן עַל הַשֵּׁם וְלֹא יַחְשֹׁב בָּהֶן מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ כְּדִבְרֵי הַחל. הֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בַּתּוֹרָה (ויקרא יט לז) (ויקרא כ כב) "וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת כָּל חֻקֹּתַי וְאֶת כָּל מִשְׁפָּטַי וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם". אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים לִתֵּן שְׁמִירָה וַעֲשִׂיָּה לַחֻקִּים כַּמִּשְׁפָּטִים. וְהָעֲשִׂיָּה יְדוּעָה וְהִיא שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה הַחֻקִּים. וְהַשְּׁמִירָה שֶׁיִּזָּהֵר בָּהֶן וְלֹא יְדַמֶּה שֶׁהֵן פְּחוּתִין מִן הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים. וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים הֵן הַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁטַּעְמָן גָּלוּי וְטוֹבַת עֲשִׂיָּתָן בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה יְדוּעָה כְּגוֹן אִסּוּר גֵּזֶל וּשְׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים וְכִבּוּד אָב וָאֵם. וְהַחֻקִּים הֵן הַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁאֵין טַעְמָן יָדוּעַ. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים חֻקִּים חַקֹּתִי לְךָ וְאֵין לְךָ רְשׁוּת לְהַרְהֵר בָּהֶן. וְיִצְרוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם נוֹקְפוֹ בָּהֶן וְאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם מְשִׁיבִין עֲלֵיהֶן כְּגוֹן אִסּוּר בְּשַׂר חֲזִיר וּבָשָׂר בְּחָלָב וְעֶגְלָה עֲרוּפָה וּפָרָה אֲדֻמָּה וְשָׂעִיר הַמִּשְׁתַּלֵּחַ. וְכַמָּה הָיָה דָּוִד הַמֶּלֶךְ מִצְטַעֵר מִן הַמִּינִים וּמִן הָעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁהָיוּ מְשִׁיבִין עַל הַחֻקִּים. וְכָל זְמַן שֶׁהָיוּ רוֹדְפִין אוֹתוֹ בִּתְשׁוּבוֹת הַשֶּׁקֶר שֶׁעוֹרְכִין לְפִי קֹצֶר דַּעַת הָאָדָם הָיָה מוֹסִיף דְּבֵקוּת בַּתּוֹרָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים קיט סט) "טָפְלוּ עָלַי שֶׁקֶר זֵדִים אֲנִי בְּכָל לֵב אֶצֹּר פִּקּוּדֶיךָ". וְנֶאֱמַר שָׁם בָּעִנְיָן (תהילים קיט פו) "כָּל מִצְוֹתֶיךָ אֱמוּנָה שֶׁקֶר רְדָפוּנִי עָזְרֵנִי". וְכָל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת כֻּלָּן מִכְּלַל הַחֻקִּים הֵן. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁבִּשְׁבִיל עֲבוֹדַת הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת הָעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד. שֶׁבַּעֲשִׂיַּת הַחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים זוֹכִין הַיְשָׁרִים לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. וְהִקְדִּימָה תּוֹרָה צִוּוּי עַל הַחֻקִּים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יח ה) "וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת חֻקֹּתַי וְאֶת מִשְׁפָּטַי אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם הָאָדָם וָחַי בָּהֶם".

It is appropriate for a person to meditate on the judgments of the holy Torah and know their ultimate purpose according to his capacity. If he cannot find a reason or a motivating rationale for a practice, he should not regard it lightly. Nor should he break through to ascend to God, lest God burst forth against him. One's thoughts concerning them should not be like his thoughts concerning other ordinary matters. See how severe the Torah rules concerning misappropriating sacred property. Now if wood, stones, earth, and ash become holy because the name of the Lord of the world was called upon them through speech alone and anyone who treats them as ordinary articles violates the prohibition against me'ilah and even if he acted unknowingly, he is required to secure atonement, how much more so with regard to the mitzvot which God ordained for us should a person not treat them derisively, because he does not understand their rationale. He should not conjure up matters that are not true concerning God, nor should he think about them with his mind as he would ordinary matters. For Leviticus 19:37 states: "And you shall guard all My decrees and all My judgments and perform them." Our Sages commented:This adjures us to guard and perform both the decrees and the judgments. The meaning of "performing" is well known, i.e,. that one should observe the decrees. "Guarding" means to treat them with caution and not think that they are any less than the judgments.The judgments are those mitzvot whose motivating rationale is openly revealed and the benefit of their observance in this world is known, e.g., the prohibitions against robbery and bloodshed and honoring one's father and mother. The decrees are the mitzvot whose motivating rationales are not known. Our Sages said: "I ordained decrees and you have no license to question them." A person's natural inclination confronts him concerning them and the nations of the world challenge them, e.g., the prohibition of the meat of a pig, milk and meat, the calf whose neck is broken, the red heifer, and the goat sent to Azazel. To what degree did King David suffer because of the heretics and the idolaters who would issue challenges concerning the decrees! As long as they would pursue him with false retorts that they would arrange according to man's limited knowledge, he would increase his clinging to the Torah, as Psalms 119:69 states: "Willful transgressors have stacked falsehoods against me, but I guard Your precepts with a full heart." And ibid.:86 states concerning this matter: "All of Your mitzvot are faithful; they pursue me with falsehood; help me." All of the sacrifices are in the category of decrees. Our Sages said: "The world exists for the sake of the service of the sacrifices." For through the performance of the decrees and the judgments the righteous merit the life of the world to come. And between the two of them, the Torah gave precedence to the command for the decrees, as Leviticus 18:5 states: "And you shall heed My decrees and judgments which a person will perform and live through them."

The reason that I posit that the Rambam holds that Meilah itself is a mishpat is because it's a stretch/circular to derive a kal v'chomer that tells us to take chukim seriously from a mitzva which itself is a chok (and thus something which I may not take seriously).

It's thus necessary to say that meilah makes rational sense and that as a result of probing it for ultimate purpose and sense (as I am urged to do) I will realize that I can derive a kal v'chomer from Meilah to a wholly different set of mitzvot - chukim - a series of mitzvot that make no rational sense.

2
  • 2
    Is every mitzvah one and only one of "chok" or "mishpat" that we can seek to officially categorize each mitzvah?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 9 at 12:06
  • 1
    Yeah - I wonder if these are not just conceptual categories that help us in thinking about the Torah. Some mitzvos are more like this, some may be more like that... - Is there every anyplace where it makes a difference which one it is? - I remember when I learned Bava Kamma, so many details of the laws of damages (which everyone agrees are mishpat and "make a lot of sense") were absolutely chukim to me, things that I at least never would have expected and had great difficulty understanding. You are responsible for damages on an animal that falls into a pit, but not for vessels on it...
    – MichoelR
    Commented Jul 9 at 16:23

0

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .