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Questions tagged [mishpatim]

The weekly Torah portion of Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18)

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Why may a master torture his non-Jewish slave?

We’re commanded to be sensitive to a convert, as we know what it’s like to be in a foreign land (Shemos 23:9): וְגֵ֖ר לֹ֣א תִלְחָ֑ץ וְאַתֶּ֗ם יְדַעְתֶּם֙ אֶת־נֶ֣פֶשׁ הַגֵּ֔ר כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם ...
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Why did only Nadav and Avihu and not their brothers go up with the 70 elders?

In Shemos 24:1, God tells Moshe to go up to Him with Aharon, Nadav, Avihu and the 70 elders. They do, and they catch a glimpse of God from afar. It seems strange that of the 4 sons of Aharon, only ...
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Are there examples of Hebrew Slaves in the Gemmorah?

Are there examples of Hebrew Slaves mentioned in the Gemmorah? Names of the slaves or their masters, the amounts paid, the terms served etc? (I recall a couple of Eved K'naani like Tavi, but can't ...
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Who would want to buy a Hebrew slave to equal him to his master?

We all know how benevolent our position to the Jewish slavery is (Rambam Avadim 1): "כָּל עֶבֶד עִבְרִי אוֹ אָמָה הָעִבְרִיָּה חַיָּב הָאָדוֹן לְהַשְׁווֹתָן לוֹ בְּמַאֲכָל וּבְמַשְׁקֶה בִּכְסוּת ...
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A Jewish slave pay-off math

I have some difficulty understanding the math for buying a Hebrew slave, sold for a steal: For a slave that is single: following this question is a slave price assessed per year or full term (6 years)...
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Why did G-d promise the former slaves to continue cultivating slavery?

This question is a different aspect of the previous question "why-parshas-mishpatim-begin-with-laws-of-slaves". A man that is discharged from a prison promises to never get back. A nation that was ...
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Different phrasing in Mishpatim and Shofetim

We have just read in Mishpatim (Shemot 23:8): וְשֹׁ֖חַד לֹ֣א תִקָּ֑ח כִּ֤י הַשֹּׁ֨חַד֙ יְעַוֵּ֣ר פִּקְחִ֔ים וִֽיסַלֵּ֖ף דִּבְרֵ֥י צַדִּיקִֽים׃ And thou shalt take no gift; for a gift blindeth ...
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Explain Rashi / Mechilta on Shemot 24:3

In Shemot 24:3, regarding the term mishpatim, Rash"i citing Mechilta includes a list of items. Among them, he includes parah adumah (the laws of the red heifer.) This is puzzling. The beginning of ...
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Why does Parshas Mishpatim begin with laws of slaves?

Parshas Mishpatim, as its name implies, deals with the civil laws of the Torah. Out of all the civil laws in the Torah, the parshah begins with the laws of the Hebrew slave. Why did the Torah see fit ...
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Three things being handed over Tablets, Torah and the Mitzvah?

HaShem tells Moshe: " וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת־לֻחֹת הָאֶבֶן וְהַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר כָּתַבְתִּי לְהוֹרֹתָם (Shemot 24:12) - *And I will give thee the tables of stone, and the Torah and the Mitzvah ...
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Do we apply עושה מעשה עמך consistently anywhere it says עמך?

The Gemara in several places (BM 48b and 62a, Yevamos 22b, Sanhedrin 85a, BB 4a, BK 94b, Makkos 8b) quotes the exposition ונשיא בעמך לא תאור - בעושה מעשה עמך “A prince in your people you shall ...
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Rokeach's remez to ayin tachas ayin meaning mamon

The Torah says (Exodus 21:24) עין תחת עין, an eye for an eye, which is understood to mean ממון, monetary compensation. I saw this remez by the Rokeach (here, result #2) and don't understand it: ...
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Please explain Shemot 23:26

My loose translation of Shemot 23:26 (feel free to edit, please): "There shall not be a miscarriage (I'm somewhat extending Rashi's translation, here) or a barren in your land. I will fill the ...
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Why is a slave sold for six years?

Why is a slave sold for six years? He's being sold for stealing. So he should be sold for the amount of time it takes to make enough to pay back the stolen amount.
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Nefesh tachas Nefesh vs. Nefesh BeNefesh

Exodus 21:23-24 states: וְאִם־אָס֖וֹן יִהְיֶ֑ה וְנָתַתָּ֥ה נֶ֖פֶשׁ תַּ֥חַת נָֽפֶשׁ׃ But if other damage ensues, the penalty shall be life for life, עַ֚יִן תַּ֣חַת עַ֔יִן שֵׁ֖ן תַּ֣חַת ...
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Removing vs. not having sickness - Shemot (Mishpatim) 23:25 vs. Shemot (Beshalach) 15:26

In Shemot 23:25, G-d says that he will remove all sicknesses from your midst. In Shemot 15:26, G-d says that all sicknesses that he placed on the Egyptians will not be placed upon Israel. There might ...
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Does the blessing “Poke'ach 'Ivrim” contain an allusion to the ill effects of bribery?

One of the Blessings of the Morning says that God פּוֹקֵחַ עִוְרִים opens [the eyes of] the blind (Sefaria community translation) This phrase is an almost exact reversal of the Torah's ...
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Why “אִם” used by lending money?

In Mishpatim (22:24) the pasuk uses the term "אִם" when describing the mitzvah of lending to the poor. אִם-כֶּסֶף תַּלְוֶה אֶת-עַמִּי, אֶת-הֶעָנִי עִמָּךְ--לֹא-תִהְיֶה לוֹ, כְּנֹשֶׁה; לֹא-...
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Are professional sports players liable for an opponent's injury? [duplicate]

Shemot 21:18-19 discusses the procedure of payment when one person injures another. Does, say, a professional boxer have to pay his opponent if he injures him during a boxing match? Are the rules ...
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1answer
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Is a person liable for murder many years later?

Shemot 21:18-19 described a situation where someone injures someone else and he doesn't die but is bed-ridden. If he walks on his crutches, the person who hit him does not receive the death penalty. ...
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Why an עבד עברי's ear is awled

Rashi comments on שמות כא,ו, quoting the מכילתא and קידושין דף כב עמוד ב, that an עבד עברי who was sold into slavery due to stealing has a hole put in his ear for not listening to לא תגנוב and one in ...
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End of Shemos Chronology

The following chronology follows Rashi’s understanding of the verses. 1 Sivan - Bnei Yisrael arrive at Har Sinai (Shemos 19:1 - Yisro) 2 Sivan - Moshe is told that we are to be a Mamleches Kohanim ...
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What is the function of את here?

What is the function of את in Shemot 21:28 when it says וכי-יגח שור את-איש או את-אשה ומת? את here is not marking definite direct objects but indefinite direct objects as there are no markings of ...
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שקר and שוא The difference between

What's the difference between these 'falses' (שקר and שוא?), how does one distinguish them from one another? Exodus 20:16 עד שקר Exodus 23:1 שמע שוא Exodus 23:7 שקר Deuteronomium 5:20 עד שוא Or ...
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Do I have to help my enemy change his flat tire?

We learn in Parshat Mishpatim (Shemot 23:5): If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under its burden, thou shalt forbear to pass by him; thou shalt surely release it with him. My ...
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Exodus 24 was a “mass conversion”; why were “the strangers” STILL referred to as “strangers” in the story of craving meat? [closed]

I have been told that before the Torah was given, the Children of Israel weren't yet "Jews" in the religious sense. Only at the "naaseh venishma" moment dod they convert. The erev rav (mixed ...
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Why does the torah on injured slaves call out eyes and teeth but not other damages?

In Parshat Mishpatim (Sh'mot 21:24-25) the torah tells us that if a man injuries another person he owes compensation: eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, and so on (listing ...
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Makaf in כי-תראה but not in כי תפגע

In Mishpatim 23:4-5, why is there a makaf in כי-תראה but not in כי תפגע? The words are very similar. As far as I can tell the only difference is that the patach at the end of תפגע ends in an ע, ...
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Divine Providence and Mishpatim 21:13

The Rambam, and many other Rishonim believed that divine providence extends to people in accordance with their righteousness. It follows that they believed that many times, G-d lets things happen ...
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Is there a difference between Simlah and Salmah?

In Parshat Mishpatim (22:8), the text, discussing guarded and stolen items, the list includes the word Salmah ("garment") which the Onkelos translates as "ksu". A similar word, Salmat, is used in 22:...
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Is G-d chasing out the Cananite nations or does B'nai Yisra'el have to do this?

There appears to be a conflict of ideas regarding who should rid the land of Cana'an from its inhabitants: Exodus 23:28-29 (Sefaria): וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֥י אֶת־הַצִּרְעָ֖ה לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וְגֵרְשָׁ֗ה אֶת־...
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What was the “tzir'a”? [duplicate]

Exodus 23:28: וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֥י אֶת־הַצִּרְעָ֖ה לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וְגֵרְשָׁ֗ה אֶת־הַחִוִּ֧י אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֛י וְאֶת־הַחִתִּ֖י מִלְּפָנֶֽיךָ׃ And I will send the hornet before thee, which shall drive ...
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Understanding G-d's description as a “doctor” or “healer”

I am trying to understand the concept of describing G-d's role as a רופא- loosely translated as "healer" and how it relates to His connection with sickness or ailments. Compare: Exodus 15:26: ...
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Where was Joshua waiting while Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the 1st tablets?

In the "Ten Commandments" movie, they depict Joshua waiting for Moses somewhere just below the top of the mountain. I know that Hollywood tends to embellish the facts, but I'm curious if Joshua ...
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What do the different terms for “judges” indicate?

In a few places in the chumash, the word "elohim" is translated as "judges". Rashi does this on Bereishit 6:2 and many meforshim do this on the uses in Shemot (such as in 22:7 and 8) saying that the ...
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Why isn't restitution for a goat mentioned in Shemot 21:37?

My Artscroll English Tanach, Shemot 21:37 goes like this: "If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep or goat, and slaughter it or sell it, he shall pay five cattle in place of the ox, and four sheep in ...
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1answer
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Does a maidservant have the right to refuse marriage to her master or his son when the time for it comes?

We learn from Mishpatim that a father can sell his daughter into the service of a master. This master then designates her as a future bride for himself or his son. At what age is the maidservant ...
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Can a parent “victim” forgive a child due the death penalty?

There are two capital offences against parents: cursing a parent or striking a parent (and causing an injury). If someone did this in front of 2 witnesses with a warning etc. so they were due the ...
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If my ox gores an androgynous, am i liable?

(Playing devil's advocate with this question.) In Shmot 21:31, Rashi says: לפי שנאמר והמית איש או אשה, יכול אינו חיב אלא על הגדולים, תלמוד לומר או בן יגח וגו' , לחייב על הקטנים כגדולים: The Torah ...
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The Ear That Heard “Don't Steal”

Rashi to Exodus (21:6) quotes the Mechilta which connects the drilling of the ear of the slave to hearing "don't steal" at Sinai. The obvious question asked by the Moshav Z'keinim (there) is that ...
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Why did Chizkiyahu Hide the book of Refuos

...and he shall provide for healing" (Mishpatim 21:19) nitna reshus larofeh lerapos (Bava Kama 85a) - so why did Chizkiyahu Hamelech hide the Sefer Herefuos (Brachos 10b)
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Soul for a Soul?

בס"ד In both Mishpatim and Shoftim there is a verse (Exodus 21:23 and Devarim 19:21) saying "a soul for a soul". I know that we don't take these verses literally and restitution is the punishment. ...
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Ruining the celebration of the Mishkan but not Har Sinai

Hashem did not want to mete out any punishments at the giving of the Torah in order to not ruin the joy of the moment (Rashi to Shemos 24:11). But Hashem was fine with seemingly ruining the joy of ...
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In Moses' time, would freeing a slave be harmful to the slave?

Exodus 21:26 is about letting a (Canaanite - Rashi) slave go free if they are injured by their owner. This appears to be a good thing, but I'm also wondering if it would be detrimental to a slave to ...
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1answer
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Why can't Hashem chase the people out of Canaan quickly?

Exodus 23:29 says that Hashem promised not to drive out the indigenous peoples of Canaan too quickly lest the wild animals become too plentiful. This is repeated in Deuteronomy 7:22. However the ...
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1answer
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Second and third person at beginning of Mishpatim

The start of Mishpatim (Exodus 21:2-6) discusses the Hebrew slave. It starts with "Ki sikneh eved ivri" - "When you will buy a Hebrew slave", referring to the master in the second person. The ...
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146 views

Why does the Haftara of Mishpatim end before it starts?

The Haftara of Mishpatim starts at Yirmiyahu Ch. 34:8 and continues to the end of the chapter. It then jumps to Ch. 33 verses 25-26, some 8 verses before it started. Obviously we do not want to end ...
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How is it permissible for a Jewish slave to marry a Canaanite slavewoman?

In Shemot, chapter 21 verse 4, we learn that a master can give his Jewish slave a Canaanite slavewoman to bear the master slave children: If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or ...
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1answer
118 views

The righteous man who suffers

In Ra'aya Mehemna (Parshat mishpatim) , it's explained that "the righteous man who suffers" is one whose evil nature is subservient to his good nature. I honestly did not understand what that line ...
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Why is a Jewish slave called an Eved Ivri and not Eved Israeli? [closed]

Why throughout Judaism (starting from Parashat Mishpotim - Shemos 21:2 a Jewish slave is called Eved Ivri כִּי תִקְנֶה עֶבֶד עִבְרִי? Why does it not call him an Eved Yisroeli, instead? The last ...