Vol 16.27 - Mishpatim 1           Spanish French Audio  Video

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(5737) Connection of the name of the parsha "Mishpatim", rational laws, to all the details of the parsha;

Explanation of the two opinions whether the laws were stated at Marah or they included even those received at Sinai (Rashi beg. of parsha 21:1);

The difference between faith and knowledge ( according to the explanation of the Shaloh on the verse (Beshalach 15:2): "This is my G-d" etc)


In last week's Torah portion, Yitro, we read about how the Torah was given "amidst thunder and lightening." This week, in the Torah portion of Mishpatim, we begin learning the commandments that were given at Mount Sinai. In contrast to what one might expect after such an extraordinary event, the mitzvot enumerated in Mishpatim involve simple, straightforward matters between man and man, the kind of laws logic would dictate even without specific commands in the Torah.
At first glance, the two portions seem to symbolize opposite extremes: Yitro describes the supernatural revelation of G-dliness on Mount Sinai, whereas in Mishpatim, the Torah deals with the mundane details of daily life.

On a deeper level, however, these two portions represent two necessary stages in the transformation of the world that was initiated at Mount Sinai: The Torah was given to man for the purpose of bridging the gap between the spiritual plane of existence and physical reality. With the revelation of the Torah, holiness could be introduced into the material world, thereby uniting the spiritual with the physical.

The objective was not for holiness to nullify or negate the physical world. Rather, G-d wanted it to continue to function as before, albeit suffused and permeated with a higher sanctity.

The first stage in the fusion of the spiritual and physical is described in Yitro: "And G-d descended on Mount Sinai." All of creation held its collective breath when the Torah was revealed, as the Midrash relates: "Not one bird screeched, not one fowl flew, not one ox bellowed...the whole world was silent and soundless." The Jewish people were so nullified by the intense revelation of G-dliness that they fled several miles and had to be brought back.

Such a state of nullification, however, was not the ultimate goal, as G-d wants the world to exist as a "regular" physical entity. Accordingly, the second stage is described in Mishpatim, which deals with monetary regulations and the laws of damages, i.e., how a Jew is supposed to observe G-d's commandments within the framework of his day to day life. In fact, it is precisely through observing these "simple" mitzvot that holiness is brought into the world and becomes part and parcel of it.

Being holy does not mean being disconnected from the world or having to transcend it. On the contrary, holiness can also be expressed in compensation for damages, respecting deposits and pledges, paying employees on time, etc. - mundane, concrete actions carried out according to Torah that make the world holy.

With faith in G-d as his foundation, every Jew has the power to sanctify all aspects of his life.

(From http://www.lchaimweekly.org/lchaim/5761/658.htm)





http://www.sichos-in-english.org/books/in-the-garden-of-the-torah/18.htm(external link)

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