Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Parsha catch-up: Parshat Mishpatim

Here's the basic information.

The Hillel (standing-on-one-foot) verison: Information overload--too many laws! (Sounds like Judaism in general. :) )

DovBear discusses this parsha's reference to hornets, has problems with Mishpatim, and urges caution regarding the attitude toward abortion that appears to be indicated in this parsha (start there and follow the link). But even he's a bit overwhelmed, and asks for ideas.

Woodrow, of Conservadox, has some interesting notes.

My comments:
  • Anyone who doesn't believe that halachah (Jewish religious law) evolves has only to read Exodus chapter 21, verses 23-25. "Ayin tachat ayin, An eye for an eye," was interpreted by the rabbis to refer to monetary compensation at a point in Jewish history so long ago that I wonder whether anyone actually knows whether this law was ever carried out literally.
  • I'm sure I learned this from someone else: "Naaseh v'nishma, We will do and we will hear," (Exodus chapter 24, verse 7) is the way that human beings develop--as children, we "do" first, and only understand why later, when we're old enough.
Thurs., Feb. 3, 2011 update: More from DovBear and commenters.


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