Thursday, January 23, 2014

Parashat Mishpatim, 5774/2014 edition

Basics here.
My Mishpatim posts from 2013 and 2012, with links.

Swiped from my Yitro postof last week —I got carried away and made notes about text from Mishpatim.

י  אִם-אַחֶרֶת, יִקַּח-לוֹ--שְׁאֵרָהּ כְּסוּתָהּ וְעֹנָתָהּ, לֹא יִגְרָע.
10 If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her conjugal rights, shall he not diminish

 The short version:  Polygamy is expensive.  :)  And wives have rights.

כב  וְכִי-יִנָּצוּ אֲנָשִׁים, וְנָגְפוּ אִשָּׁה הָרָה וְיָצְאוּ יְלָדֶיהָ, וְלֹא יִהְיֶה, אָסוֹן--עָנוֹשׁ יֵעָנֵשׁ, כַּאֲשֶׁר יָשִׁית עָלָיו בַּעַל הָאִשָּׁה, וְנָתַן, בִּפְלִלִים.
22 And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow, he shall be surely fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

I assume that this is the origin of the rabbinic opinion that abortion is not murder.

א  אִם-בַּמַּחְתֶּרֶת יִמָּצֵא הַגַּנָּב, וְהֻכָּה וָמֵת--אֵין לוֹ, דָּמִים.
1 If a thief be found breaking in, and be smitten so that he dieth, there shall be no bloodguiltiness for him.

Self-defense is permissible . . .

ב  אִם-זָרְחָה הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ עָלָיו, דָּמִים לוֹ: 
2 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be bloodguiltiness for him . . .

. . . but if there’s a way to defend oneself that doesn’t involve killing, then killing is not permissible.  Once the sun’s up and you can see that the thief is on the way out of the house and you’re not in mortal danger, you can’t just shoot to kill.

לא  וְשַׁתִּי אֶת-גְּבֻלְךָ, מִיַּם-סוּף וְעַד-יָם פְּלִשְׁתִּים, וּמִמִּדְבָּר, עַד-הַנָּהָר:  כִּי אֶתֵּן בְּיֶדְכֶם, אֵת יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ, וְגֵרַשְׁתָּמוֹ, מִפָּנֶיךָ.
31 And I will set thy border from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness unto the River; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.
לב  לֹא-תִכְרֹת לָהֶם וְלֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, בְּרִית.
32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
לג  לֹא יֵשְׁבוּ בְּאַרְצְךָ, פֶּן-יַחֲטִיאוּ אֹתְךָ לִי:  כִּי תַעֲבֹד אֶת-אֱלֹהֵיהֶם, כִּי-יִהְיֶה לְךָ לְמוֹקֵשׁ.  {פ}
33 They shall not dwell in thy land--lest they make thee sin against Me, for thou wilt serve their gods--for they will be a snare unto thee. {P}

Ouch.  What do we do with this?  Kahane to the contrary notwithstanding, Israel can’t just expel the Palestinians.  I don’t think that’s the kind of behavior that a compassionate people, followers of a compassionate G-d, can justify.

Okay, now for this week’s comment, also from Chapter 23:

יט  רֵאשִׁית, בִּכּוּרֵי אַדְמָתְךָ, תָּבִיא, בֵּית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ; לֹא-תְבַשֵּׁל גְּדִי, בַּחֲלֵב אִמּוֹ.  {פ}
19 The choicest first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk. {P}

Is this the Torah’s first mention of not boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk?

Haftarah note:
Haftarat Mishpatim, which shows B’nei Yisrael/the Children of Israel backsliding regarding freeing slaves after six years, begins with Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah, chapter 34, verses 8-22, then continues with chapter 33, verses25-26(See haftarah list here.)  Go figure.  Wonder how often that happens?

Conservadox comments on the Torah’s mandate of kindness toward animals.

RavShai Held, of Mechon Hadar, writes about the Torah’s mandate to turn memory into empathy.


Blogger smoo said...

This is the first of 3x.exodus 23:19, 34:26
and deut 14:21
Don't recall if I sent this comment so sorry if I repeat.

R. Joseph ben Isaac-The Bekhor Shor from 12th cent explains you shall not "cook" kid in mothers milk differently. Bishul is meant in the sense of ripening. The context is one where the Torah commands punctual action -bring first fruit. So too by offerings for sacrifice (pasuk before): don't wait until the young animal is old enough to be weaned! IT'S AN EXPRESSION! Don't be lax and hesitant, get your sacrifice going already! exodus 23:19, 34:26

He does use the pasuk in devarim to learn out the law of not cooking with milk and then allows for the midrashic and oral laws use of a pasuk used three times to teach don't cook, or eat, or get pleasure from milk n meat.

The halacha often veers from the pashut peshat and we have no problem with that.(and by that, here I mean the pasuk is a known idiom and should be viewed that way). I find it interesting to sometimes explore the pashut peshat even without intent to unproot accepted practice.

Thu Jan 30, 05:46:00 PM 2014  
Blogger smoo said...

OOPS- cant forget to give credit for above idea:
by Rabbi Zev Farber Ph.D.

Thu Jan 30, 05:50:00 PM 2014  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sorry I've fallen behind in reading my comments. Thanks for the information, smoo.

Sun Feb 23, 08:07:00 PM 2014  

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