Shabbat Shalom! – Mishpatim

Image: A gavel and scales, symbols of the law. Photo by succo.

Mishpatim – “Laws” – is named, as all Torah portions are, for the first distinctive word in the portion, but it is also very descriptive. It is chock full of rules and regulations for Jewish living, and finishes with descriptions and commandments for the three great “pilgrimage festivals” of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

It lends itself to a variety of divrei Torah, because each law in it is a gate to a little world of its own. Here are some drashot you may enjoy:

Judaism Abhors Child Abuse by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz

A Lender Be by Rabbi David Kasher

Torah MiSinai is Only One Half of the Conversation by Rabbi Sylvia Rothchild

Sweetness in Judgment by Rabbi Rafi Mollot

The Torah and Slavery by Rabbi Don Levy

The Sanctity of Laws by Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser

The Angry Ox and the Chapel Hill Shootings by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Chapter, Verse, Word & Letter by Rabbi Ruth Adar


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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

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