Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Mishpatim - Reading #4

Mishpatim מִּשְׁפָּטִים - Laws

Exodus: 21:1-24:18

Reading #4 - Exodus 22:27–23:5

My Thoughts:

In 23:5 we read that Hashem wants to help even animals that are in trouble. So, if you see a donkey (an animal) in a troublesome situation, you are to help it out. That shows me how much Hashem cares not only for us, but for His creation. He is so very kind. 

Today I heard on the news that there was an abused dog that had gotten loose, running around in a local city park. Someone found him, helped him and got him to shelter. They were reporting that they were investigating the people who did this. It may seem trivial, but it’s not. We read about a particular Commandment in which we are to do exactly this -- rescue an animal if needed. I believe Hashem is saying that ALL of His creation matters. And if we are to treat even animals in a decent and fair way, how much so will we treat fellow humans?


Chapter 23:1 we are told not to give a false report, or a lie about someone. A lot of us are guilty of doing this even when we think we are just “sharing” some news. Or we may say something like, “Mary needs prayer. She is getting a divorce”. But, we really don’t know if this is the truth or not. Best, not to talk about them at all. Unless you have something kind to say about someone, don’t say anything.

Reading #4 - Exodus 22:27–23:5

22:27 for that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What would he sleep in? It will happen, when he cries to me, that I will hear, for I am gracious.

28 “You shall not blaspheme Elohim, nor curse a ruler of your people.

29 “You shall not delay to offer from your harvest and from the outflow of your presses.

“You shall give the firstborn of your sons to me. 30 You shall do likewise with your cattle and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days, then on the eighth day you shall give it to me.

31 “You shall be holy men to Me, therefore you shall not eat any meat that is torn by animals in the field. You shall cast it to the dogs.

23 “You shall not spread a false report. Don’t join your hand with the wicked to be a malicious witness.

2 “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil. You shall not testify in court to side with a multitude to pervert justice. 3 You shall not favor a poor man in his cause.

4 “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. 5 If you see the donkey of him who hates you fallen down under his burden, don’t leave him. You shall surely help him with it.