Mishpatim מִּשְׁפָּטִים - Laws
Reading #5 - Exodus 23:6–19
The last command in this reading is not to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk (verse 19). At first glance we can feel this is a very humane act, which it is. But some sages believe it represents pagan worship. The pagans would sacrifice a baby goat in its mother’s milk. And of course, Hashem does not want us performing or even copying any type of pagan worship. He is the only Elohim we serve. He wants us to know that under no way does He want us to perform pagan worship. When the Israelites were coming into the Land they would be exposed to many different pagan gods. Hashem cares for us and instructs us ahead of time. Amen.
I love in verse 10 how Hashem has us rest our crops in the seventh year, and that the poor will have a way to eat. He provides for everyone -- rich and poor. And He is instructing His people how to take care of those around us. So, today my challenge is for you to think about if you are providing in some way for the poor or those around you who need special help. If you aren't, ask Hashem to give you an opportunity to do so. And He will. I actually got a text from a former client before a recent holiday asking for help. Our family along with five other family friends decided to help her and her seven children. We gave her food and presents. Her children were so excited! I know it was from Hashem because we were more blessed then the family was!
Reading #5 - Exodus 23:6–19
6 “You shall not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.
7 “Keep far from a false charge, and don’t kill the innocent and righteous; for I will not justify the wicked.
8 “You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds those who have sight and perverts the words of the righteous.
9 “You shall not oppress an alien, for you know the heart of an alien, since you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
10 “For six years you shall sow your land, and shall gather in its increase, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the animal of the field shall eat. In the same way, you shall deal with your vineyard and with your olive grove.
12 “Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant, and the alien may be refreshed.
13 “Be careful to do all things that I have said to you; and don’t invoke the name of other gods or even let them be heard out of your mouth.
14 “You shall observe a feast to me three times a year. 15 You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib (for in it you came out of Egypt), and no one shall appear before me empty. 16 And the feast of harvest, the first fruits of your labors, which you sow in the field; and the feast of ingathering, at the end of the year, when you gather in your labors out of the field. 17 Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord Hashem.
18 “You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread. The fat of my feast shall not remain all night until the morning.
19 You shall bring the first of the first fruits of your ground into the house of Hashem your Elohim.
“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.