In last week’s parsha, God revealed His presence from the heavens as He uttered the Ten Commandments. This week, in Parshat Mishpatim, we see a different side of God: “And these are the laws that you shall place before them” – a litany of detailed and complicated laws. Rashi, quoting Rabbi Akiva, imagines that the laws are placed before Israel like a smorgasbord, like a set table. He says:
“You shall set before them” – like a table set with food [shulkan arukh!], ready to eat.
This is an interesting metaphor but what might it mean?
The Ten Commandments say: “Do not murder” – a categorical, moral imperative. This week we hear the details.
Click here to read more from Rabbi Alex Israel in this week’s Parsha Discussion: Mishpatim: Set the Table!
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