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A Set Table

The portion of Mishpatim begins with the following verse: “And these are the ordinances (mishpatim) that you shall place before them” (Exodus 21:1). The Midrash’s commentary on this verse, cited by Rashi, exemplifies the careful attention the Rabbis paid to every word in the Torah and the illumination they gained from doing so. In my […]

The Torah’s Perspective on Sexuality

One of the many mitzvot in Mishpatim dictates the husband’s obligation to provide his wife with three things: food, clothing, and marital relations (Exodus 21:10). That the Torah actually obligates the husband to provide his wife with marital intimacy was as revolutionary in its time as it is today. Contrary to most, if not all, […]