Friday, February 17, 2012

Posts so far for parshat Mishpatim


1) Mishpatim sources -- further improved.

2) The dispute between Onkelos and Rashi over לַחָפְשִׁי --  Whether it is to freedom or to [be a slave] to a free man. I doubt such a dispute actually exists.

3) Calculations regarding stolen blessings and mitzvos --  an elaborate construction from the Chasam Sofer.

4) The severity of one who curses his parents --  Compared to one who strikes them. According to R' Yonasan Eibeshitz, it is because the curser admits to Hashem's hashgacha, yet tries to bring Him into this evil. Or, because the striker can be excused, since striking is the fault of a person's animal soul.

5) YU Torah on parashat Mishpatim.

6) Primary and secondary laws -- those that hold for all time, and those open to adjustment, to allow for changing conditions.


  1. Mishpatim sources -- further improved. For example, many more meforshei Rashi.
  2. As easy as falling off a ladder, pt i -- I champion Rashi's girsa of oleh rather than yored, despite halachic challenges to details of his case.
  3. As easy as falling off a ladder, part ii of ii -- Further analyses of the midrash of Divine justice presented by Rashi. If the meidiz was chayiv hereg, why should someone falling on him help, when it is more akin to sekilah?
  4.  Asher lo ye'adah -- Some readings of the lo/lo by amah ivriyah.
  5. Ibn Ezra's girsa of velo yishama al picha -- Ibn Ezra has a variant girsa of a pasuk in parshat Mishpatim, which lines up with a variant mentioned by the Aruch. It turns out it also matches the Samaritan Pentateuch. Yet I would still side with our Masoretic text.
  6. Shema shav as false report and useless report --  according to Rashi. Does he get both interpretations from Onkelos?
  7. Does Naaseh veNishma imply the former before the latter?  Presenting Ibn Caspi's take on this.
  8. Five times penalty for the golden calf --  An interesting explanation of a midrash, and of a pasuk in Ki Tisa, according to the Gra. Are there other ways of explaining this midrash pliah? Related is this parshablog post.


  1. Mishpatim sources -- revamped, with over 100 meforshim on the parsha and haftarah.
  2. Mishpatim: The implications of refraining from commenting -- Several pashtanim pointedly refrain from offering commentary on the Torah's legal codes, despite their innovation elsewhere. Rather, they endorse the traditional halachic conclusions. Examples: Ibn Ezra, Ibn Caspi. What does this mean, hashkafically speaking? And what could this tell us about their divergence in the case of midrash aggadah?
  3. Charoses and the authenticity of the Zohar -- If named Tannaim or Amoraim mentioned in the Zohar think the tapuach is the apple, but according to true Chazal the tapuach is the citron, then how could the Zohar be anything other than a forgery?
  4. A boring dvar Torah about doors and doorposts --  Unlike some of pashtanim discussed in this previous post on Mishpatim, the Vilna Gaon is extremely willing to interpret a pasuk against the established halachah. Just how he does that. And what the Karaites think. Plus, the example under consideration, about the door and the doorframe, leads us to a girsological variation in Onkelos, which we may attempt to resolve.
  5. Is Moshe's forty day (and night) fast super-miraculousSo says Ibn Ezra. And Ibn Caspi takes him to task. And besides speculating on Ibn Ezra's methodological motivation, I wonder if it is even so certain that the Torah describes a miraculous event.
  6. What makes a gadol?
  7. What was bothering Ibn CaspiContinuing the conversation on a post in Mishpatim. How Rashbam differing from Chazal is not the same as Rashi differing from Chazal. And considering how Ibn Caspi onegrof would potentially argue with the conclusions of Chazal.
  8. What is tzirahHornet or sickness? Rashi, along with midrash, and Ibn Ezra.
  9. Yet more on tzirah -- How the Maharsha explains the brayta's statement that the hornets did not pass over, in terms of tying it in with the pesukim; whether his problem is the same as ours; and thus, whether his solution works.

  1. Mishpatim sources, with links to an online Mikraos Gedolos, and many meforshim on the parsha and haftarah. Great for preparing the parsha.
  2. Now these are the laws ... Is there room and legitimacy for a peshat commentary? This as a preface to Mishpatim, and so is part of the running commentary.
  3. When you purchase a Hebrew slave... Does leOlam mean until Yovel? Who is being spoken of here? How the theme is the balancing of the financial interests of the master and the human, personal interests of the servant. Also part of the running commentary.
  4. Permission for a doctor to heal, based on Rabbenu Bachya -- is the permission only for external wounds? is psychological treatment being excluded here? Plus, some troubling approaches to the legitimacy of psychology.
  5. The Satan dancing between the ox's horns, also based on a Rabbenu Bachya. What is the meaning of the statement in the gemara? And is that the same as Rabbenu Bachya's interpretation?
  1. Was the "Malach" Metatron or Moshe? A machlokes. And who exactly is this "Metatron?"
  2. Do not oppress the widow and the orphan -- the message in the threat being one of empathy.
  3. Marriage as penalty -- for a man who seduces a virgin. And how Shadal explains it as a matter of social standing.
  4. In Shadal's vikuach, a pasuk at the end of mishpatim with ambiguous parsing is used as a basis for showing that they did not have trup.
  1. Twice Betrayed: A Case Study in Multivalence - part 1
    • by her husband, by her father. how Rashi presents them as simultaneously correct.
  2. Implementing Biblical Law in Florida
    • an attempt at implementing ba bamachteret, such that homeowners can use lethal force on home intruders.
  1. HaAm = Ziknei HaAm as synecdoche
    • in which the whole refers to the part. In Mishpatim, Moshe ascends with Aharon, Nadav and Avihu and the elders, and it subsequently refers to them as the Am. So too in Yitro, Moshe asks the elders a question and the Am responds.
  2. Ayin Tachat Ayin as metaphor
    • In which I argue that saying that it means monetary payment is actually peshat, because it actually is a metaphor in which the punishment fits the degree of the crime.
  3. From parshat Behar-Bechukotai, a discussion of serving LeOlam/until Yovel for the perpetual servant mentioned in the beginning of Mishpatim.
    • and how two apparently opposing verses actually show different facets of the same law.
  4. from parshat Ki Teitzei, Eshet Yefat To`ar As Progressive Feminist Legislation, where in the course of discussion, I compare it to Amah Ivriya, the Hebrew maidservant, mentioned in the beginning of Mishpatim.
    • how it represents a reform of existing practice, and implements protections for the captive woman. 

to be continued...

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