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Weekly Parsha Summary

Following the revelation at Sinai, Hashem legislates a series of laws for the  Jewish people. These include the laws of the indentured servant; the penalties for murder, kidnapping, assault and theft; civil laws pertaining to redress of damages, the granting of loans and the responsibilities of the “Four Guardians”; and the rules governing the conduct of justice by courts of law.

Also included are laws warning against mistreatment of foreigners; the observance of the seasonal festivals, and the agricultural gifts that are to be brought to the Beis Hamikdash; the prohibition against cooking meat with milk; and the mitzvah of davening. Altogether, the Parshah of Mishpatim contains 53 Mitzvos—23 imperative commandments and 30 prohibitions.

Hashem promises to bring the Jewish people to the Holy Land, and warns them against assuming the pagan ways of its current inhabitants.

The Jewish people proclaim, “We will do and we will hear all that Hashem commands us.” Leaving Aaron and Chur in charge in the Israelite camp, Moshe ascends Har Sinai and remains there for forty days and forty nights to receive the Torah from Hashem.

Rabbi's Shabbos Message

"If a person steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it. He must pay five oxen for an ox and four sheep for the sheep" (Shemos 21:37)

Rashi comments that the reason that a thief must pay back less for a sheep compared to the ox, is because of the embarrassment he suffers for carrying the sheep.

When a person steals an ox, he simply has to lead it away. A sheep on the other hand, must be carried away, and running away with a sheep on your back can be quite embarrassing.

Rav Simcha Zissel commented that this is amazing thing. A thief is not known for being the most sensitive person around. Yet, he will still suffer a slight amount of embarrassment when he is running away with a sheep on his shoulders, and that embarrassment is considered to be a bit of a punishment in of itself.

Now imagine this. If that little bit of embarrassment has the power of taking away punishment, imagine the reward for the embarrassment somebody goes through for doing a mitzvah.

Many times, a person will stay away from doing a mitzvah because they will be made fun of by others. But that person should strengthen himself by reminding himself of the reward for doing a mitzvah under such circumstances. Imagine if a person was willing to give you $10,000 if you would allow them to make fun of you for an entire hour. You would do it! So, next time you feel uncomfortable doing a mitzvah in fear of others’ ridicule... just think of the reward you will receive in the future.