Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Parshat Mishpatim, (Exodus 22:27-23:5)-1/22/2014

The laws continue. I don't like that the authority of these laws is not their brilliance, but rather that G_d created them. But then, I could say that, by definition, what made brilliant laws was G_d. In any case, it seems strange that it is ok for a Jew to sell or give his non-kosher food to a dog or to a gentile. If kosher is "dietary laws" then others shouldn't be eating (according to a Jew's good conscience) non-kosher food. I understand there is some food that a Jew should not give or sell. I would like to know whats what.

My uncle Irving was an orthodox Jew and worked for my father on Saturdays in his store. But Irving's observance interfered with him being able to touch money. So he had my dad ring up sales. Would G_d then scorn my dad for being such a bad Jew? Or would G_d bless my father for allowing Irving to be such a good Jew?

I did like the idea of not giving special treatment to the poor or rich. I remember one professor who insisted on giving more classes to a single poor part-timer because she didn't have a husband to support her. I tried to make the point that for the sake of the students we should hire the best, not the poorest.

Nice that one should return a lost ox to one's enemy (if they are the owner). This seems to come under the Golden Rule. (The Jewish sage and martyr Rabbi Akiba, following Hillel the Elder (c.110 BC, died 10 AD),[66] had singled out the Golden Rule as a basic principle of the Torah meaning. —Wikopedia.)

This all  seems to fit what we read in the next section, "And you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, since you were strangers in the land of Egypt."

I love this line, but believe abused people quickly forget their abuse. I wish more followed this law.

Last, but not least, if a donkey falls due to a heavy load, you should help him get up. Metaphorically that could apply to so many situation. We can't say, "but it wasn't my donkey."

Fallen Donkee

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