Mishpatim: Civics and Angels

Shalom Aleichem

mishpatimI alluded last week to my maniacal preparations for my own ceremony of Bat Mitzvah as a grown woman, and as someone who chose to enter the covenant. Mishpatim is that sidra that caused me to pause and consider my need to allow others to help me prepare for that day.

Mishpatim includes many of our civil laws – the Covenant, our legal code, laws which have to do with our interactions with each other – a conjunction which seems entirely fitting for someone choosing to join this community. We have just heard the big picture at Sinai – but now we come down to the pragmatic details. We learn that our conduct amongst ourselves is equal to any theology. We are to live out our relationship with God in real time with real people.