Parshas Mishpatim in a nutshell

by | Feb 6, 2021 | Nutshell

Jewish law

Do not go to gentile courts.

Jewish servant law

A Hebrew servant goes free after six years.

The master must feed the Hebrew slave’s family.

If his master gives him a gentile maidservant, the children belong to the master.

If the servant wants to stay after the six years, he may, after his master puts a hole through his ear.

A man may sell his daughter as a maid servant.

The master may marry her; he may not resell her.

The masters son may also marry her.

If either of them marry her, she must be treated as a regular wife.

A Jewish wife must be provided with clothing, food and conjugation.

She goes free when she turns twelve and a day.

A murderer gets the death penalty.

Someone who kills by mistake, must go into exile.

One who bruises or curses his father or mother gets the death penalty.

A kidnapper gets the death penalty.

If one strikes his gentile slave and he dies outright, the master gets the death penalty. If the slave survived for a day, the master does not get punished.

Monetary law

If one injures another, he must pay for his medical expenses as well as wage replacement.

If one strikes a pregnant woman and kills the unborn baby, he must compensate the woman’s husband.

If one damages the limb of another, he must pay him for the value of his limb.

If a master knocks out an eye or a tooth of a gentile slave, he goes free.

If an ox gores a human, the ox should be stoned. If this is the 3rd time the ox has done so [if somehow the ox was not stoned], the owners must pay.

If one opens a pit and does not cover it and an ox or donkey falls in, he must pay.

If an ox gores another ox, the first 2 times he pays 1/2 damages, thereafter full damages.

If one steals an ox or sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he must repay 5 times the value of the ox, or 4 times the value of the sheep.

If one finds a thief in a tunnel and kills him, he is not liable. However if it was clear that the thief would not have killed the homeowner, then he is liable.

If one steals and the stolen goods are found by him, he must pay double.

If one brings his animals into the field of another and they do damage as they go, or they eat, he is liable.

If one lights a fire and it spreads to the property of another, he shall pay.


If one gives property to another to watch and it is stolen, the thief must pay double.

If the thief isn’t found, the trustee must swear that it was stolen. If he is found to have sworn falsely, he must pay double.

If it was given to the trustee for pay and he claims it was stolen, he must repay the owners. If he claims it died, he must swear that it is so.

If one borrows property from another, even if he claims it died, he must repay the owners. However, if the owner was working for the borrower at the time of borrowing, he is  exempt.

Seduction, witches, sodomy and idol worship

If one seduces a virgin, he shall marry her. If her father refuses to give her to him, he shall pay.

A witch gets the death penalty.

One who lies with an animal gets the death penalty.

One who sacrifices to a idol or another power besides Hashem,  gets the death penalty.

Converts, widows and orphans

Do not pain a convert with words. Do not steal from a convert.

Do not pain a widow or orphan with words. If one causes pain to these people, Hashem will hear his cryl and cause your wives to be widows and your sons orphans.

Do not pressure a convert.

Laws of lending money

When you lend money to a a Jew, do not demand repayment forcefully; do not take interest.

If one takes the borrowers shirt as surety, he must return it for the daytime hours. If one takes bedding, he must return it for the night. If one doesn’t do so and the borrower call to Hashem, he will hear his cry.

Cursing, Terumah, first born, sacrifices, Teraifah and Lashon Hara

Do not curse Hashem, a judge or a king.

Do not take Terumah and Bikkurim out of order.

Give your firstborn son to Hashem [redeem him for 5 Selaim].

A animal must be 8 days old to be fit to be brought as a sacrifice.

Do not eat Teraifah

Do not accept Lashon Hara.

Laws of court

Do not give false testimony.
Do not sentence to death with a one man majority; do so with a 2 man majority.

Do not argue with the outstanding Judge of Sanhedrin.

Do not respect a poor man in court.

Do not bend the Judgment of a destitute man.

Do not take a bribe.

Do not kill an innocent man, nor one who was vindicated in court.

Some laws of society

If another’s ox or donkey is lost and you find it, return it to him.

If one’s enemy’s donkey is crouched under its burden, help him unload.

Shmitta, positive commandments and deities

Do not work the land in the seventh year; do not eat the produce after the time of Biur.

Be careful to keep all positive commandments.

Do not mention the name of a foreign deity.

Three festivals

Pesach for seven days in the spring.

Shavuos – the holiday of the harvest.

Sukkos at the end of the year, when you bring the produce in from the field.

These three times, come to the Bais Ha`Mikdash and bring Olos.

Don’t bring the Korban Pesach with Chametz in one’s house. Do not leave the fats of the Korban until morning [they need to be burnt on the Mizbayach].

Bring your first fruits to the Bais Ha`Mikdash.

Do not cook a goat in the milk of its mother.

Hashem's promise

I will send an angel with you to watch over you and to bring you to the place which I have prepared for you. Listen to him.

If you listen to Hashem and do all that I say, then I will battle your enemies and pain your oppressors.

When the angel brings you to the land of Caanan, do not bow to their deities, nor serve them or do like their actions. Rather destroy their deities and alters.

Serve Hashem and I will bless your bread and water and remove sickness from amongst you.

There will not be a barren woman and I will fill your days.

I will send my fear before you, so your enemies will flee from before you. I will send the Tziiraah before you, she will chase out the Chivi, Kanaani and the Chitit from before you.

I will chase them out slowly, until you multiply and inherit the land.

I will make your border from Yam Suf until the sea of the Plishtim and from the dessert until the river.

Do not make a treaty with the inhabitants or their gods.

Do not allow them to live in your land, for they will cause you to sin and serve their deities.

The prolusion to Kabaalas Ha`Torah

Hashem told Moshe: Go up to Hashem, you, Ahron, Nadav, Avihu and the seventy elders and bow from afar. Only Moshe should go up [all the way] to Hashem.

Bnei Yisrael said we will do whatever Hashem says.

Moshe wrote the Torah [from Beraishis to Matan Torah and the Mitzvos they were given in Mara].

He woke early and built a Mizbayach and twelve pillars.

He sent the Bechoros to bring Korban Olos.

Moshe took 1/2 the blood and sprinkled it on the Mizbayach. He read the Torah that he had written and all said Naaseh Ve`Nishmah.

Moshe took the other 1/2 of the blood and sprinkled it on Bnei Yisrael and said here is the blood of the covenant that Hashem has made with you.

Moshe, Ahron, Nadav, Avihu and the seventy elders went up and “saw” [so to speak] Hashem. Under his feet was like a brick of precious stone and like the purity of heaven.

Although Nadav, Avihu and the seventy elders looked at Hashem and ate and drank, Hashem did not punish them.

Moshe told the Elders that while he is up on Mt. Sinai, if they have any questions they can ask Ahron or Chur.

Moshe and Yehoshua woke early and went to Mt. Sinai, Yehoshua stayed at the foot and Moshe went up.

Moshe was covered by the cloud for six days, after which Hashem called him up. Hashem looked like a consuming fire to the eyes of Bnei Yisrael. Moshe stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights.