Friday, February 01, 2008
Good look, URJ. And thanks to all the writers for producing such quality content week after week. You impress me anew every time. Onward and upward!
In the weeks before Valentine’s Day (I know, I know -- St. Valentine, not a Jew) and in contemplating my upcoming engagement, I’ve been thinking more and more about relationships, about love, and rules we follow for how we treat each other. Did you know that there is an increase in domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday?
According to a study done by
Also woven throughout Mishpatim -- just like life’s hardships -- are continual references and illusions to how to conduct respectful and loving relationships.
Unfortunately, there are no set-in-stone rules for love, and certainly not as many as the ordinances set out in Parsha Mishpatim. In this Parsha you read laws spanning agriculture, theft, carnal indiscretions, and holidays. But G-d also sets forth rules similar to guidelines for healthy relationships. Partners should learn:
- Give and take
“If you take your neighbor's garment as security, until sunset you shall return it to him” (Ex. )
“And you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, since you were strangers in the
.” (Ex. 23:9) landof Egypt
“You shall not prostrate yourself before their gods, and you shall not worship them, and you shall not follow their practices.” (Ex. )
Maybe I’m consumed by the fires of love right now, but the last portion of Mishpatim (in which Moses ascends
“And Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. And the glory of the Lord rested on
So in the spirit of the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, and G-d’s ordinances, love each other by following the rules of fairness and honesty, and know that it’s okay to become consumed by love. Good luck and ... play ball!