Saturday, March 04, 2006

Dvar Torah III

This is late but the parshah is kind of boring until you think a lot about it.
It seems that there are three kinds of religious law. You have the purely religious which is represented by the giving of the Torah. This is law designed for us to serve G-d such as praying and learning. Then you have in parshat Mishpatim the law which is made to create a well functioning society. These laws are the ones responsible for protecting property rights and establishing courts. Then there is the third type which is designed to give us structure in foreign territory. Take this parshah. It doesn't really matter to G-d how big the different vessels are or the exact service. However, it is essential for us to be able to rely on the structure of religion. Just this evening I was at a shivah house. The process of mourning is one which is unknown to the mourners. They have no idea how to express their grief and what outlet they should use. However, halachah tells us that they must sit low in mourning for one week. This is a tremendous source of comfort.

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