The sixth portion of the book of Sh’mot/Exodus is Mishpatim, which means “Rulings.” This is the 18th Torah Portion.
Torah Portion: Exodus 21:1-24:18
Hatorah: Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26
Apostolic: Matthew 5:21-48
You can read or listen to the portions below:
This word came to Yirmeyahu from The LORD after King Tzidkiyahu had made a covenant with all the people in Yerushalayim to emancipate them. Everyone who had a male or female slave who was Hebrew was to let him go free; none was to keep as his slave a fellow Jew. All the leaders and all the people listened who had entered into the covenant, wherein everyone was to free his male and female slaves and not keep them in bondage any longer. They listened, and they let them go. But afterwards, they changed their minds; they made the male and female slaves, whom they had freed, return; and they brought them back into subjection as slaves. Therefore this word of The LORD came to Yirmeyahu from The LORD: “Here is what The LORD the G-d of Isra’el says: ‘When I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, where they lived as slaves, I made this covenant with them: “At the end of seven years every one of you is to set free his brother Hebrew who has been sold to you and has served you six years. You are to let him go free from you.” But your ancestors did not listen to me or pay any attention. Now you repented, you did what is right from my viewpoint when each of you proclaimed freedom to his fellow; and you made a covenant before me in the house bearing my name. But then you changed your minds. You profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, whom you had set free to live as they wished, and brought them back into subjection as your slaves.’ Therefore here is what The LORD says: ‘You did not heed me and proclaim freedom, each to his brother and each to his neighbor; so now I proclaim for you a freedom,’ says The LORD, ‘for sword, plague and famine. I will make you an object of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. As for the men who violated my covenant by not living up to the conditions of the covenant which they made in my presence when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts — the leaders of Y’hudah, the leaders of Yerushalayim, the officials, the cohanim and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf; I will hand them over to their enemies, hand them over to those who seek their lives; and their corpses will become food for birds in the air and wild animals. Tzidkiyahu king of Y’hudah and his officials I will hand over to their enemies, to those who seek their lives and to the army of the king of Bavel, which has withdrawn. I will give the order,’ says The LORD, ‘and cause them to return to this city. They will attack it, capture it and burn it to the ground; and I will make the cities of Y’hudah desolate and uninhabited.’”
Here is what The LORD says: ‘If I have not established my covenant with day and night and fixed the laws for sky and earth, then I will also reject the descendants of Ya‘akov and of my servant David, not choosing from his descendants people to rule over the descendants of Avraham, Yis’chak and Ya‘akov. For I will cause their captives to come back, and I will show them compassion.’”
“You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not murder,’ and that anyone who commits murder will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who nurses anger against his brother will be subject to judgment; that whoever calls his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing!’ will be brought before the Sanhedrin; that whoever says, ‘Fool!’ incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of Gei-Hinnom! So if you are offering your gift at the Temple altar and you remember there that your brother has something against you, leave your gift where it is by the altar, and go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer your gift. If someone sues you, come to terms with him quickly, while you and he are on the way to court; or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer of the court, and you may be thrown in jail! Yes indeed! I tell you, you will certainly not get out until you have paid the last penny.
“You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that a man who even looks at a woman with the purpose of lusting after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you sin, gouge it out and throw it away! Better that you should lose one part of you than have your whole body thrown into Gei-Hinnom. And if your right hand makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away! Better that you should lose one part of you than have your whole body thrown into Gei-Hinnom.
“It was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a get.’’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and that anyone who marries a divorcee commits adultery.
“Again, you have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not break your oath,’ and ‘Keep your vows to The LORD.’ But I tell you not to swear at all — not ‘by heaven,’ because it is G-d’s throne; not ‘by the earth,’ because it is his footstool; and not ‘by Yerushalayim,’ because it is the city of the Great King. And don’t swear by your head, because you can’t make a single hair white or black. Just let your ‘Yes’ be a simple ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ a simple ‘No’; anything more than this has its origin in evil.
“You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you not to stand up against someone who does you wrong. On the contrary, if someone hits you on the right cheek, let him hit you on the left cheek too! If someone wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well! And if a soldier forces you to carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two! When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something from you, lend it to him.“You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Love your neighbor — and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that! And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim do that! Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.