The Spirit and the Letter

The Spirit and the Letter

Feb 5, 2016 By Yonatan Y. Brafman | Commentary | Mishpatim

After the heights of the revelation at Sinai, Parashat Mishpatim settles down to more mundane topics, including a lengthy discussion of torts. Perhaps motivated by this sudden change of altitude, Nahmanides interprets these details as expansions on the Ten Commandments, such as the prohibitions on coveting and theft: “For if a man does not know the laws of the house and field or other possessions, he might think that they belong to him and thus covet them and take them for himself”.

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