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Torah QueeriesWeekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible$
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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720127

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.001.0001

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Laws and Judgments as a “Bridge to a Better World”

Laws and Judgments as a “Bridge to a Better World”

Parashat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1–24:18)

(p.98) Eighteen Laws and Judgments as a “Bridge to a Better World”
Torah Queeries

David Ellenson

NYU Press

This chapter contrasts two passages in Parashat Mishpatim of Exodus, with a passage in Leviticus asserting that “if a man lies with a male as one lies with a woman, the two of them have done an abhorrent thing. They shall be put to death.” In particular, Exodus 22:20 states, “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” while, Exodus 23:9, proclaims, “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of a stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.” The two passages not only contradict the Levitical text, but more importantly they offer a just Jewish teaching.

Keywords:   Parashat Mishpatim, Leviticus, Exodus, Jewish teaching, Torah

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