Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 1 February 2003 / 29 Shevat 5763

Parshat Mishpatim

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1. In what context is a mezuza mentioned in this week's Parsha?

2. What special mitzvah does the Torah give to the master of a Hebrew maidservant?

3. What is the penalty for wounding one's father or mother?

4. "A" intentionally hits "B." As a result, B is close to death. Besides any monetary payments, what happens to A?

5. What is the penalty for someone who tries to murder a particular person, but accidentally kills another person instead? Give two opinions.

6. A slave goes free if his master knocks out one of the slave's teeth. What teeth do not qualify for this rule and why?

7. An ox gores another ox. What is the maximum the owner of the damaging ox must pay, provided his animal had gored no more than twice previously?

8. From where in this week's Parsha can the importance of work be demonstrated?

9. What is meant by the words "If the sun shone on him"?

10. A person is given an object for safe-keeping. Later, he swears it was stolen. Witnesses come and say that in fact he is the one who stole it. How much must he pay?

11. A person borrows his employee's car. The car is struck by lightning. How much must he pay?

12. Why is lending money at interest called "biting"?

13. Non-kosher meat, "treifa," is preferentially fed to dogs. Why?

14. Which verse forbids listening to slander?

15. What constitutes a majority-ruling in a capital case?

16. How is Shavuot referred to in this week's Parsha?

17. How many prohibitions are transgressed when cooking meat and milk together?

18. What was written in the Sefer Habrit which Moshe wrote prior to the giving of the Torah?

19. What was the livnat hasapir a reminder of?

20. Who was Efrat? Who was her husband? Who was her son?


All references are to the verses and Rashis commentary, unless otherwise stated.

1. 21:6 - If a Hebrew slave desires to remain enslaved his owner brings him "to the door post mezuza" to pierce his ear.

2. 21:8,9 - To marry her.

3. 21:15 - Death by strangulation.

4. 21:19 - He is put in jail until "B" recovers or dies.

5. 21:23 -

A. The murderer deserves the death penalty.

B. The murderer is exempt from death but must compensate the heirs of his victim.

6. 21:26 - Baby teeth, which grow back.

7. 21:35 - The full value of his own animal.

8. 21:37 - From the "five-times" penalty for stealing an ox and slaughtering it. This fine is seen as punishment for preventing the owner from plowing with his ox.

9. 22:2 - If it's as clear as the sun that the thief has no intent to kill.

10. 22:8 - Double value of the object.

11. 22:14 - Nothing.

12. 22:24 - Interest is like a snake bite. Just as the poison is not noticed at first but soon overwhelms the person, so too interest is barely noticeable until it accumulates to an overwhelming sum.

13. 22:30 - As "reward" for their silence during the plague of the first born.

14. 23:1 - Targum Onkelos translates "Don't bear a false report" as "Don't receive a false report."

15. 23:2 - A simple majority is needed for an acquittal. A majority of two is needed for a ruling of guilty.

16. 23:16 - Chag Hakatzir -- Festival of Reaping.

17. 23:19 - One.

18. 24:4,7 - The Torah, starting from Bereishet until the giving of the Torah, and the mitzvot given at Mara.

19. 24:10 - That the Jews in Egypt were forced to toil by making bricks.

20. 24:14 - Miriam, wife of Calev, mother of Chur.

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