There is a popular question asked when we start reading this weeks sedra. While it may be slightly wrong to ask it it is common and i think needs answering. Whats the question? Here goes. Why does the Torah suddenly stop all the exciting story type stuff and go into all these Halachos only to go back to a few stories later on??? Why dont we carry on the stories and do the halachos bit later???

During almost every era in history the Torah comes under criticism from the outside world. One society may be excessively cruel and complain that the Torah does not dispense justice since it gives certain preferences to collection of loans from widows, it is very protective of foreigners, and it values the life and pain of a slave. Today's liberal thinking society will criticize the Torah for being unusually cruel. It allows for slavery and capital punishment among other things frowned upon by most legal systems prevalent today.

The world has gone through many "ism"s, each one fatally flawed and eventually finding itself on the scrap heap of history. The Torah's justice system works in any and every generation because it is perfect. Its law's are not a response to the failings of the previous generation or to the whims of today's society. It is built from scratch from the ground up by the original creator of the world who understands what system is needed to create a successful society.

This may be why the Torah found it necessary to write Parshas Mishpatim immediately following Ma'amad Har Sinai. It reminds us that our laws come from Hashem and we were given them only "last week" in parshas Yisro, Not only are they from Hashem Himself but because of that it is obvious that they are timeless. It is a system that always did and always will work in every generation no matter which way the winds blow.

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