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Mishpatim Question 1

Weekly Parsha Questions

Mishpatim Question 1

Yechiel Shaffer

The Torah begins Parshas Mishpatim with the following:

שמות פרשת משפטים פרק כא

ב) כי תקנה עבד עברי שש שנים יעבד ובשבעת יצא לחפשי חנם

2. Should you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall work [for] six years, and in the seventh [year], he shall go out to freedom without charge.

Why does the Torah explain the laws pertaining to slaves before the other laws?

The Ibn Ezra explains the presentation of Eved Ivri, as the initial law offered, is to teach us that we are to approach all the laws of the Torah as a slave would. Understanding the laws are a benefit but not a necessity for fulfillment.

How do we view the reason’s behind Mitzvot in context of this comment of the Ibn Ezra and what value does this challenge us to reflect on?