Friday, January 28
The molad for the month of Adar 1
will be Thursday, 11:16 AM and 6 chalakim
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 04:30 pm – Mincha
- 04:34 pm – Candle Lighting
- 08:00 pm – Men’s Class in Derech Hashem at the home of Lev & Jacqueline Novikov, 163 Glenwood Street in Malden
Saturday, January 29
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:29 am – Latest Time for Kriat Shema
- 11:30 am – Kiddush
- 04:10 pm – Mincha
- 04:40 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
- 05:30 pm – Ma’ariv
- 05:44 pm – Shabbat Ends
Week of January 30 – February 4
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday, Thursday, and Friday (Rosh Chodesh Adar 1)
- 06:50 am – Tuesday and Wednesday
- 04:40 pm – Sunday – Thursday
- 04:40 pm – Friday
- 05:10 pm – Sunday – Thursday
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Weekly Words of Torah
Belief in Hashem
Insights into Parshat Mishpatim by Mr. Yoni Weitz of Yeshiva Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
“And these are the laws that you shall place in front of them”.
Parshat Mishpatim is primarily composed of many of the monetary laws in the Jewish legal system. Many of the laws found in Tractate Bava Kama and Tractate Bava Metzia are rooted in this week’s parsha. The first of these laws are the laws regarding the eved Ivri (Hebrew slave). Rashi comments on the first pasuk that these laws were given together with the aseret hadibrot (Ten Commandments). Why were these monetary laws and specifically the laws of the eved Ivri given together with the aseret hadibrot?
The Abravanel writes in his introduction to this week’s parsha that the laws in this week’s parsha are outgrowths of the aseret hadibrot. Eved Ivri is connected to the first commandment of “Anochi Hashem Elokecha asher hotzeticha me’eretz mitzrayim…” (“I am Hashem your G-d Who took you out from Egypt…”). What do the laws of the Hebrew slave have to do with Anochi Hashem, which Maimonides and many others count as the mitzvah of emunah (belief)?
An eved Ivri is someone who stole money, but can’t afford to pay it back. He sells himself to slavery, and after six years of work he is liberated. Why is being sold to slavery an appropriate punishment for someone who stole? Also, why are we commanded to be so nice to our slaves?
R’ Moshe Feinstein, in Darash Moshe, offers an insightful idea that can help answer all of our questions. We were given these monetary laws with the aseret hadibrot to teach us that someone who violates these laws in essence denies the existence of Hashem! A person who truly believes in Hashem realizes that he is not truly in control of his monetary success. He is aware that everything he has is a gift from above, and he is filled with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for everything that he has. A person who wholeheartedly believes in G-d would never even think about stealing, because he understands that Hashem will give him everything that he needs if he puts in the right amount of hishtadlut (effort). Only one who is lacking in his emunah and thinks that he is in full control of his personal success would be tempted to be dishonest and steal.
Expanding on this idea of Rav Moshe, we can answer the rest of the questions. An eved Ivri is someone who was lacking in his emunah; he didn’t comprehend Anochi Hashem. His lack of faith caused him to revert to robbery and trickery. It could be that this is the reason why his punishment is slavery. The purpose of yitzi’at mitzrayim (the Exodus from Egypt) was “l’ma’an tedah ki ani Hashem b’kerev ha’aretz” (“so you will know that I, Hashem, am in the midst of the land”). An eved Ivri is someone who stole, which shows that he didn’t learn the lesson of yitzi’at mitzrayim. Consequently, he is sent back into slavery, to learn that he really does not own anything. This is also why we are commanded to treat this “ex-convict” with so much respect. His slavery is not just a punishment; rather it is a learning experience. The slave is supposed to learn from his master how to treat others, and how to be an honest, believing individual. Therefore, the first laws that we are taught immediately following matan Torah (the giving of the Torah) are these monetary laws and specifically the laws of eved Ivri, to highlight their fundamental role as an expression of our emunah in Hashem.