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5 Facts About Parshat Mishpatim that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Friday March 12th, 2021

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.


וְהִגִּישׁ֤וֹ אֲדֹנָיו֙ אֶל־הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים וְהִגִּישׁוֹ֙ אֶל־הַדֶּ֔לֶת א֖וֹ אֶל־הַמְּזוּזָ֑ה וְרָצַ֨ע אֲדֹנָ֤יו אֶת־אָזְנוֹ֙ בַּמַּרְצֵ֔עַ וַעֲבָד֖וֹ לְעֹלָֽם׃

1. What is the significance behind the use of the martzeah?

  • A Martze’a is to be used to pierce the servant’s ear. A martzea has a numerical value of 400. The same 400 years of intended slavery for the Jews in Egypt. Because Hashem said to the Jews when delivering them from the Egyptians. that they would be from now on, His servants, and no one else’s. (Daat Chachamim)


מַכֵּ֥ה אִ֛ישׁ וָמֵ֖ת מ֥וֹת יוּמָֽת׃

2. What would happen if a last minute witness came after the sentence was pronounced?

  • The place of execution was about 6 miles from the court. An official appointed by the court would be ready outside the courtroom holding banners and had a horse ready nearby. If anyone after seeing the condemned person being led throughout the city would come to offer a testimony for his defense, the official with the horse would catch up with the condemned man delegation and bring him back to court. (Meam Loez)

3. Could the condemned man exonerate himself?

  • The condemned man himself could be brought back to court as many times as necessary if he said that he had something to say that would exonerate. Contingent that there was real substance in his words. If not, he would still be brought back, but up to a maximum of 2 times only. And because of this, Talmidei Chachamim would accompany the condemned man, to evaluate his arguments along the way to the execution site. (Meam Loez)


וְכִֽי־יִנָּצ֣וּ אֲנָשִׁ֗ים וְנָ֨גְפ֜וּ אִשָּׁ֤ה הָרָה֙ וְיָצְא֣וּ יְלָדֶ֔יהָ וְלֹ֥א יִהְיֶ֖ה אָס֑וֹן עָנ֣וֹשׁ יֵעָנֵ֗שׁ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֨ר יָשִׁ֤ית עָלָיו֙ בַּ֣עַל הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה וְנָתַ֖ן בִּפְלִלִֽים׃

4. What happens if a man is liable to receive 2 separate punishments?

  • We learn from this verse the rule of “Kim Le BeDerabah Minei” which dictates that one can’t be imposed 2 fines for the same act even if he transgressed 2 commandments in doing so but will only be punished for the most severe transgression. (Messivta Sanhedrin 9b Note 13: Ketubot 36b, Rashi “VeEin Meshalmin”)


וְאַנְשֵׁי־קֹ֖דֶשׁ תִּהְי֣וּן לִ֑י וּבָשָׂ֨ר בַּשָּׂדֶ֤ה טְרֵפָה֙ לֹ֣א תֹאכֵ֔לוּ לַכֶּ֖לֶב תַּשְׁלִכ֥וּן אֹתֽוֹ׃

5. Why are specifically the dogs, privy to be given this meat?

  • The flesh of an animal torn in the field is to be given to the dogs. While it could be disposed in other ways as well, the Torah specifically mentions the dogs, in appreciation for them not howling, when the Jews left Egypt. (Rashi)
Eytan Yéhouda DZIKOWSKI - © Torah-Box Account

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