Thursday, February 26, 2015

Random Musing Before Shabbat–Tetzaveh 5775–Aharon’s Bells (Revised)

Over 14 years ago, I first told this story, “Aharon’s Bells.” I thought it was time for a little editing and revision, so here it is.

Aharon’s Bells

"Ima, what is that sound?"
"Hush, little one, go to sleep."
"But Ima, I hear something tinkling."
"Yes Ima, like the sound all your bracelets, necklaces, and anklets used to make jangling together when you wore them - before you gave them to help build the mis...the miks...the mis.."
"Mishkan, little one."
"Mishkan, yes. Abba told me it meant a dwelling place for our G”d. [pause] Ima, do you miss your bracelets and all."
"Why, yes, precious, of course I do. But my gifts to help build this place for this G”d of ours to dwell with us wouldn't have been very good gifts if I didn't miss them."
"I don't understand, Ima. Why does our G”d keeping asking for things that are so important to us?"
”Think of all that G”d has done for us, my son. Freed us from Pharaoh, made the waters of the swamps dry up so we could cross. Leading us to the land promised to our ancestors long ago.
”But Ima, how do we know we’ll ever get there? How do we know G”d will keep his promises? Maybe G”d will get made at use again, and try to wipe us out, and Moshe won’t be able to talk him out of it again. Will we ever get there, Ima?
”You ask many interesting and difficult questions for a child so young. For now I can only tell you to have faith-faith in our G”d.”


"I miss them too, Ima."
"Miss what?"
"Your bracelets and necklaces."
"You miss them? Why would they be important to you, my child?"
"Well....Promise you won't laugh at me Ima?"
"Of course, my little angel, I won't laugh at you. Why do you miss my jewelry so much?"
"The jingling."
"They jingled. I miss the jingling."
"You liked the pretty sound they made when they jingled?"
"No, Mama, that's not it. No the sound. It's how the sound made me feel."
"How did it make you feel?"
"All warm and good inside. Sometimes, Ima, I would wake up at night and be really scared. You and Abba weren't in the tent with me. But then I could hear the sound of your bracelets tingling and you knew you were right outside. And sometimes, too, when you were gone, I knew you were almost home when I could hear your bracelets jangling. I could always tell their sound from all the other sounds."
"You are such a sweet child. I can see why you do miss my jewelry."
"There it is again, Mama!"
"That tingling sound. It sounds a lot like the sound your jewels used to make."
"I don't hear...oh, wait, yes, there it is. Aha, I know what those are. Those are all the little bells on the hem of Aharon's priestly robe."
"Why does he have those bells on his robe?"
"I don't know, precious."
"Maybe it's so everyone knows when he's going into the Mis-er, Mishkan?"
"Maybe. Now go back to sleep, little one."


"Yes, dear one. Can't you sleep?"
"Maybe it's so G”d won't be surprised if Aharon sneaks up on him?"
"The bells, Mama. So he can't surprise G”d-and maybe even see what he shouldn't see and even...oh, my, he might even get killed. I remember how awesome G”d was that day when he spoke to us. Didn't the elders ask Moshe to ask G”d to stop speaking to us? He was so loud, Ima. I had to cover my ears.  Everyone was covering their ears.  Maybe Aharon would die if G”d didn't know he was coming?"
"Little one, I don't know where you get all these ideas and such a curious mind. Now go to sleep."
"But, Ima..."
"Hush now! Go to sleep!"

[Softly, Ima begins to hum a lullaby, one she learned from her own mother while they were still in Egypt. When she senses her child asleep, she stops. Then silence. Then, in the distance, the soft jingling of tiny bells.]

"Ima? I hear the bells again."
"Shh! It's alright. Everything is good. Ima's here."
"I know, Ima. I know what the bells are for. It's just like your bracelets, Ima. When I hear Aharon's bells, I know that G”d is here with me, near me, even though I can't see or hear or touch. And that makes me feel all warm inside, just like you do, Ima. It scares me, but it also feels good, Ima."
"Our G”d has done great miracles for us, my little one. And you are one of them. Now go to sleep before I pray to G”d to turn you into a frog."
"Goodnight, Ima."


"Ima, I think some of the gold from your jewelry must have gone into Aharon's bells."
"Goodnight, Caleb. And some day may our G”d bless and curse you with a son as curious as you are!"


I wish you and yours a Shabbat Shalom.

© 2015 (portions ©2001, 2005  by Adrian A. Durlester

Other Musings on this Parasha:

Tetzaveh 5774 - It's Not Urim or Thummim
Tetzaveh/Shabbat Zachor/Purim 5773 - Fighting Dirty
Tetzaveh 5772-Perfection Imperfect
Tetzaveh 5770 - A Nation of Priests? (And a Shtickel of Purim)
Tetzaveh 5768-Light and Perfection
Tetzaveh/Purim 5767-The Urim & Thummim Show (Updated)
Tetzaveh 5766-Silent Yet Present
Tetzaveh 5765 and 5761-Aharon's Bells
Tetzaveh 5764-Shut Up and Listen!
Tetzaveh 5763-House Guest
Tetzaveh 5762 (Redux 5760)-The Urim and Thummim Show
Tetzaveh 5758-Something Doesn't Smell Quite Right

Friday, February 20, 2015

Random Musing Before Shabbat–T’rumah 5775–Dis Legomenon Driving Me Crazy, Mon!

Of all the things to get fixated upon when reading through the haftarah for parashat T’rumah:

הַיָּצִועַ [הַיָּצִיעַ] הַתַּחְתֹּנָה חָמֵשׁ בָּֽאַמָּה רָחְבָּהּ וְהַתִּֽיכֹנָה שֵׁשׁ בָּֽאַמָּה רָחְבָּהּ וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁית שֶׁבַע בָּֽאַמָּה רָחְבָּהּ כִּי מִגְרָעוֹת נָתַן לַבַּיִת סָבִיב חוּצָה לְבִלְתִּי אֲחֹז בְּקִירוֹת הַבָּֽיִת:

I started with the NJPS translation

The lowest story [of the annex] was five cubits wide, the middle one was six cubits wide, and the top one was seven cubits wide; on the outside of the Temple, all around, he had provided recesses, so that [the beams] did not have a hold on the outside walls of the Temple [in order to have support.]

First off, that’s an awful lot of ‘splaining add in to that there translation. However, that’s not what had me stuck. A plain reading of the text led me to picture that the annexes on either side of the main Temple structure got wider going up. I thought “wait a minute.” Why would each successive story of a three story side building be wider than the story below it? How, exactly, would this apparently cantilevered structure work? Especially since the support structure was not tied in to the main walls of the Temple itself. To work, a cantilever must provide adequate balancing force. Of course, engineering-wise, I am probably over-thinking that. A structure in which the floor of the next story projects out from the preceding floor by only a cubit (approx 17.5 inches) of overhang might work just fine, depending upon the load and the design.

Then I thought to myself, yet again “now wait a minute.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a drawing or representation of Solomon’s Temple that showed the side annexes as overhanging each other, each floor being wider than the one below it. Sure enough, a search online and through various books yields representations in which either the three stories of the annex are the same width, or they get progressively narrower going up. There weren’t many sectional, side-elevation, or cutaway depictions, but those I found were widely inconsistent. Some of them seemed to explain my apparent question. One depicted annexes that were all the same width measure to the outside wall, but the interior dimensions on each floor grew progressively wider (and the walls themselves narrower.)  There’s a certain logic to that – making the upper stories lighter than the supporting ones.

I also started looking through dozens of translations. It’s all in how you translate/interpret the ancient Hebrew. Hebrew that likely was not written by architects or engineers, and so might lack a certain specificity and level of detail. Some translations used language like “the width of the chambers” rather than “width of the walls” or “width of the stories.” That is to say, it was describing the interior width of the rooms on the stories, and not the overall external width.

Given all the other explanatory bracketed text in the NJPS translation, why would they not clear up any possible confusion by adding something like “The  [internal dimensions] of the lowest story [of the annex]…” After all, they added “[of the annex]” to make clear that which the text did not – that the dimensions given here related to the side annexes and not the Temple building itself.

Then I thought, yet again “now wait a minute.” The first word of 6:6, hayatziyah, means (possibly)“extension,” i.e. what is being called the “annex.” So why did the NJPS committee put in “[of the annex]” in brackets like that, when the Hebrew says that?  Well, it’s not that simple, because we have a ketiv/koreh situation here,

הַיָּצִועַ [הַיָּצִיעַ] הַתַּחְתֹּנָה חָמֵשׁ

 as the consensus seems to be that the word written in the text has an vav in place of the second yod, probably a scribal error.With the vav, it appears to be a form of a word meaning “couch,” “bed,” and most often “chamber” in poetical Hebrew, though the vowel pointing would be different – it would be hayatzua.) That would be a whole different perspective:

The lowest story of the couch was five cubits wide, the middle one was six cubits wide, and the top one was seven cubits wide…

Obviously, that makes no sense. Thus we read the word as “hayatziyah,” “the extension” Which leads me to question yet again why the NJPS translation committee put “of the annex” in brackets since it’s clearly there in the text, and there’s little dispute there’s a typo!

Or is there? If we read it as hayatzua, then the translation could be:

The lowest story of the chamber was five cubits wide, the middle one was six cubits wide, and the top one was seven cubits wide…

or alternatively

The chamber’s lowest story was five cubits wide, the middle one was six cubits wide, and the top one was seven cubits wide…

That starts to sound more like interior dimensioning to me. It means, however, going against the scholarly consensus.

All of this is further complicated by the fact that, just a few verses later, in verse ten, the same “typo” occurs, and again the consensus is that it is a misspelling of the word “hayatziyah” and not an improperly vowelized “hayatzuah.” So this mystery word is not a hapax legomenon, a word that appears only once, but a dis legomenon, a word that appears only twice. Forms of the word yatzuah appear 11 times in Tanakh. That would seem to undermine the case for these two occurrences not being incorrect spellings of yatzuah. On the other hand, the fact that this dis legomenon appears its two times only 4 verses apart might lend credence to its being a unique word of its own,  Then the Septuagint comes along with yet another theory, reading the word as “hatzela,” (requiring the vav to be read as a lamed instead, a bit more of a stretch, meaning “side-chamber” as evidenced by its choice of word in the Greek.

Strong’s Hebrew lists

 יָצוּעַ and יָצִיעַ

together, and links them to the verb root


meaning to spread out (as a bed sheet.) That root, however, appears only four times. Pretty thin ice.

So we have a word, appearing just twice, and only a few verses apart , with an uncertain meaning in the Hebrew. Contextually, and logically, it seem easy to make sense of it: Solomon’s Temple had three-story side buildings whose support structures did not extend into the actual Temple walls, and the internal corridors or rooms in side side buildings got progressively slightly wider from the bottom to the top story.

The apologists for the inexactitude in this brief haftarah say that the writers and redactors of the Tanakh were not concerned with exacting architectural details (say what??!!??) Yet the descriptions in our parasha for the construction of the parts of the mishkan are rather specific. Something doesn’t add up here. It does add up, if you believe, as I do, that G”d was happy to have us build a portable mishkan, but wasn’t really so excited to have us have a King and a fixed, permanent Temple. As affixed as Judaism has become, over time, to the Temple in both its iterations, and to the land where it stood (and I do not question the centrality of eretz Yisrael and even Yerushalayim to Judaism,) I do wonder if G”d really wanted us to build a Temple in a fixed place – especially considering that we lost it, twice. Would G”d give us two Temples only to allow them to be destroyed?

Is there, possibly, a deeper understanding that we were never meant to be that fixated, that permanent, that perhaps we were meant to always have a mishkan that was portable? If we had kept the mishkan model, and not built the Temples, we would not be now still mourning their loss. The rabbis would not have had to re-invent Judaism, and the sort of Judaism that we have now, in which our mishkan can be anywhere in the world we want it to, in multiple iterations simultaneously, would be accepted as normative. I love Israel, and want to see her safe and protected, and live in peace. Nevertheless, there is a part of me that wishes that G”d had never permitted us to build the first and second Temples,and allowed us a faith that was always portable and always would be.

But I digress. A fair digression to be sure, but it doesn’t help me with the dilemma at hand. Or does it? Is the inexactitude exactly what I suspect it could be – that G”d could care less about the details of Solomon’s Temple, because never really wanted it to be built anyway. It was a concession – just like letting us have a King. Remember that old “parenting curve” I always talk about, especially in reference to Torah? Well, maybe G”d relenting and letting us have a King and then a fixed place of worship was more bad parenting – a parent trying to deal with an obstinate teen and just throwing up his hands? Then with our continual bad behavior, it’s no wonder that G”d did nothing to keep the Temple from being destroyed-twice.

Hey, here’s an idea. An alternate history of the Jewish people, in which we never get a King and we never get a fixed temple for worship. I wonder what that would have been like, and where it would have left us today?

Ugh, I must stop digressing. The real question remains “why did I get so hung up on this one little thing?” In the whole scheme of things, it seems to relatively unimportant. Yet, for something so unimportant, thousands of words have been written, images and drawing and models created, showing how Solomon’s Temple might have looked. Looking them over, not one of them is exactly the same. By the same token, not one of them shows side buildings that are wider at the top than the bottom. I guess everyone assumed that would just be too weird. Tough I am surprised that, in the many drawings, no one has attempted to portray this possible understanding of the text. What do you do when you’re a literal fundamentalist, and the words are inexact? (I often wonder, with so many different translations of Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and even the Quran around, how can one even consider oneself a biblical literalist or fundamentalist, when all these varied translations differ? Which literal understanding do you follow? Methinks the literalists are as guilty as anyone of liberal interpretation!)

Stopping to chew on this one twice-appearing word has certainly provided me with lots of fodder for thought, discussion, and exploration. This, as always, is the true joy of Torah. In this new month of Adar, in which turning things upside down is celebrated, it’s just as good a time to turn and turn the Torah – every which way but loose.

Shabbat Shalom,

©2015 by Adrian A. Durlester

Other Musings on this Parasha:

T'rumah 5774 - Dollhouse
T'rumah 5773 - Virtual Reality, Real Virtuality, or Really Virtual?
T'rumah 5772-When Wool and Linen Together Are Not Shatnez
T'rumah 5771 - TorahLeaks
T'rumah 5770 - Finessing Idolatry, or Outgrowing It?
T'rumah 5769 - Planning for Always
T'rumah 5767-You Gotta Wanna - The Sequel
T'rumah 5766-No Tools Allowed
T'rumah 5765-Ish Al Akhiv
T'rumah 5764-Redux 5760-Doing It Gd's Way
T'rumah 5763-Semper Paratus
T'rumah 5762-Virtual Reality or Real Virtuality?
T'rumah 5760-Doing It Gd's Way
T'rumah 5761-You Gotta Wanna

Friday, February 13, 2015

Random Musings Before Shabbat–Mishpatim 5775–Revisiting Situational Ethics

11 years ago, I visited the topic of situational ethics, relating it to parashat Mishpatim. I thought it might be a good time to revisit and revise those words.

A May 2014 Gallup poll revealed that 28% of Americans believe the Bible is the actual word of G”d and meant to be taken literally. (This is down from the 1970s when that percentage was closer to 40%.) 21% of Americans view the Bible to be "an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man." 47% consider the Bible "the inspired word of G”d- but not everything in it should be taken literally." That middle group has had a few ups and downs but has been relatively consistent over time. As Gallup reports, if you combine the “literalists” with the “inspired-by-ists” that’s still a whopping 75% of Americans who see the Bible as having a connection to G”d.

There are some in the religious community for whom the very words "situational ethics" are anathema. Many people of faith are looking for definitive answers to questions of behavior, morality, and ethics. In some ways I find this troubling.

Many proponents of particular faiths have proclaimed over the years that their faith does indeed provide an un-shatter-able bedrock from which definitive moral and ethical values can be derived. The problem is, of course, that people still disagree over what those bedrock values might be. For some, any kind of killing is wrong. For some, only murder is wrong (though some with that view approve of state-sanctioned murder as just punishment for the crime of murdering another.) Were things so clear from the Torah, would we even need the Talmud, the commentaries, and more to help us discern and understand what some of these so-named bedrock ethical principles really are? Thousands, perhaps millions, of words have been devoted to explaining and illuminating the supposedly crystal clear meanings of the biblical text. While some hold that Halacha (Jewish law) as we now understand it was given to us at Sinai along with Torah, I have a difficult time accepting that premise. Yet, even if we accept that premise, the fact remains that there was and still is disagreement amongst the rabbis and scholars about many aspects of Halacha. Our sacred texts are replete not only with definitive statements, but conditional ones as well. They are replete with arguments and disputes. If these arguments are disputes are mi-Sinai, what does that say about the definitive nature of some of these commandments and ideas?

Noah, the “sort of OK for his own time” guy. The notion that permission to eat meat came later than creation. The many ethical lapses of our patriarchs and matriarchs. Abraham certainly makes a plea for situational ethics when it comes to S’dom and Gomorrah. Joseph saved the Egyptians from starvation but made many of them effectively feudal slaves in the process. Moses lied to Pharaoh about his true intentions: “Nah, we just wanna go out into the woods for a few days and pray to our G”d and then we’ll be back.”

Given all these things and more, I think it is important to look at the idea of situational ethics and how it may be supported in biblical text.

Now,  fan that I am of situational ethics, even I am not immune from the idea that religion and the bible might be able to provide some sort of solid ethical bedrock. Decades ago, when applying for admission to Vanderbilt Divinity School, I wrote in my application essay of my disappointment with a society that has a moral compass that seems to conveniently point to whatever magnetic north is in fashion at the time. I sought, through the study of theology in general, and more importantly, of my own Jewish religion in particular, that I could find a true north, that elusive bedrock, that immutable source on which at least a rudimentary set of ethics and values could be built. (I’m not sure that, even at that time, I was seeking a truly universal, immutable ethical code, for I believe I have always found situational ethics were necessary for any functional society.)

I suppose that, to some degree, my search for ethical bedrock has been partially successful. There do seem to be a few boundaries that I can accept as being derived from some basic understandings of G”d's Torah. Some of these are universal in character, and could, indeed, probably be derived from nature and exist in a world without G”d and religion. Others are more particular to Judaism and Torah (and I am surely thankful for that. There have been times in my search for meaning that I began to despair of finding value in a particularistic religious faith.) There are ideas in the Torah which may not be "common sense" in a broad understanding of the word, but, within the context of a Jewish understanding of the universe, are common sense.

Then again, the search has also been rather unsuccessful. The deeper one goes and the more one studies Torah and Judaism, the more apparent it becomes that "lo bashamayim hi" (the Torah is not in heaven) is a double-edged sword. For some it means that the p'shat, the plain meaning is apparent, and is all we need for understanding the Torah (and thus G”d’s) meaning. I have also discovered that edge of the sword can be sharp and cut you when you least expect it. For others, "lo bashamayim hi" means our complete freedom to continually try to understand and (re)interpret the text in ways that make sense in a current context. That edge, too, is quite sharp and can leave one cut just as easily as the other edge.

The more I study Torah, the more I grow both more enlightened and more baffled. Boundaries I once thought hard and clearly defined turn out to be amorphous. And boundaries I once thought permeable and osmotic now seem impenetrable. Where, in all this, is the bedrock?

Well, here's a radical thought. Maybe the "bedrock" is the clear understanding that our anchors can be hauled up and later dropped in another location to again hold us fast for a time. Certainly, throughout our history we have done this? What is rabbinical Judaism if not an attempt to deal with the sea change imposed by the destruction of the Holy Temple? And modern liberal Judaisms are similar in their attempts to see if maybe we need to shift our anchorage.

I used to think of this as the “rubber band theory.” Some in Judaism see Torah as a fixed point, A rubber band stretches out from a pole at that fixed center to encompass new ideas, new knowledge, new technology. However, in this view, there are limits to how far the rubber-band can stretch before it breaks. Others allow for a movable pole from which the rubber band stretches, to allow for how new ideas, new knowledge, and new technologies have reshaped our understanding of Torah.  I’ve always struggled a lit bit with this analogy, because I realize that when you move the pole, some things that previously fit inside the rubber band’s boundaries may no longer be encompassed. This led to the ship and anchor theory, because when the ship moves, it can carry with it its cargo to the new harbor. I’m not sure either analogy truly works, and I still search for a better one.

But I digress. The idea that boundaries can change, ships can move, poles can be relocated, of course, leads to that slippery slope of "situational ethics." But is it all that slippery a slope? Parashat Mishpatim gives us an opportunity to consider alternatives.

Just look at the incongruity. Here we are, multitudes freed from oppressive slavery to Pharaoh. And yet, what do we find in parashat Mishpatim, with our first inkling of some form of codified principles for individual and communal behavior, standards, ethics and morality? A series of commandments designed to insure fair treatment of slaves.

Our modern sensibilities are confused, even offended by this. "How," we ask, "can the Israelites continue a practice like slavery when they have just be freed from it?"

The apologist's first defense of this uses the explanation that we must not think of slavery in those ancient times in the same way as we do the slavery of the past few centuries. "It's more like voluntary indenture," they say. And there are plenty of other explanations and workarounds designed to soothe our sense.

Balderdash, I say. Let's call it like it is. The Jewish people have a great history of being practical. Both the Torah and the rabbinic writings are replete with examples of this. (For an really obvious rabbinic example, one need look no further than Hillel's "prosbul" designed to circumvent the laws of the sabbatical year for the sake of commerce.)

So here's how we redeem this particular bit of supposedly irredeemable text. What's going on in the Torah here in Mishpatim regarding slaves is--------drumroll--------------------situational ethics!!!

The lessons to be derived from these teachings in these times is likely different than it was in ancient times. Forms of slavery were a societal norm. Our ancestors accepted that, yet felt compelled to work to insure fair treatment and justice for all segments of their society, slaves included. (There's some discussion as to whether or not these commandments pertained to non-Jewish slaves, but that's a discussion for another time.)

In ancient times, the people needed these reminders to treat even their slaves with dignity and as human beings. Based on the anchorage our ancestors had chosen, slavery was not an ethical dilemma. What was important was recognizing that slaves, too, were part of G”d's creation and merited fair treatment. (Shades of the midrashic story of G”d’s admonition to the angels for rejoicing when Israel crossed the Sea of reeds to freedom, that they ought not forget all the Egyptians who drowned.)

We've shifted anchorages. For most people in the world today, slavery, even of the indentured servitude kind, is no longer considered a morally and ethically accepted practice. (Is this is because slavery in our time and recent times in, invariably, implemented cruelly, unfairly, and unjustly? Would our society accept voluntary indentured servitude? Voluntary slavery? Imposed slavery that wasn't cruel or oppressive? These are questions not as simple to answer as one might think.)

Yet the commandments in Mishpatim are no less applicable for us today. The application is simply different. It's situational. Aside from those who, sadly are slaves, even in this day and age (and such conditions do exist throughout the world, even here in the U.S.) there are those whose lot in life could see them suffering the same injustices and cruelties as slaves. The homeless, the poor, the minorities. The Torah's commandments on how we should treat our slaves are easily transferable.

It isn't necessarily easy to make the shift. We have little need to drive an awl through the ear of a slave who chooses voluntarily to remain with his master so that he may stay with his family. Yet we can gain some understanding about the importance of allowing someone to remain with his family despite circumstances.

I can't promise, right off the top of my head, to try and make similar connections for all the commandments regarding the treatment of and justice as applied to slaves that we find in this parasha. Yet I am sure that it can be done with study.

Is it really correct to refer to what our ancestors did in the Torah as situational ethics, when, for them, slavery may not have been against moral imperative? For me, it is. I think that if one digs deeply into Torah, one can find the necessary support to argue that slavery is morally and ethically wrong. This being the case, I suggest that our ancestors were indeed applying situational ethics.

For me, the whole joy of Torah is our ability to turn it and turn it, and continue to find news ways of understanding her. And that, for me, is a kind of situational ethics. It need not be anathema to those of faith that even moral imperatives commanded by G”d ought to be adjusted as needed to adapt the changing circumstances. G”d did not put us in a steady-state universe. (Though recently, some scientists are finding proofs in quantum theory that the big bang hypothesis could be wrong and the universe might not have had a beginning and might not have an end.)  And G”d has shown a bit of a learning curve as well. Which leads me to my final thought for this musing, one that I have expressed many times over the years, though I have refined the wording over time:

A G”d that cannot and does not change "its" mind cannot possibly be G”d.

There. I said it. Some of you are probably ready to lump me in with heretics like Spinoza, but I daresay that this understanding of mine is at its core, Jewish. Care to argue?

Shabbat Shalom,

©2015 (portions ©2004) by Adrian A. Durlester

Other musings on this parasha:

Mishpatim 5774 - Chukim U'mishpatim Revisited
Mishpatim 5773 - No One Mourns the Wicked
Mishpatim 5772-Repairing Our Damaged Temple
Mishpatim 5771 - Getting Past the Apologetics
Mishpatim 5770 - Divine Picnic
Mishpatim 5769 - Redux 5757/5761 Change from the Inside
Mishpatim 5768 - Justice for All
Mishpatim 5767-To See, To Behold, To Eat, To Drink
Mishpatim 5766 - Mishpatim with a Capital IM
Mishpatim 5765-Eid Khamas (revised)
Mishpatim 5763-My Object All Sublime
Mishpatim 5762-Enron Beware!
Mishpatim 5761-Change from the Inside
Mishpatim 5760-Chukim U'mishpatim
Mishpatim 5759-Eid Khamas-Witness to Violence