By Five Towns Marriage Initiative
Rashi in the beginning of Mishpatim explains the connection between this parashah and the ones preceding it. The interpersonal laws discussed in this parashah can seem to be unrelated to that which came beforehand, namely the laws of the Mizbei’ach where sacrifices were brought in the Beis HaMikdash. Rashi therefore goes back two parshiyos to the giving of the Torah. He says that the laws in Mishpatim are also a part of the commandments and were relayed at that time.
The reason why the laws of the Mizbei’ach were placed between these two parshiyos is that the Sanhedrin sat right next to the area of the Mizbei’ach. Seeing the laws of the Mizbei’ach right before the interpersonal laws reminds us that the Sanhedrin, who sat right near the Mizbei’ach, were the ones to judge the interpersonal matters. We have to remember that the very essence of all laws stem from the same source and serve the same purpose. The laws between man and G-d and man and man both have great importance and we must understand that by following the ways of the Torah we imbue ourselves with great holiness.
When we think about our relationship with our spouse, it behooves us to remember that Torah law governs our interactions. We can look to the source, the Torah itself, and to the many leaders of the Jewish people who wrote volumes upon volumes on how best to interact with our spouses. The Mishnah in Avos teaches us to delve into the Torah because everything is in it. This certainly applies to the Torah way of interacting with our spouses.
Let us remember that we have our Creator to answer to if we act inconsiderately to our spouses. Let us also remember that the commandments relating to interpersonal relationships are part and parcel of the Torah, just like keeping kosher and Shabbos. May we merit to follow the Torah laws in their entirety and to build true Torah homes. v
Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00–11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org.