Mishpatim (מִּשְׁפָּטִים — Hebrew for “laws,” the second word of the parashah) is the eighteenth weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the sixth in the book of Exodus. It constitutes Exodus 21:1–24:18. The parashah is made up of 5,313 Hebrew letters, 1,462 Hebrew words, and 118 verses, and can occupy about 185 lines in a Torah scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah).
Jews read it the eighteenth Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in February. As the parashah sets out some of the laws of Passover, Jews also read part of the parashah, Exodus 22:24–23:19, as the initial Torah reading for the second intermediate day (חוֹל הַמּוֹעֵד, Chol HaMoed) of Passover. Jews also read the first part of parashah Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11–16, regarding the half-shekel head tax, as the maftir Torah reading on the special Sabbath Shabbat Shekalim, which often falls on the same Sabbath as parashah Mishpatim (as it does in 2015, 2017, and 2018).
- 1 Readings
- 1.1 First reading — Exodus 21:1–19
- 1.2 Second reading — Exodus 21:20–22:3
- 1.3 Third reading — Exodus 22:4–26
- 1.4 Fourth reading — Exodus 22:27–23:5
- 1.5 Fifth reading — Exodus 23:6–19
- 1.6 Sixth reading — Exodus 23:20–25
- 1.7 Seventh reading — Exodus 23:26–24:18
- 1.8 Readings according to the triennial cycle
- 2 In ancient parallels
- 3 In inner-biblical interpretation
- 4 In classical rabbinic interpretation
- 5 Commandments
- 6 In the liturgy
- 7 The Weekly Maqam
- 8 Haftarah
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
- 11 Notes
First reading — Exodus 21:1–19
Second reading — Exodus 21:20–22:3
Third reading — Exodus 22:4–26
Fourth reading — Exodus 22:27–23:5
Fifth reading — Exodus 23:6–19
The fifth reading (עליה, aliyah) addresses laws concerning the disadvantaged, false charges, bribery, oppressing the stranger, the sabbatical year for crops (שמיטה, Shmita), the Sabbath, the mention of other gods, the Three Pilgrimage Festivals (שָׁלוֹשׁ רְגָלִים, Shalosh Regalim), sacrifice (קָרְבָּן, korban), and First Fruits (ביכורים, Bikkurim).
Sixth reading — Exodus 23:20–25
In the short sixth reading (עליה, aliyah), God promised to send an angel with the Israelites to bring them to the place God had prepared. God directed the Israelites to obey the angel, for if they did, then God would be an enemy to their enemies. The Israelites were not to serve other gods, but to serve only God.
Seventh reading — Exodus 23:26–24:18
In the seventh reading (עליה, aliyah), God promised reward for obedience to God. God invited Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 elders to bow to God from afar. Moses repeated the commandments to the people, who answered: “All the things that the Lord has commanded we will do!” Moses then wrote the commandments down. He set up an altar and some young Israelite men offered sacrifices. Moses read the covenant aloud to the people, who once again affirmed that they would follow it. Moses took blood from the sacrifices and dashed it on the people. Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the 70 elders of Israel then ascended, saw God, ate, and drank. Moses and Joshua arose, and Moses ascended Mount Sinai, leaving Aaron and Hur in charge of legal matters. A cloud covered the mountain, hiding the Presence of the Lord for six days, appearing to the Israelites as a fire on the top of the mountain. Moses went inside the cloud and remained on the mountain 40 days and nights.
Readings according to the triennial cycle
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|2013, 2016, 2019, 2022 . . .||2014, 2017, 2020, 2023 . . .||2015, 2018, 2021, 2024 . . .|
In ancient parallels
The parashah has parallels in these ancient sources:
Exodus chapter 21
The Code of Hammurabi contained precursors of the law of “an eye for an eye” in Exodus 21:22–25. The Code of Hammurabi provided that if a man destroyed the eye of another man, they were to destroy his eye. If one broke a man's bone, they were to break his bone. If one destroyed the eye of a commoner or broke the bone of a commoner, he was to pay one mina of silver. If one destroyed the eye of a slave or broke a bone of a slave, he was to pay one-half the slave’s price. If a man knocked out a tooth of a man of his own rank, they were to knock out his tooth. If one knocked out a tooth of a commoner, he was to pay one-third of a mina of silver. If a man struck a man's daughter and brought about a miscarriage, he was to pay 10 shekels of silver for her miscarriage. If the woman died, they were to put the man’s daughter to death. If a man struck the daughter of a commoner and brought about a miscarriage, he was to pay five shekels of silver. If the woman died, he was to pay one-half of a mina of silver. If he struck a man’s female slave and brought about a miscarriage, he was to pay two shekels of silver. If the female slave died, he was to pay one-third of a mina of silver.
In inner-biblical interpretation
The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these Biblical sources:
Exodus chapter 21
An eye for an eye
Exodus chapter 23
- “Passover” (פֶּסַח, Pesach);
- “The Feast of Unleavened Bread” (חַג הַמַּצּוֹת, Chag haMatzot); and
- “A holy convocation” or “a solemn assembly” (מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, mikrah kodesh).
Some explain the double nomenclature of “Passover” and “Feast of Unleavened Bread” as referring to two separate feasts that the Israelites combined sometime between the Exodus and when the Biblical text became settled. Exodus 34:18–20 and Deuteronomy 15:19–16:8 indicate that the dedication of the firstborn also became associated with the festival.
Some believe that the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” was an agricultural festival at which the Israelites celebrated the beginning of the grain harvest. Moses may have had this festival in mind when in Exodus 5:1 and 10:9 he petitioned Pharaoh to let the Israelites go to celebrate a feast in the wilderness.
“Passover,” on the other hand, was associated with a thanksgiving sacrifice of a lamb, also called “the Passover,” “the Passover lamb,” or “the Passover offering.”
Exodus 12:5–6, Leviticus 23:5, and Numbers 9:3 and 5, and 28:16 direct “Passover” to take place on the evening of the fourteenth of Aviv (Nisan in the Hebrew calendar after the Babylonian captivity). Joshua 5:10, Ezekiel 45:21, Ezra 6:19, and 2 Chronicles 35:1 confirm that practice. Exodus 12:18–19, 23:15, and 34:18, Leviticus 23:6, and Ezekiel 45:21 direct the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” to take place over seven days and Leviticus 23:6 and Ezekiel 45:21 direct that it begin on the fifteenth of the month. Some believe that the propinquity of the dates of the two Festivals led to their confusion and merger.
Exodus 12:23 and 27 link the word “Passover” (פֶּסַח, Pesach) to God’s act to “pass over” (פָסַח, pasach) the Israelites’ houses in the plague of the firstborn. In the Torah, the consolidated Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread thus commemorate the Israelites’ liberation from Egypt.
The Hebrew Bible frequently notes the Israelites’ observance of Passover at turning points in their history. Numbers 9:1–5 reports God’s direction to the Israelites to observe Passover in the wilderness of Sinai on the anniversary of their liberation from Egypt. Joshua 5:10–11 reports that upon entering the Promised Land, the Israelites kept the Passover on the plains of Jericho and ate unleavened cakes and parched grain, produce of the land, the next day. 2 Kings 23:21–23 reports that King Josiah commanded the Israelites to keep the Passover in Jerusalem as part of Josiah’s reforms, but also notes that the Israelites had not kept such a Passover from the days of the Biblical judges nor in all the days of the kings of Israel or the kings of Judah, calling into question the observance of even Kings David and Solomon. The more reverent 2 Chronicles 8:12–13, however, reports that Solomon offered sacrifices on the Festivals, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And 2 Chronicles 30:1–27 reports King Hezekiah’s observance of a second Passover anew, as sufficient numbers of neither the priests nor the people were prepared to do so before then. And Ezra 6:19–22 reports that the Israelites returned from the Babylonian captivity observed Passover, ate the Passover lamb, and kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy.
- The Feast of Weeks (חַג שָׁבֻעֹת, Chag Shavuot);
- The Day of the First-fruits (יוֹם הַבִּכּוּרִים, Yom haBikurim);
- The Feast of Harvest (חַג הַקָּצִיר, Chag haKatzir); and
- A holy convocation (מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, mikrah kodesh).
To arrive at the correct date, Leviticus 23:15 instructs counting seven weeks from the day after the day of rest of Passover, the day that they brought the sheaf of barley for waving. Similarly, Deuteronomy 16:9 directs counting seven weeks from when they first put the sickle to the standing barley.
Leviticus 23:16–19 sets out a course of offerings for the fiftieth day, including a meal-offering of two loaves made from fine flour from the first-fruits of the harvest; burnt-offerings of seven lambs, one bullock, and two rams; a sin-offering of a goat; and a peace-offering of two lambs. Similarly, Numbers 28:26–30 sets out a course of offerings including a meal-offering; burnt-offerings of two bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs; and one goat to make atonement. Deuteronomy 16:10 directs a freewill-offering in relation to God’s blessing.
2 Chronicles 8:13 reports that Solomon offered burnt-offerings on the Feast of Weeks.
- “The Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths)”;
- “The Feast of Ingathering”;
- “The Feast” or “the festival”;
- “The Feast of the Lord”;
- “The festival of the seventh month”; and
- “A holy convocation” or “a sacred occasion.”
Sukkot’s agricultural origin is evident from the name "The Feast of Ingathering," from the ceremonies accompanying it, and from the season and occasion of its celebration: "At the end of the year when you gather in your labors out of the field"; "after you have gathered in from your threshing-floor and from your winepress." It was a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest. And in what may explain the festival’s name, Isaiah reports that grape harvesters kept booths in their vineyards. Coming as it did at the completion of the harvest, Sukkot was regarded as a general thanksgiving for the bounty of nature in the year that had passed.
Sukkot became one of the most important feasts in Judaism, as indicated by its designation as “the Feast of the Lord” or simply “the Feast.” Perhaps because of its wide attendance, Sukkot became the appropriate time for important state ceremonies. Moses instructed the children of Israel to gather for a reading of the Law during Sukkot every seventh year. King Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem on Sukkot. And Sukkot was the first sacred occasion observed after the resumption of sacrifices in Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity.
In the time of Nehemiah, after the Babylonian captivity, the Israelites celebrated Sukkot by making and dwelling in booths, a practice of which Nehemiah reports: “the Israelites had not done so from the days of Joshua.” In a practice related to that of the Four Species, Nehemiah also reports that the Israelites found in the Law the commandment that they “go out to the mountains and bring leafy branches of olive trees, pine trees, myrtles, palms and [other] leafy trees to make booths.” In Leviticus 23:40, God told Moses to command the people: “On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook,” and “You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.” The book of Numbers, however, indicates that while in the wilderness, the Israelites dwelt in tents. Some secular scholars consider Leviticus 23:39–43 (the commandments regarding booths and the four species) to be an insertion by a late redactor.
Jeroboam son of Nebat, King of the northern Kingdom of Israel, whom 1 Kings 13:33 describes as practicing “his evil way,” celebrated a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, one month after Sukkot, “in imitation of the festival in Judah.” “While Jeroboam was standing on the altar to present the offering, the man of God, at the command of the Lord, cried out against the altar” in disapproval.
In Genesis 28:18, Jacob took the stone on which he had slept, set it up as a pillar (מַצֵּבָה, matzeivah), and poured oil on the top of it. Exodus 23:24 would later direct the Israelites to break in pieces the Canaanites' pillars (מַצֵּבֹתֵיהֶם, matzeivoteihem). Leviticus 26:1 would direct the Israelites not to rear up a pillar (מַצֵּבָה, matzeivah). And Deuteronomy 16:22 would prohibit them to set up a pillar (מַצֵּבָה, tzevahma), “which the Lord your God hates.”
In classical rabbinic interpretation
Exodus chapter 21
Rabbi Akiva deduced from the words “now these are the ordinances that you shall put before them” in Exodus 21:1 that the teacher must wherever possible explain to the student the reasons behind the commandments.
The Mishnah taught that a Hebrew manservant (described in Exodus 21:2) was acquired by money or by contract, and could acquire his freedom by years of service, by the Jubilee year, or by deduction from the purchase price. The Mishnah taught that a Hebrew maidservant was more privileged in that she could acquire her freedom by signs of puberty. The servant whose ear was bored (as directed in Exodus 21:6) is acquired by boring his ear, and acquired his freedom by the Jubilee year or the master's death. Part of chapter 1 of Tractate Kiddushin in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the Hebrew servant in Exodus 21:2–11 and 21:26–27; Leviticus 25:39–55; and Deuteronomy 15:12–18.
The Rabbis taught in a Baraita that the words of Deuteronomy 15:16 regarding the Hebrew servant, “he fares well with you,” indicate that the Hebrew servant had to be “with” — that is, equal to — the master in food and drink. Thus the master could not eat white bread and have the servant eat black bread. The master could not drink old wine and have the servant drink new wine. The master could not sleep on a feather bed and have the servant sleep on straw. Hence, they said that buying a Hebrew servant was like buying a master. Similarly, Rabbi Simeon deduced from the words of Leviticus 25:41, “Then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him,” that the master was liable to provide for the servant’s children until the servant went out. And Rabbi Simeon deduced from the words of Exodus 21:3, “If he is married, then his wife shall go out with him,” that the master was responsible to provide for the servant’s wife, as well.
Rabbi Eliezer interpreted the conjugal duty of Exodus 21:10 to require relations: for men of independence, every day; for laborers, twice a week; for donkey-drivers, once a week; for camel-drivers, once in 30 days; for sailors, once in six months.
Chapter 2 of tractate Makkot in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the cities of refuge in Exodus 21:12–14, Numbers 35:1–34, Deuteronomy 4:41–43, and 19:1–13.
The Mishnah taught that those who killed in error went into banishment. One would go into banishment if, for example, while one was pushing a roller on a roof, the roller slipped over, fell, and killed someone. One would go into banishment if while one was lowering a cask, it fell down and killed someone. One would go into banishment if while coming down a ladder, one fell and killed someone. But one would not go into banishment if while pulling up the roller it fell back and killed someone, or while raising a bucket the rope snapped and the falling bucket killed someone, or while going up a ladder one fell down and killed someone. The Mishnah’s general principle was that whenever the death occurred in the course of a downward movement, the culpable person went into banishment, but if the death did not occur in the course of a downward movement, the person did not go into banishment. If while chopping wood, the iron slipped from the ax handle and killed someone, Rabbi taught that the person did not go into banishment, but the sages said that the person did go into banishment. If from the split log rebounding killed someone, Rabbi said that the person went into banishment, but the sages said that the person did not go into banishment.
Rabbi Jose bar Judah taught that to begin with, they sent a slayer to a city of refuge, whether the slayer killed intentionally or not. Then the court sent and brought the slayer back from the city of refuge. The Court executed whomever the court found guilty of a capital crime, and the court acquitted whomever the court found not guilty of a capital crime. The court restored to the city of refuge whomever the court found liable to banishment, as Numbers 35:25 ordained, “And the congregation shall restore him to the city of refuge from where he had fled.” Numbers 35:25 also says, “The manslayer . . . shall dwell therein until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil,” but the Mishnah taught that the death of a high priest who had been anointed with the holy anointing oil, the death of a high priest who had been consecrated by the many vestments, or the death of a high priest who had retired from his office each equally made possible the return of the slayer. Rabbi Judah said that the death of a priest who had been anointed for war also permitted the return of the slayer. Because of these laws, mothers of high priests would provide food and clothing for the slayers in cities of refuge so that the slayers might not pray for the high priest’s death. If the high priest died at the conclusion of the slayer’s trial, the slayer did not go into banishment. If, however, the high priests died before the trial was concluded and another high priest was appointed in his stead and then the trial concluded, the slayer returned home after the new high priest’s death.
Noting that Exodus 21:17 commands, “He that curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death,” and Leviticus 24:15 commands, “Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin,” the Rabbis taught in a Baraita that Scripture likens cursing parents to cursing God. As Exodus 20:11 (20:12 in NJSP) commands, “Honor your father and your mother,” and Proverbs 3:9 directs, “Honor the Lord with your substance,” Scripture likens the honor due to parents to that due to God. And as Leviticus 19:3 commands, “You shall fear your father and mother,” and Deuteronomy 6:13 commands, “The Lord your God you shall fear and you shall serve,” Scripture likens the fear of parents to the fear of God. But the Baraita conceded that with respect to striking (which Exodus 21:15 addresses with regard to parents), that it is certainly impossible (with respect to God). The Baraita concluded that these comparisons between parents and God are only logical, since the three (God, the mother, and the father) are partners in creation of the child. For the Rabbis taught in a Baraita that there are three partners in the creation of a person — God, the father, and the mother. When one honors one’s father and mother, God considers it as if God had dwelt among them and they had honored God. And a Tanna taught before Rav Nachman that when one vexes one’s father and mother, God considers it right not to dwell among them, for had God dwelt among them, they would have vexed God.
Rav Aha taught that people have no power to bring about healing (and thus one should not practice medicine, but leave healing to God). But Abaye disagreed, as it was taught in the school of Rabbi Ishmael that the words of Exodus 21:19, “He shall cause him to be thoroughly healed,” teach that the Torah gives permission for physicians to heal.
The Gemara taught that the words “eye for eye” in Exodus 21:24 meant pecuniary compensation. Rabbi Simon ben Yohai asked those who would take the words literally how they would enforce equal justice where a blind man put out the eye of another man, or an amputee cut off the hand of another, or where a lame person broke the leg of another. The school of Rabbi Ishmael cited the words “so shall it be given to him” in Leviticus 24:20, and deduced that the word “give” could apply only to pecuniary compensation. The school of Rabbi Hiyya cited the words “hand for hand” in the parallel discussion in Deuteronomy 19:21 to mean that an article was given from hand to hand, namely money. Abaye reported that a sage of the school of Hezekiah taught that Exodus 21:23–24 said “eye for eye” and “life for life,” but not “life and eye for eye,” and it could sometimes happen that eye and life would be taken for an eye, as when the offender died while being blinded. Rav Papa said in the name of Rava that Exodus 21:19 referred explicitly to healing, and the verse would not make sense if one assumed that retaliation was meant. And Rav Ashi taught that the principle of pecuniary compensation could be derived from the analogous use of the term “for” in Exodus 21:24 in the expression “eye for eye” and in Exodus 21:36 in the expression “he shall surely pay ox for ox.” As the latter case plainly indicated pecuniary compensation, so must the former.
Tractate Bava Kamma in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of damages related to oxen in Exodus 21:28–32, 35–36, pits in Exodus 21:33–34, men who steal livestock in Exodus 21:37, crop-destroying beasts in Exodus 22:4, fires in Exodus 22:5, and related torts.
Noting that Exodus 21:37 provides a penalty of five oven for the theft of an ox but only four sheep for the theft of a sheep, Rabbi Meir deduced that the law attaches great importance to labor. For in the case of an ox, a thief interferes with the beast’s labor, while in the case of a sheep, a thief does not disturb it from labor. Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai taught that the law attaches great importance to human dignity. For in the case of an ox, the thief can walk the animal away on its own feet, while in the case of a sheep, the thief usually has to carry it away, thus suffering indignity.
Exodus chapter 22
Rabbi Ishmael and Rabbi Akiba differed over the meaning of the word “his” in the clause “of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution” in Exodus 22:4. Rabbi Ishmael read Exodus 22:4 to require the damager to compensate the injured party out of property equivalent to the injured party’s best property, whereas Rabbi Akiba read Exodus 22:4 to require the damager to compensate the injured party out of the damager’s best property. The Mishnah required that a damager compensates for damage done out of the damager’s best quality property. The Gemara explained that the Mishnah imposed this high penalty because Exodus 22:4 requires it, and Exodus 22:4 imposes this penalty to discourage the doing of damage.
Rabbi Samuel bar Nahmani in the name of Rabbi Johanan interpreted the account of spreading fire in Exodus 22:5 as an application of the general principle that calamity comes upon the world only when there are wicked persons (represented by the thorns) in the world, and its effects always manifest themselves first upon the righteous (represented by the grain).
Rabbi Isaac the smith interpreted Exodus 22:5 homiletically to teach that God has taken responsibility to rebuild the Temple, as God allowed the fire of man’s sin to go out of Zion to destroy it, as Lamentations 4:11 reports, “He has kindled a fire in Zion, which has devoured the foundations thereof,” and God will nonetheless rebuild them, as Zechariah 2:9 reports, “For I, says the Lord, will be to her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.”
Portions of the latter chapters of Tractate Bava Metzia in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of bailment in Exodus 22:6–14. The Mishnah identified four categories of guardians (shomrim): (1) an unpaid custodian (Exodus 22:6–8), (2) a borrower (Exodus 22:13–14a), (3) a paid custodian (Exodus 22:11), and (4) a renter (Exodus 22:14b). The Mishnah summarized the law when damage befell the property in question: An unpaid custodian must swear for everything and bears no liability, a borrower must pay in all cases, a paid custodian or a renter must swear concerning an animal that was injured, captured, or died, but must pay for loss or theft.
Rabbah explained that the Torah in Exodus 22:8–10 requires those who admit to a part of a claim against them to take an oath, because the law presumes that no debtor is so brazen in the face of a creditor as to deny the debt entirely.
Rabbi Eliezer the Great taught that the Torah warns against wronging a stranger (גֵר, ger) in 36, or others say 46, places (including Exodus 22:20 and 23:9). The Gemara went on to cite Rabbi Nathan’s interpretation of Exodus 22:20, “You shall neither wrong a stranger, nor oppress him; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” to teach that one must not taunt one’s neighbor about a flaw that one has oneself. The Gemara taught that thus a proverb says: If there is a case of hanging in a person’s family history, do not say to the person, “Hang up this fish for me.”
Citing Exodus 22:20 to apply to verbal wrongs, the Mishnah taught that one must not say to a repentant sinner, “remember your former deeds,” and one must not taunt a child of converts saying, “remember the deeds of your ancestors.” Similarly, a Baraita taught that one must not say to a convert who comes to study the Torah, “Shall the mouth that ate unclean and forbidden food, abominable and creeping things, come to study the Torah that was uttered by the mouth of Omnipotence!”
The Gemara taught that the Torah provided similar injunctions in Exodus 22:25 and Deuteronomy 24:12–13 to teach that a lender had to return a garment worn during the day before sunrise, and return a garment worn during the night before sunset.
Exodus chapter 23
A Baraita taught that one day, Rabbi Eliezer employed every imaginable argument for the proposition that a particular type of oven was not susceptible to ritual impurity, but the Sages did not accept his arguments. Then Rabbi Eliezer told the Sages, “If the halachah agrees with me, then let this carob tree prove it,” and the carob tree moved 100 cubits (and others say 400 cubits) out of its place. But the Sages said that no proof can be brought from a carob tree. Then Rabbi Eliezer told the Sages, “If the halachah agrees with me, let this stream of water prove it,” and the stream of water flowed backwards. But the Sages said that no proof can be brought from a stream of water. Then Rabbi Eliezer told the Sages, “If the halachah agrees with me, let the walls of this house of study prove it,” and the walls leaned over as if to fall. But Rabbi Joshua rebuked the walls, telling them not to interfere with scholars engaged in a halachic dispute. In honor of Rabbi Joshua, the walls did not fall, but in honor of Rabbi Eliezer, the walls did not stand upright, either. Then Rabbi Eliezer told the Sages, “If the halachah agrees with me, let Heaven prove it,” and a Heavenly Voice cried out: “Why do you dispute with Rabbi Eliezer, for in all matters the halachah agrees with him!” But Rabbi Joshua rose and exclaimed in the words of Deuteronomy 30:12: “It is not in heaven.” Rabbi Jeremiah explained that God had given the Torah at Mount Sinai; Jews pay no attention to Heavenly Voices, for God wrote in Exodus 23:2: “After the majority must one incline.” Later, Rabbi Nathan met Elijah and asked him what God did when Rabbi Joshua rose in opposition to the Heavenly Voice. Elijah replied that God laughed with joy, saying, “My children have defeated Me, My children have defeated Me!”
The Mishnah read the emphatic words of Exodus 23:5, “you shall surely release it,” repeating the verb in the Hebrew, to teach that Exodus 23:5 required a passer-by to unload an enemy’s animal to let it get up and to reload the animal. And even if the passer-by repeated the process four or five times, the passer-by was still bound to do it again, because Exodus 23:5 says, “you shall surely help.” If the owner of the animal simply sat down and said to the passer-by that the obligation rested upon the passer-by to unload, then the passer-by was exempt, because Exodus 23:5 says, “with him.” Yet if the animal’s owner was old or infirm, the passer-by was bound to do it without the owner’s help. The Mishnah taught that Exodus 23:5 required the passer-by to unload the animal, but not to reload it. But Rabbi Simeon said that Exodus 23:5 required the passer-by to load it too. Rabbi Jose the Galilean said that if the animal bore more than its proper burden, then the passer-by had no obligation towards the owner, because Exodus 23:5 says, “If you see the donkey of him who hates you lying under its burden,” which means, a burden under which it can stand.
Tractate Sheviit in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Jerusalem Talmud interpreted the laws of the Sabbatical year in Exodus 23:10–11, Leviticus 25:1–34, and Deuteronomy 15:1–18, and 31:10–13. The Mishnah taught that exile resulted from (among other things) transgressing the commandment (in Exodus 23:10–11 and Leviticus 25:3–5) to observe a Sabbatical year for the land. Rabbi Isaac taught that the words of Psalm 103:20, “mighty in strength that fulfill His word,” speak of those who observe the Sabbatical year. Rabbi Isaac said that we often find that a person fulfills a precept for a day, a week, or a month, but it is remarkable to find one who does so for an entire year. Rabbi Isaac asked whether one could find a mightier person than one who sees his field untilled, see his vineyard untilled, and yet pays his taxes and does not complain. And Rabbi Isaac noted that Psalm 103:20 uses the words “that fulfill His word (דְּבָרוֹ, devaro),” and Deuteronomy 15:2 says regarding observance of the Sabbatical year, “And this is the manner (דְּבַר, devar) of the release,” and argued that דְּבַר, devar means the observance of the Sabbatical year in both places.
Tractate Shabbat in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the Sabbath in Exodus 16:23 and 29; 20:7–10 (20:8–11 in the NJPS); 23:12; 31:13–17; 35:2–3; Leviticus 19:3; 23:3; Numbers 15:32–36; and Deuteronomy 5:11 (5:12 in the NJPS).
The Gemara deduced from the parallel use of the word “appear” in Exodus 23:14 and Deuteronomy 16:15 (regarding appearance offerings) on the one hand, and in Deuteronomy 31:10–12 (regarding the great assembly) on the other hand, that the criteria for who participated in the great assembly also applied to limit who needed to bring appearance offerings. A Baraita deduced from the words “that they may hear” in Deuteronomy 31:12 that a deaf person was not required to appear at the assembly. And the Baraita deduced from the words “that they may learn” in Deuteronomy 31:12 that a mute person was not required to appear at the assembly. But the Gemara questioned the conclusion that one who cannot talk cannot learn, recounting the story of two mute grandsons (or others say nephews) of Rabbi Johanan ben Gudgada who lived in Rabbi’s neighborhood. Rabbi prayed for them, and they were healed. And it turned out that notwithstanding their speech impediment, they had learned halachah, Sifra, Sifre, and the whole Talmud. Mar Zutra and Rav Ashi read the words “that they may learn” in Deuteronomy 31:12 to mean “that they may teach,” and thus to exclude people who could not speak from the obligation to appear at the assembly. Rabbi Tanhum deduced from the words “in their ears” (using the plural for “ears”) at the end of Deuteronomy 31:11 that one who was deaf in one ear was exempt from appearing at the assembly.
Tractate Beitzah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws common to all of the Festivals in Exodus 12:3–27, 43–49; 13:6–10; 23:16; 34:18–23; Leviticus 16; 23:4–43; Numbers 9:1–14; 28:16–30:1; and Deuteronomy 16:1–17; 31:10–13.
Tractate Pesachim in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the Passover in Exodus 12:3–27, 43–49; 13:6–10; 23:15; 34:25; Leviticus 23:4–8; Numbers 9:1–14; 28:16–25; and Deuteronomy 16:1–8.
The Mishnah noted differences between the first Passover in Exodus 12:3–27, 43–49; 13:6–10; 23:15; 34:25; Leviticus 23:4–8; Numbers 9:1–14; 28:16–25; and Deuteronomy 16:1–8. and the second Passover in Numbers 9:9–13. The Mishnah taught that the prohibitions of Exodus 12:19 that “seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses” and of Exodus 13:7 that “no leaven shall be seen in all your territory” applied to the first Passover; while at the second Passover, one could have both leavened and unleavened bread in one’s house. And the Mishnah taught that for the first Passover, one was required to recite the Hallel (Psalms 113–118) when the Passover lamb was eaten; while the second Passover did not require the reciting of Hallel when the Passover lamb was eaten. But both the first and second Passovers required the reciting of Hallel when the Passover lambs were offered, and both Passover lambs were eaten roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. And both the first and second Passovers took precedence over the Sabbath.
The Gemara cited Exodus 23:15 to support the proposition, which both Resh Lakish and Rabbi Johanan held, that on the mid-festival days (Chol HaMoed) it is forbidden to work. For the Rabbis taught in a Baraita the view of Rabbi Josiah that because the word “keep” is read to imply prohibition of work, the words, “The Feast of Unleavened Bread shall you keep, seven days,” in Exodus 23:15 teach that work is forbidden for seven days, and thus work is forbidden on the mid-festival days.
According to one version of the dispute, Resh Lakish and Rabbi Johanan disagreed over how to interpret the words, “None shall appear before Me empty,” in Exodus 23:15. Resh Lakish argued that Exodus 23:15 taught that whenever a pilgrim appeared at the Temple, even during the succeeding days of a multi-day Festival, the pilgrim had to bring an offering. But Rabbi Johanan argued that Exodus 23:15 refers to only the first day of a Festival, and not to succeeding days. After relating this dispute, the Gemara reconsidered and concluded that Resh Lakish and Rabbi Johanan differed not over whether additional offerings were obligatory, but over whether additional offerings were permitted.
Tractate Sukkah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of Sukkot in Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:33–43; Numbers 29:12–34; and Deuteronomy 16:13–17; 31:10–13.
The Mishnah taught that a sukkah can be no more than 20 cubits high. Rabbi Judah, however, declared taller sukkot valid. The Mishnah taught that a sukkah must be at least 10 handbreadths high, have three walls, and have more shade than sun. The House of Shammai declared invalid a sukkah made 30 days or more before the festival, but the House of Hillel pronounced it valid. The Mishnah taught that if one made the sukkah for the purpose of the festival, even at the beginning of the year, it is valid.
The Mishnah taught that a sukkah under a tree is as invalid as a sukkah within a house. If one sukkah is erected above another, the upper one is valid, but the lower is invalid. Rabbi Judah said that if there are no occupants in the upper one, then the lower one is valid.
It invalidates a sukkah to spread a sheet over the sukkah because of the sun, or beneath it because of falling leaves, or over the frame of a four-post bed. One may spread a sheet, however, over the frame of a two-post bed.
It is not valid to train a vine, gourd, or ivy to cover a sukkah and then cover it with sukkah covering (s’chach). If, however, the sukkah-covering exceeds the vine, gourd, or ivy in quantity, or if the vine, gourd, or ivy is detached, it is valid. The general rule is that one may not use for sukkah-covering anything that is susceptible to ritual impurity (tumah) or that does not grow from the soil. But one may use for sukkah-covering anything not susceptible to ritual impurity that grows from the soil.
Bundles of straw, wood, or brushwood may not serve as sukkah-covering. But any of them, if they are untied, are valid. All materials are valid for the walls.
Rabbi Judah taught that one may use planks for the sukkah-covering, but Rabbi Meir taught that one may not. The Mishnah taught that it is valid to place a plank four handbreadths wide over the sukkah, provided that one does not sleep under it.
The Mishnah deduced from the words “the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of your labors, which you sow in the field” in Exodus 23:16 that first fruits were not to be brought before Shavuot. The Mishnah reported that the men of Mount Zeboim brought their first fruits before Shavuot, but the priests did not accept them, because of what is written in Exodus 23:16.
Tractate Bikkurim in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Jerusalem Talmud interpreted the laws of the first fruits in Exodus 23:19, Numbers 18:13, and Deuteronomy 12:17–18 and 26:1–11. The Mishnah interpreted the words “the first-fruits of your land” in Exodus 23:19 to mean that a person could not bring first fruits unless all the produce came from that person’s land. The Mishnah thus taught that people who planted trees but bent their branches into or over another’s property could not bring first fruits from those trees. And for the same reason, the Mishnah taught that tenants, lessees, occupiers of confiscated property, or robbers could not bring first fruits.
Rav Nachman taught that the angel of whom God spoke in Exodus 23:20 was Metatron (מטטרון). Rav Nahman warned that one who is as skilled in refuting heretics as Rav Idit should do so, but others should not. Once a heretic asked Rav Idit why Exodus 24:1 says, “And to Moses He said, ‘Come up to the Lord,’” when surely God should have said, “Come up to Me.” Rav Idit replied that it was the angel Metatron who said that, and that Metatron’s name is similar to that of his Master (and indeed the gematria (numerical value of the Hebrew letters) of Metatron (מטטרון) equals that of Shadai (שַׁדַּי), God’s name in Genesis 17:1 and elsewhere) for Exodus 23:21 says, “for my name is in him.” But if so, the heretic retorted, we should worship Metatron. Rav Idit replied that Exodus 23:21 also says, “Be not rebellious against him,” by which God meant, “Do not exchange Me for him” (as the word for “rebel,” (תַּמֵּר, tameir) derives from the same root as the word “exchange”). The heretic then asked why then Exodus 23:21 says, “he will not pardon your transgression.” Rav Idit answered that indeed Metatron has no authority to forgive sins, and the Israelites would not accept him even as a messenger, for Exodus 33:15 reports that Moses told God, “If Your Presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here.”
The Gemara interpreted the words of Moses, “I am 120 years old this day,” in Deuteronomy 31:2 to signify that Moses spoke on his birthday, and that he thus died on his birthday. Citing the words “the number of your days I will fulfill” in Exodus 23:26, the Gemara concluded that God completes the years of the righteous to the day, concluding their lives on their birthdays.
The Gemara reported a dispute over the meaning of Exodus 23:26. Rava taught that King Manasseh of Judah tried and executed Isaiah, charging Isaiah with false prophesy based, among other things, on a contradiction between Exodus 23:26 and Isaiah’s teachings. Manasseh argued that when (as reported in Exodus 23:26) Moses quoted God saying, “The number of your days I will fulfill,” God meant that God would allow people to live out their appointed lifespan, but not add to it. But Manasseh noted that Isaiah told Manasseh’s father Hezekiah (as reported in 2 Kings 20:5–6) that God promised Hezekiah, “I will add on to your days fifteen years.” According to Rava, Isaiah did not dispute Manasseh’s charges, knowing that Manasseh would not accept Isaiah’s argument, no matter how truthful, and Manasseh had Isaiah killed. The Gemara reported that the Tannaim disagreed about the interpretation of the words “the number of your days I will fulfill” in Exodus 23:26. A Baraita taught that “the number of your days I will fulfill” refers to the lifespan that God allots to every human being at birth. Rabbi Akiba taught that if one is worthy, God allows one to complete the full period; if unworthy, God reduces the number of years. The Sages, however, taught that if one is worthy, God adds years to one's life; if one is unworthy, God reduces the years. The Sages argued to Rabbi Akiba that Isaiah’s prophesy to Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:5–6, “And I will add to your days fifteen years,” supports the Sages’ interpretation. Rabbi Akiba replied that God made the addition to Hezekiah’s lifespan from years that God had originally intended for Hezekiah that Hezekiah had previously lost due to sin. Rabbi Akiba cited in support of his position the words of the prophet in the days of Jeroboam, before the birth of Hezekiah, who prophesied (as reported in 1 Kings 13:2), “a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name.” Rabbi Akiba argued that since the prophet prophesied the birth of Manasseh’s son Josiah before the birth of Manasseh’s father Hezekiah, it must be that at Hezekiah’s birth God had allotted to Hezekiah enough years to extend beyond the time of Hezekiah’s illness (when Isaiah prophesied in 2 Kings 20:5–6) so as to include the year of Manasseh’s birth. Consequently, Rabbi Akiba argued, at the time of Hezekiah’s illness, God must have reduced the original number of years allotted to Hezekiah, and upon Hezekiah’s recovery, God must have added back only that which God had previously reduced. The Rabbis, however, argued back that the prophet in the days of Jeroboam who prophesied in 1 Kings 13:2 did not prophesy that Josiah would necessarily descend from Hezekiah. The prophet prophesied in 1 Kings 13:2 that Josiah would be born “to the house of David.” Thus Josiah might have descended either from Hezekiah or from some other person in the Davidic line.
A Baraita taught that the words, “I will send My terror before you, and will discomfort all the people to whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you,” in Exodus 23:27, and the words, “Terror and dread fall upon them,” in Exodus 15:16 show that no creature was able to withstand the Israelites as they entered into the Promised Land in the days of Joshua, and those who stood against them were immediately panic-stricken and lost control of their bowels. And the words, “till Your people pass over, O Lord,” in Exodus 15:16 allude to the first advance of the Israelites into the Promised Land in the days of Joshua. And the words, “till the people pass over whom You have gotten,” in Exodus 15:16 allude to the second advance of the Israelites into the Promised Land in the days of Ezra. The Baraita thus concluded that the Israelites were worthy that God should perform a miracle on their behalf during the second advance as in the first advance, but that did not happen because the Israelites’ sin caused God to withhold the miracle.
In Exodus 23:28, God promised to “send the hornet (צִּרְעָה, tzirah) before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before you,” and in Deuteronomy 7:20, Moses promised that “the Lord your God will send the hornet (צִּרְעָה, tzirah) among them.” But a Baraita taught that the hornet did not pass over the Jordan River with the Israelites. Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish reconciled the two sources, explaining that the hornet stood on the eastern bank of the Jordan and shot its venom over the river at the Canaanites. The venom blinded the Canaanites’ eyes above and castrated them below, as Amos 2:9 says, “Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from beneath.” Rav Papa offered an alternative explanation, saying that there were two hornets, one in the time of Moses and the other in the time of Joshua. The former did not pass over the Jordan, but the latter did.
Exodus chapter 24
Rav Huna son of Rav Kattina sat before Rav Chisda, and Rav Chisda cited Exodus 24:5, “And he sent the young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen to the Lord,” as an application of the proposition stated in the Mishnah that “before the Tabernacle was set up . . . the service was performed by the firstborn; after the tabernacle was set up . . . the service was performed by priests.” (The “young men” in Exodus 24:5 were the firstborn, not priests.) Rav Huna replied to Rav Chisda that Rabbi Assi taught that after that the firstborn ceased performing the sacrificial service (even though it was nearly a year before the Tabernacle was set up).
Rabbi Isaac taught that when a king administers an oath to his legions, he does so with a sword, implying that whoever transgressed the oath would have the sword pass over his neck. Similarly, at Sinai, as Exodus 24:6 reports, “Moses took half of the blood” (thus adjuring them with the blood). The Midrash asked how Moses knew how much was half of the blood. Rabbi Judah bar Ila'i taught that the blood divided itself into halves on its own. Rabbi Nathan said that its appearance changed; half of it turned black, and half remained red. Bar Kappara told that an angel in the likeness of Moses came down and divided it. Rabbi Isaac taught that a Heavenly Voice came from Mount Horeb, saying that this much is half of the blood. Rabbi Ishmael taught in a Baraita that Moses was expert in the regulations relating to blood, and by means of that knowledge divided it. Exodus 24:6 goes on to say, “And he put it in basins (אַגָּנֹת, aganot).” Rav Huna said in the name of Rabbi Avin that Exodus 24:6 writes the word in a form that might be read aganat (“basin,” singular) indicating that neither basin was larger than the other. Moses asked God what to do with God’s portion. God told Moses to sprinkle it on the people. (Exodus 24:8 reports, “And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people.”) Moses asked what he should do with the Israelites’ portion. God said to sprinkle it on the altar, as Exodus 24:6 says, “And half of the blood he dashed against the altar.”
Reading Exodus 24:7 “And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the hearing of the people,” the Mekhilta asked what Moses had read. Rabbi Jose the son of Rabbi Judah said that Moses read from the beginning of Genesis up to Exodus 24:7. Rabbi said that Moses read to them the laws commanded to Adam, the commandments given to the Israelites in Egypt and at Marah, and all other commandments that they had already been given. Rabbi Ishmael said that Moses read to them the laws of the sabbatical years and the jubilees [in Leviticus 25] and the blessings and the curses in Leviticus 26, as it says at the end of that section (in Leviticus 26:46), “These are the statutes and ordinances and laws.” The Israelites said that they accepted all those.
Reading the words of Exodus 24:7, “will we do, and hear” the Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer taught that God asked the Israelites whether they would receive for themselves the Torah. Even before they had heard the Torah, they answered God that they would keep and observe all the precepts that are in the Torah, as Exodus 24:7 reports, “And they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken will we do, and be obedient.’”
Rabbi Phineas taught that it was on the eve of the Sabbath that the Israelites stood at Mount Sinai, arranged with the men apart and the women apart. God told Moses to ask the women whether they wished to receive the Torah. Moses asked the women first, because the way of men is to follow the opinion of women, as Exodus 19:3 reflects when it says, “Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob” — these are the women — and only thereafter does Exodus 19:3 say, “And tell the children of Israel” — these are the men. They all replied as with one voice, in the words of Exodus 24:7, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and be obedient.”
Reading the words of Exodus 24:7, “will we do, and hear” Rabbi Simlai taught that when the Israelites gave precedence to “we will do” over “we will hear” (promising to obey God’s commands even before hearing them), 600,000 ministering angels came and set two crowns on each Israelite man, one as a reward for “we will do” and the other as a reward for “we will hear.” But as soon as the Israelites committed the sin of the Golden Calf, 1.2 million destroying angels descended and removed the crowns, as it is said in Exodus 33:6, “And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from mount Horeb.”
Rabbi Eleazar taught that when the Israelites gave precedence to “we will do” over “we will hear,” a Heavenly Voice called out that this was a secret employed by the Ministering Angels, as Psalm 103:20 says, “Bless the Lord, you angels of His. You mighty in strength, who fulfill His word, who hear the voice of His word” — first they fulfill, then they hear.
Rabbi Hama son of Rabbi Haninah taught that Song of Songs 2:3 compared the Israelites to an apple tree with the words, “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons.” Rabbi Hama explained that this teaches that just as the fruit of the apple tree precedes its leaves, so did the Israelites give precedence to “we will do” over “we will hear.”
When a certain Sadducee saw Rava so engrossed in his studies with his fingers under his feet that Rava ground his fingers so that they bled, the Sadducee exclaimed that Jews were a rash people who in Exodus 24:7 had given precedence to their mouth over their ears, and who persist in their rashness. First, the Sadducee explained, the Israelites should have listened, and then they should have accepted the law only if obeying the commandments was within their powers, but if it was not within their powers, they should not have accepted. Rava replied that the Israelites walked in integrity, for Proverbs 11:3 speaks of the Jews when it says, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them.” But of others, who walked in perversity, Proverbs 11:3 says, “but the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.”
Rabbi Azariah in the name of Rabbi Judah ben Rabbi Simon taught that once the Israelites said (as reported in Exodus 24:7), “All that the Lord has spoken will we do, and obey,” they left the infancy of Israel’s nationhood. Rabbi Azariah in the name of Rabbi Judah ben Rabbi Simon explained in a parable. A mortal king had a daughter whom he loved exceedingly. So long as his daughter was small, he would speak with her in public or in the courtyard. When she grew up and reached puberty, the king determined that it no longer befit his daughter's dignity for him to converse with her in public. So he directed that a pavilion be made for her so that he could speak with his daughter inside the pavilion. In the same way, when God saw the Israelites in Egypt, they were in the childhood of their nationhood, as Hosea 11:1 says, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.” When God saw the Israelites at Sinai, God spoke with them as Deuteronomy 5:4 says, “The Lord spoke with you face to face.” As soon as they received the Torah, became God’s nation, and said (as reported in Exodus 24:7), “All that the Lord has spoken will we do, and obey,” God observed that it was no longer in keeping with the dignity of God’s children that God should converse with them in the open. So God instructed the Israelites to make a Tabernacle, and when God needed to communicate with the Israelites, God did so from the Tabernacle. And thus Numbers 7:89 bears this out when it says, “And when Moses went into the tent of meeting that He might speak with him.”
Rabbi Berekiah and Rabbi Jeremiah the son of Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Levi ben Sisi gave the following exposition at Nehardea: Exodus 24:10 says, “And they saw the God of Israel; and there was under His feet the like of a brick-work of sapphire stone.” This was the case before they had been redeemed (from Egyptian bondage), but when they had been redeemed the brickwork was placed where the brick was generally kept (and cast away). (Before they were redeemed God had brick-work underfoot, symbolizing the bricks to which the Israelites were enslaved, for in all Israel's troubles, God suffers too. But after their redemption, the brick-work was replaced with heaven in its purity.) Rabbi Berekiah taught that it is not written in the present context, “A brick-work of sapphire,” but “The like of a brick-work of sapphire,” implying that both it (the Torah, symbolized by the brick) and all the implements appertaining to it were given, including the basket and the trowel appertaining to it (symbolizing the Oral Law) were given. (The expression “like” serves to include the object compared as well as everything resembling or connected with it.) Bar Kappara said that before the Israelites were redeemed from Egypt, the brick-work under God's feet was placed as a mark in heaven, but when the Israelites were redeemed, it was seen no more in heaven. For Exodus 24:10 says, “And the like of the very heaven for clearness,” implying the sky on a clear day.
The Gemara used the account of Exodus 24:10 to help explain the blue in the fringes (ציצית, tzitzit) of the prayer shawl (טַלִּית, tallit). It was taught in a Baraita that Rabbi Meir used to ask why Numbers 15:38 specified blue from among all the colors for the fringes. Rabbi Meir taught that it was because blue resembles the color of the sea, and the sea resembles the color of the sky, and the sky resembles the color of the Throne of Glory, as Exodus 24:10 says, “And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone,” and Ezekiel 1:26 says, “The likeness of a throne as the appearance of a sapphire stone.” (And thus, when one sees the blue thread of the fringe, it will help call to mind God.) And it was taught in a Baraita that Rabbi Meir used to say that the punishment for failing to observe the white threads of the fringes is greater than for failing to observe the blue threads. The Gemara illustrated this by a parable: A king gave orders to two servants. He asked one servant to bring a seal of clay, and he asked other to bring a seal of gold. And they both failed in their tasks. The Gemara argued that the servant deserving the greater punishment was the one whom the king directed to bring a seal of clay. (For clay is easier to get than gold. Thus the punishment for failing to get the simple white fringe should be greater than the penalty for failing to get the rare blue thread.)
A Midrash taught that when Nadab, Abihu, and the 70 elders ate and drank in God’s Presence in Exodus 24:11, they sealed their death warrant. The Midrash asked why in Numbers 11:16, God directed Moses to gather 70 elders of Israel, when Exodus 29:9 reported that there already were 70 elders of Israel. The Midrash deduced that when in Numbers 11:1, the people murmured, speaking evil, and God sent fire to devour part of the camp, all those earlier 70 elders had been burned up. The Midrash continued that the earlier 70 elders were consumed like Nadab and Abihu, because they too acted frivolously when (as reported in Exodus 24:11) they beheld God and inappropriately ate and drank. The Midrash taught that Nadab, Abihu, and the 70 elders deserved to die then, but because God so loved giving the Torah, God did not wish to create disturb that time.
Rabbi Joshua son of Korchah taught that Moses stayed on Mount Sinai 40 days and 40 nights, reading the Written Law by day, and studying the Oral Law by night. After those 40 days, on the 17th of Tammuz, Moses took the Tablets of the Law, descended into the camp, broke the Tablets in pieces, and killed the Israelite sinners. Moses then spent 40 days in the camp, until he had burned the Golden Calf, ground it into powder like the dust of the earth, destroyed the idol worship from among the Israelites, and put every tribe in its place. And on the New Moon (ראש חודש, Rosh Chodesh) of Elul (the month before Rosh Hashanah), God told Moses in Exodus 24:12: “Come up to Me on the mount,” and let them sound the shofar throughout the camp, for, behold, Moses has ascended the mount, so that they do not go astray again after the worship of idols. God was exalted with that shofar, as Psalm 47:5 says, “God is exalted with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.” Therefore the Sages instituted that the shofar should be sounded on the New Moon of Elul every year.
The Rabbis noted that Exodus 24:14 mentions that Moses appointed Aaron’s nephew Hur to share the leadership of the people with Aaron, but after Moses descended from Mount Sinai, Hur’s name does not appear again. Rabbi Benjamin bar Japhet, reporting Rabbi Eleazar, interpreted the words of Exodus 32:5, “And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it,” to mean that Aaron saw Hur lying slain before him and thought that if he did not obey the people, they would kill him as well. Aaron thought that the people would then fulfill the words of Lamentations 2:20, “Shall the Priest and the Prophet be slain in the Sanctuary of God?” and the people would then never find forgiveness. Aaron though it better to let the people worship the Golden Calf, for which they might yet find forgiveness through repentance. Thus, Rabbi Tanhum bar Hanilai taught that Aaron made the Golden Calf in Exodus 32:4 as a compromise with the people’s demand in Exodus 32:1 to “make us a god who shall go before us.” And thus Rabbi Tanhum bar Hanilai concluded that it was in reference to Aaron’s decision-making in this incident that Psalm 10:3 can be read to mean, “He who praises one who makes a compromise blasphemes God.”
Rabbi Zerika asked about an apparent contradiction of Scriptural passages in the presence of Rabbi Eleazar, or, according to another version, he asked in the name of Rabbi Eleazar. Exodus 24:18 says: “And Moses entered into the midst of the cloud,” whereas Exodus 40:35 reads: “And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of meeting because the cloud abode thereon.” The Gemara concluded that this teaches us that God took hold of Moses and brought him into the cloud. Alternatively, the school of Rabbi Ishmael taught in a Baraita that in Exodus 24:18, the word for “in the midst” (בְּתוֹךְ, be-tokh) appears, and it also appears in Exodus 14:22: “And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea.” Just as in Exodus 14:22, the word “in the midst” (בְּתוֹךְ, be-tokh) implies a path, as Exodus 14:22 says, “And the waters were a wall unto them,” so here too in Exodus 24:18, there was a path (for Moses through the cloud).
Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai taught that because the generation of the Flood transgressed the Torah that God gave humanity after Moses had stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights (as reported in Exodus 24:18 and 34:28 and Deuteronomy 9:9–11, 18, 25, and 10:10), God announced in Genesis 7:4 that God would “cause it to rain upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights.”
- To purchase a Hebrew slave in accordance with the prescribed laws
- To betroth the Jewish maidservant
- To redeem Jewish maidservants
- The master must not sell his Jewish maidservant.
- Not to withhold food, clothing, or sexual relations from one's wife
- The courts must execute by strangulation those who deserve it.
- Not to strike one's father or mother
- The court must implement laws against the one who assaults another or damages another's property.
- The court must carry out the death penalty of the sword.
- The court must judge the damages incurred by a goring ox.
- Not to benefit from an ox condemned to be stoned
- The court must judge the damages incurred by a pit.
- The court must implement punitive measures against the thief.
- The court must judge the damages incurred by an animal eating.
- The court must judge the damages incurred by fire.
- The courts must carry out the laws of an unpaid guard.
- The courts must carry out the laws of the plaintiff, admitter, or denier.
- The courts must carry out the laws of a hired worker and hired guard.
- The courts must carry out the laws of a borrower.
- The court must fine one who seduces a maiden.
- The court must not let the sorcerer live.
- Not to insult or harm a sincere convert with words
- Not to cheat a sincere convert monetarily
- Not to afflict any orphan or widow
- To lend to the poor and destitute
- Not to press them for payment if you know they don't have it
- Not to intermediate in an interest loan, guarantee, witness, or write the promissory note
- Not to curse judges
- Not to blaspheme
- Not to curse the head of state or leader of the Sanhedrin
- Not to preface one tithe to the next, but separate them in their proper order
- Not to eat meat of an animal that was mortally wounded
- Judges must not accept testimony unless both parties are present.
- Transgressors must not testify.
- The court must not execute through a majority of one; at least a majority of two is required.
- A judge who presented an acquittal plea must not present an argument for conviction in capital cases.
- To decide by majority in case of disagreement
- Not to pity a poor man in judgment
- To help another remove the load from a beast which can no longer carry it
- A judge must not decide unjustly the case of the habitual transgressor.
- The court must not kill anybody on circumstantial evidence.
- Judges must not accept bribes.
- To leave free all produce that grew in the Sabbatical year
- To rest on the Sabbath
- Not to swear in the name of an idol
- Not to turn Israelites to idolatry
- To celebrate on the three Festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot
- Not to slaughter the Passover lamb while in possession of leaven
- Not to leave the fat overnight
- To set aside the first fruits and bring them to the Temple
- Not to eat meat and milk cooked together
- Not to make any treaty with the seven nations to be extirpated, or with any idol worshiper
- Not to let them dwell in our land
In the liturgy
The laws of the servant in Exodus 21:1–11 provide an application of the tenth of the Thirteen Rules for interpreting the Torah in the Baraita of Rabbi Ishmael that many Jews read as part of the readings before the Pesukei d’Zimrah prayer service. The tenth rule provides that an item included in a generalization that is then singled out to discuss something of a kind different from the generalization is singled out to be more lenient and more stringent. Exodus 21:1–6 describes the laws of the Jewish indentured servant, who goes free after six years. Then Exodus 21:7–11 turns to the female Jewish indentured servant, who one might have thought was included in the generalization about Jewish indentured servants. Instead, Exodus 21:7 says that her avenues to freedom are not as those of her male counterpart. Rather, the Torah applies a more lenient rule to the female Jewish indentured servant, as she may go free before six years have passed — upon the onset of puberty or the death of her master. And Exodus 21:7–11 also applies a more stringent rule to the female Jewish indentured servant, as she may be betrothed against her will to the master or his son.
And the laws of trespass in Exodus 22:8 provide an example of the sixth of the Thirteen Rules for interpreting the Torah in the Baraita of Rabbi Ishmael. The sixth rule provides that when a generalization is followed by a specification followed by another generalization, one may not infer anything except that which is like the specification. One might read the generalizations to teach that all things are included, but the specification implies that only the specific items are included. The rule resolves the apparent contradiction by inferring that everything is included, provided it is similar to the items specified. Thus, Exodus 22:8 begins by referring to “every matter of trespass” and concludes by referring to “any manner of lost thing” — two generalizations. But between the two generalizations, Exodus 22:8 refers to a number of specific items — “for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for garment.” Applying the sixth rule teaches that the fine applies to movable things with intrinsic value — like an ox, donkey, sheep, or garment — but not to immovable real estate and not to contracts, which have no intrinsic value.
The Weekly Maqam
In the Weekly Maqam, Sephardic Jews each week base the songs of the services on the content of that week's parashah. For Parashah Mishpatim, Sephardic Jews apply Maqam Saba, the maqam that symbolizes the covenant between man and God. By performing mitzvot and following commandments, one obeys God's covenant, and therefore in this parashah, with its multitude of mitzvot and commandments, Sephardi Jews apply Maqam Saba.
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah made a covenant with the people of Jerusalem to proclaim liberty, that all should let their Hebrew slaves — both men and women — go free, and that none should make bondmen of them. All the princes and people listened and let their Hebrew slaves go free, but afterwards they turned and caused their servants whom they had freed to return to subjugation.
Therefore, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying that God had made a covenant with the Israelites’ forefathers when God brought them out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage that in the seventh year they must let every Hebrew slave go free, but their forefathers did not listen. The people had turned and done what is right in God’s eyes, proclaiming liberty to their neighbors, making a covenant before God in the Temple. But the people turned again and profaned God’s name, causing their servants whom they had freed to return to subjugation as servants once again. Therefore, God said that as the people had not listened to God to proclaim liberty to their neighbors, God would proclaim for the people liberty to the sword, pestilence, and famine, and would make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. God would give over to their enemies the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the officers, the priests, and all the people of the land who had transgressed God’s covenant, who had sealed the covenenant by cutting a calf in half and passing between the two parts of the calf, and their dead bodies would be food for scavengers. And God would give Zedekiah and his princes into the hand of the king of Babylon, who would return to burn Jerusalem and lay desolate the cities of Judah.
The Haftarah concludes by returning to Jeremiah 33:25–26: God said that as surely as God had decreed the ordinances of heaven and earth, God would not cast away the descendants of Jacob and David, but God would make from among them rulers of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for God would have compassion on them and end their captivity.
Connection to the Parashah
Both the parashah and the haftarah address the law requiring the release of Hebrew slaves. Both the parashah and the haftarah use the words “Hebrew” (ivri), “slave” or “servant” (eved), “free” (chofshi), and “covenant” (brit). The haftarah literally quotes the parashah. And the haftarah recites the setting of the parashah (described in the previous parashah), the time at which God brought the Israelites “out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
On Shabbat Shekalim
When the parashah coincides with the special Sabbath Shabbat Shekalim (as it does in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018), the haftarah is 2 Kings 12:1–17.
The parashah has parallels or is discussed in these sources:
- Laws of Eshnunna 53–55. Sumer, circa 2100 BCE. Reprinted in, e.g., Reuven Yaron. The Laws of Eshnunna. Brill Academic Publishers, 1997. ISBN 90-04-08534-3. (ox that gores).
- Code of Hammurabi 194–214, 250–51. Babylonia, Circa 1780 BCE. Reprinted in, e.g., James B. Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, pages 175, 178. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969. ISBN 0-691-03503-2. (An eye for an eye, ox that gores).
- Genesis 31:39 (domestic animals lost to wild animals).
- Exodus 12:3–27, 43–49 (Passover); 13:6–10 (Passover); 34:22–26 (three pilgrim festivals).
- Leviticus 23:4–43 (three pilgrim festivals); 25:8–10, 39–55.
- Numbers 9:1–14 (Passover); 28:16–31 (Passover, Shavuot); 29:12–34 (Sukkot).
- Deuteronomy 15:12–18 (Hebrew servant); 16:1–17 (three pilgrim festivals); 20:10–14; 21:10–14; 23:16–17 (Passover); 31:10–13 (Sukkot).
- Joshua 5:10–11 (Passover).
- Judges 21:19 (Sukkot).
- 1 Kings 8:1–66 (Sukkot); 12:32 (northern feast like Sukkot).
- 2 Kings 4:1–7.
- Jeremiah 34:8–22.
- Ezekiel 45:25 (Sukkot).
- Amos 2:6.
- Zechariah 14:16–19 (Sukkot).
- Ezra 3:4 (Sukkot).
- Nehemiah 5:1–13 (Hebrew slaves); 8:14–18 (Sukkot).
- 2 Chronicles 5:3–14 (Sukkot); 7:8 (Sukkot); 8:12–13 (three Pilgrim festivals).
- John 7:1–53 (Sukkot).
- Quran 2:275; 3:130. Arabia, 7th century. (Islam’s parallel prohibition of interest, or riba).
- Mishnah: Peah 8:9; Sheviit 1:1–10:9; Terumot 3:6–7; Challah 4:10; Bikkurim 1:1–3:12; Pesachim 1:1–10:9; Sukkah 1:1–5:8; Beitzah 1:1–5:7; Rosh Hashanah 2:9; Chagigah 1:1–3; Ketubot 3:2, 5:6; Sotah 3:8; Kiddushin 1:2–3; Bava Kamma 1:1–10:10; Bava Metzia 2:10, 3:12, 4:10, 5:11, 7:8–8:3; Sanhedrin 1:1, 4, 6, 7:6, 8:6, 9:1, 11:1; Avot 5:9; Zevachim 14:2; Chullin 8:4; Bekhorot 1:7, 8:7; Arakhin 3:1, 3–4; Zavim 2:3. Land of Israel, circa 200 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 36, 68–93, 99, 158, 166–75, 229–51, 279–99, 303, 328–29, 383, 388–89, 453, 487–88, 503–28, 533, 537, 540, 544, 548–51, 583–85, 598, 601–02, 607, 687, 730, 781, 790, 806, 812–13, 1111. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4.
- Tosefta: Berakhot 4:15; 6:1; Sheviit 1:1–8:11; Terumot 7:8; Bikkurim 1:1–2:16; Shabbat 15:17; Pisha (Pesachim) 1:1–10:13; Shekalim 3:24; Sukkah 1:1–4:28; Yom Tov (Beitzah) 2:12; Chagigah 1:1; Ketubot 3:7; 12:2; Nedarim 2:6; Sotah 8:7; 11:6; Bava Kamma 1:1–11:18; Bava Metzia 2:25–26; 4:2; 7:9–8:1; 8:20–21; Sanhedrin 3:2, 7; 11:5, 9; 12:3; Makkot 2:1–3:10; Shevuot 3:8; 5:2; 6:1, 3; Eduyot 1:15; Avodah Zarah 6:11; Zevachim 8:26; Chullin 8:11; Arakhin 2:10; 3:2; 5:9. Land of Israel, circa 300 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 1, pages 25, 37, 178, 203–49, 345–53, 418, 471–522, 538, 567–84, 594, 663, 752, 778, 789, 870, 879; volume 2, pages 951–1022, 1033, 1044, 1063–66, 1071–72, 1150, 1153–54, 1183–85, 1202–08, 1233–34, 1236, 1240–41, 1250, 1285, 1347, 1397, 1499, 1501, 1514. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2.
- Jerusalem Talmud: Berakhot 39a, 60a, 72b, 88a; Peah 3a, 6b, 41b, 47b, 49a, 57b, 73a; Demai 28a; Sheviit 1a–87b; Terumot 29b, 31a, 61a, 75b, 101b; Maaser Sheni 38a; Challah 47b, 48b; Orlah 33b–34b; Bikkurim 1a–26b; Shabbat 14a; Pesachim 1a–86a; Yoma 2b; Sukkah 1a–33b; Beitzah 1a–49b; Rosh Hashanah 4a, 7b, 17a; Megillah 6a, 15b, 18b, 35a; Moed Katan 11b; Sanhedrin 1a–b, 3b, 9a, 10b, 22a, 26b, 27b–28a, 29b. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volumes 1–4, 6b–8, 10–13, 18–19, 21–24, 26, 28. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2005–2013.
- Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael 58:1–80:2. Land of Israel, late 4th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 2, pages 105–250. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988. ISBN 1-55540-237-2.
- Babylonian Talmud: Berakhot 5a, 17a, 21b, 36b, 48b, 56b, 58a, 60a; Shabbat 18a, 86b, 88a, 93b; Eruvin 51a, 54b, 65a; Pesachim 2a–121b; Yoma 2b, 3b–4b, 15b, 50a, 52b, 59a, 65a, 75a, 76a, 79a, 85a; Sukkah 2a–56b; Beitzah 2a–40b; Rosh Hashanah 11a, 13a, 25a; Taanit 28b; Megillah 15b, 31a; Moed Katan 2a–3a, 5a, 8a, 23b; Chagigah 2a, 3a, 4a–b, 6a–7a, 11a, 18a, 25a; Yevamot 4a, 5b, 7a, 22b–23a, 25a, 35a, 46b, 48b, 49b, 60a, 66b, 69b–70a, 72b, 78a, 100b–01a, 103a, 104a; Ketubot 10a, 15b, 17a, 29a–30a, 32a–34b, 36b–38b, 39b–41a, 42a–b, 44b, 46a–48a, 56a, 61b, 63a, 79b, 97b, 105a–b, 112a; Nedarim 7a, 15b, 31b–32a, 76a; Nazir 35a, 37a; Sotah 8a, 13b, 17a, 23a–b, 36a, 42b; Gittin 7a, 12b, 18a, 42a–b, 45a, 48b–49b, 51b, 65a, 77a, 88b; Kiddushin 3b–4a, 6a, 9b, 11b, 14b–15a, 16a–20a, 21b–22b, 24a–b, 30b, 34a–35a, 38a, 40a, 42b–43a, 46a, 49a, 56b, 57b–58a, 68b; Bava Kamma 2a–119b; Bava Metzia 5a–b, 10b–11a, 27a, 31a–33b, 38b–39a, 41a, 43b, 48b, 54a, 56a–b, 57b, 58b, 59b, 62a, 71a, 75b, 83a, 93a–99b, 107b, 113b, 114b; Bava Batra 4a, 23b, 28a–b, 43b, 50a, 70a, 81a, 93a, 94b, 107a, 108b, 126b, 159a; Sanhedrin 2a–b, 3b–4b, 7b, 9b, 15a–b, 17a, 18b–19a, 24b–25b, 27a, 28b, 32a, 33b, 35b–36b, 38b, 40b–41a, 43a, 47a, 52b–53a, 54b, 56a–b, 60a–b, 63a–b, 66a, 67a–b, 69a, 72a–b, 74a, 78a–79a, 80a, 83a, 84b–86a, 87b, 94a, 109a, 110b, 111b; Makkot 2b, 5a–b, 7a–13a, 18a–b, 19b, 21b, 23a; Shevuot 30b–31a, 33a, 35b, 36b, 39b, 40b, 42a–43a, 45a–b, 47a, 49a; Avodah Zarah 34b, 51a, 74a; Horayot 4b; Zevachim 24b, 38b, 66a, 69a, 70b, 97b, 82b, 115b–16a, 117a; Menachot 5b, 10a, 43b, 45a, 71a, 78b, 83b, 84b, 101b; Chullin 11a–b, 26b, 30a, 37a, 39b, 42a, 47b, 68a–b, 73b, 75a, 77a, 81a–b, 82b, 89a, 98b, 101a, 102b, 103b, 108b, 113a, 114a, 115b–16a, 120b, 131a, 134a, 137a; Bekhorot 2b, 10a, 11a, 13a, 26b, 34a, 49b, 50b–51b, 55b, 57a; Arakhin 2b, 6b–7a, 13b, 14b, 18b, 19b, 25b, 29a, 30b, 33a; Temurah 3b–4a, 25b, 30a–b; Keritot 4a, 8b–9a; Meilah 13a; Niddah 8a, 40a, 47b–48a. Babylonia, 6th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr, Chaim Malinowitz, and Mordechai Marcus, 72 volumes. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2006.
- Exodus Rabbah 30:1–32:9. 10th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S. M. Lehrman, volume 3, pages 346–413. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Rashi on Exodus 21–24. Troyes, France, late 11th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg. Rashi: The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated, volume 2, pages 247–317. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-89906-027-7.
- Rashbam. Commentary on the Torah. Troyes, early 12th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashbam’s Commentary on Exodus: An Annotated Translation. Edited and translated by Martin I. Lockshin, pages 225–302. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997. ISBN 0-7885-0225-5.
- Judah Halevi. Kuzari. 2:14; 3:1, 35, 47; 4:3, 11. Toledo, Spain, 1130–1140. Reprinted in, e.g., Jehuda Halevi. Kuzari: An Argument for the Faith of Israel. Introduction by Henry Slonimsky, pages 90, 135, 168, 175, 204, 217. New York: Schocken, 1964. ISBN 0-8052-0075-4.
- Abraham ibn Ezra. Commentary on the Torah. France, 1153. Reprinted in, e.g., Ibn Ezra's Commentary on the Pentateuch: Exodus (Shemot). Translated and annotated by H. Norman Strickman and Arthur M. Silver, volume 2, pages 447–530. New York: Menorah Publishing Company, 1996. ISBN 0-932232-08-6.
- Maimonides. Mishneh Torah, Introduction, 1. Cairo, Egypt, 1170–1180.
- Hezekiah ben Manoah. Hizkuni. France, circa 1240. Reprinted in, e.g., Chizkiyahu ben Manoach. Chizkuni: Torah Commentary. Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk, volume 2, pages 517–74. Jerusalem: Ktav Publishers, 2013. ISBN 978-1-60280-261-2.
- Nachmanides. Commentary on the Torah. Jerusalem, circa 1270. Reprinted in, e.g., Ramban (Nachmanides): Commentary on the Torah. Translated by Charles B. Chavel, volume 2, pages 338–433. New York: Shilo Publishing House, 1973. ISBN 0-88328-007-8.
- Zohar 2:94a–126a. Spain, late 13th century. Reprinted in, e.g., The Zohar. Translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon. 5 volumes. London: Soncino Press, 1934.
- Bahya ben Asher. Commentary on the Torah. Spain, early 14th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbeinu Bachya: Torah Commentary by Rabbi Bachya ben Asher. Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk, volume 4, pages 1122–217. Jerusalem: Lambda Publishers, 2003. ISBN 965-7108-45-4.
- Jacob ben Asher (Baal Ha-Turim). Commentary on the Torah. Early 14th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Baal Haturim Chumash: Shemos/Exodus. Translated by Eliyahu Touger; edited and annotated by Avie Gold, volume 2, pages 755–811. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-57819-129-7.
- Isaac ben Moses Arama. Akedat Yizhak (The Binding of Isaac). Late 15th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Yitzchak Arama. Akeydat Yitzchak: Commentary of Rabbi Yitzchak Arama on the Torah. Translated and condensed by Eliyahu Munk, volume 1, pages 437–58. New York: Lambda Publishers, 2001. ISBN 965-7108-30-6.
- Isaac Abrabanel. Principles of Faith. Chapters 3, 5, 12, 17, 19. Naples, Italy, 1494. Reprinted in, e.g., Isaac Abravanel. Principles of Faith (Rosh Amanah). Translated by Menachem Marc Kellner, pages 66, 76, 116, 118, 154, 171. Rutherford, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8386-3080-4.
- Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno. Commentary on the Torah. Venice, 1567. Reprinted in, e.g., Sforno: Commentary on the Torah. Translation and explanatory notes by Raphael Pelcovitz, pages 394–417. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1997. ISBN 0-89906-268-7.
- Moshe Alshich. Commentary on the Torah. Safed, circa 1593. Reprinted in, e.g., Moshe Alshich. Midrash of Rabbi Moshe Alshich on the Torah. Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk, volume 2, pages 502–36. New York, Lambda Publishers, 2000. ISBN 965-7108-13-6.
- Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz. Kli Yakar. Lublin, 1602. Reprinted in, e.g., Kli Yakar: Shemos. Translated by Elihu Levine, volume 2, pages 97–163. Southfield, Michigan: Targum Press/Feldheim Publishers, 2007. ISBN 1-56871-422-X.
- Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan, 3:40. England, 1651. Reprint edited by C. B. Macpherson, page 503. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Classics, 1982. ISBN 0-14-043195-0.
- Chaim ibn Attar. Ohr ha-Chaim. Venice, 1742. Reprinted in Chayim ben Attar. Or Hachayim: Commentary on the Torah. Translated by Eliyahu Munk, volume 2, pages 689–753. Brooklyn: Lambda Publishers, 1999. ISBN 965-7108-12-8.
- Samson Raphael Hirsch. The Pentateuch: Exodus. Translated by Isaac Levy, volume 2, pages 286–427. Gateshead: Judaica Press, 2nd edition 1999. ISBN 0-910818-12-6. Originally published as Der Pentateuch uebersetzt und erklaert. Frankfurt, 1867–1878.
- Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal). Commentary on the Torah. Padua, 1871. Reprinted in, e.g., Samuel David Luzzatto. Torah Commentary. Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk, volume 3, pages 769–847. New York: Lambda Publishers, 2012. ISBN 978-965-524-067-2.
- Benno Jacob. The Second Book of the Bible: Exodus. London, 1940. Translated by Walter Jacob, pages 606–757. Hoboken, New Jersey: KTAV Publishing House, 1992. ISBN 0-88125-028-7.
- Thomas Mann. Joseph and His Brothers. Translated by John E. Woods, pages 305, 535–36. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4001-9. Originally published as Joseph und seine Brüder. Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer Verlag, 1943.
- Isaac Mendelsohn. “Slavery in the Ancient Near East.” Biblical Archaeologist. Volume 9 (1946): pages 74–88.
- Isaac Mendelsohn. Slavery in the Ancient Near East. New York: Oxford University Press, 1949.
- Abraham Joshua Heschel. Man's Quest for God: Studies in Prayer and Symbolism, page 18. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1954.
- Morris Adler. The World of the Talmud, pages 30, 42. B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundations, 1958. Reprinted Kessinger Publishing, 2007. ISBN 0-548-08000-3.
- Umberto Cassuto. A Commentary on the Book of Exodus. Jerusalem, 1951. Translated by Israel Abrahams, pages 255–316. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1967.
- Jacob Milgrom. “First fruits, OT.” In The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Supp. volume, pages 336–37. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon, 1976. ISBN 0-687-19269-2.
- Elie Munk. The Call of the Torah: An Anthology of Interpretation and Commentary on the Five Books of Moses. Translated by E.S. Mazer, volume 2, pages 292–361. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1995. ISBN 0-89906-042-0. Originally published as La Voix de la Thora. Paris: Fondation Samuel et Odette Levy, 1981.
- Jacob Milgrom. “‘You Shall Not Boil a Kid in Its Mother’s Milk’: An archaeological myth destroyed.” Bible Review. Volume 1 (number 3) (Fall 1985): pages 48–55.
- David Kader. “Torts and Torah.” (1986). Journal of Law & Religion. Volume 4 (1986): pages 161, 164–167.
- Ben Zion Bergman. “A Question of Great Interest: May a Synagogue Issue Interest-Bearing Bonds?” New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 1988. YD 167:1.1988a. Reprinted in Responsa: 1980–1990: The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement. Edited by David J. Fine, pages 319–23. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2005. ISBN 0-916219-27-5.
- Avram Israel Reisner. “Dissent: A Matter of Great Interest” New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 1988. YD 167:1.1988b. Reprinted in Responsa: 1980–1990: The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement. Edited by David J. Fine, pages 324–28. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2005. ISBN 0-916219-27-5.
- Nahum M. Sarna. The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation, pages 117–55, 273–76. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991. ISBN 0-8276-0327-4.
- Lawrence Kushner. God Was in This Place and I, I Did Not Know: Finding Self, Spirituality and Ultimate Meaning, pages 32–33. Jewish Lights Publishing, 1993. ISBN 1-879045-33-8. (the Place).
- Nehama Leibowitz. New Studies in Shemot (Exodus), volume 2, pages 361–458. Jerusalem: Haomanim Press, 1993. Reprinted as New Studies in the Weekly Parasha. Lambda Publishers, 2010. ISBN 965-524-038-X.
- Aaron Wildavsky. Assimilation versus Separation: Joseph the Administrator and the Politics of Religion in Biblical Israel, pages 3–4. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1993. ISBN 1-56000-081-3.
- Judith S. Antonelli. “Female Servitude.” In In the Image of God: A Feminist Commentary on the Torah, pages 185–202. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson, 1995. ISBN 1-56821-438-3.
- Jacob Milgrom. “‘The Alien in Your Midst’: Every nation has its ger: the permanent resident. The Torah commands us, first, not to oppress the ger, and then to befriend and love him.” Bible Review. Volume 11 (number 6) (December 1995).
- Marc Gellman. “The Commandments on Moses’ Sleeves.” In God’s Mailbox: More Stories About Stories in the Bible, pages 60–67. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1996. ISBN 0-688-13169-7.
- Jacob Milgrom. “Lex Talionis and the Rabbis: The Talmud reflects an uneasy rabbinic conscience toward the ancient law of talion, ‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’” Bible Review. Volume 12 (number 2) (April 1996).
- Baruch J. Schwartz. “What Really Happened at Mount Sinai? Four biblical answers to one question.” Bible Review. Volume 13 (number 5) (October 1997).
- Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer. “What Must We Do?” In The Women's Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions. Edited by Elyse Goldstein, pages 148–53. Woodstock, Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-58023-076-8.
- Jack M. Sasson. “Should Cheeseburgers Be Kosher? A Different Interpretation of Five Hebrew Words.” Bible Review. Volume 19 (number 6) (December 2003): pages 40–43, 50–51.
- Joseph Telushkin. The Ten Commandments of Character: Essential Advice for Living an Honorable, Ethical, Honest Life, pages 218–20, 275–78. New York: Bell Tower, 2003. ISBN 1-4000-4509-6.
- Jeffrey H. Tigay. “Exodus.” In The Jewish Study Bible. Edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, pages 152–63. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-529751-2.
- Lawrence Kushner. Kabbalah: A Love Story, page 8. New York: Morgan Road Books, 2006. ISBN 0-7679-2412-6.
- W. Gunther Plaut. The Torah: A Modern Commentary: Revised Edition. Revised edition edited by David E.S. Stern, pages 511–41. New York: Union for Reform Judaism, 2006. ISBN 0-8074-0883-2.
- William H.C. Propp. Exodus 19–40, volume 2A, pages 117–54, 185–309. New York: Anchor Bible, 2006. ISBN 0-385-24693-5.
- Suzanne A. Brody. “Watcher of the World.” In Dancing in the White Spaces: The Yearly Torah Cycle and More Poems, page 80. Shelbyville, Kentucky: Wasteland Press, 2007. ISBN 1-60047-112-9.
- Shai Cherry. “The Hebrew Slave.” In Torah Through Time: Understanding Bible Commentary, from the Rabbinic Period to Modern Times, pages 101–31. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2007. ISBN 0-8276-0848-9.
- Esther Jungreis. Life Is a Test, page 254. Brooklyn: Shaar Press, 2007. ISBN 1-4226-0609-0.
- Gloria London. “Why Milk and Meat Don’t Mix: A New Explanation for a Puzzling Kosher Law.” Biblical Archaeology Review. Volume 34 (number 6) (November/December 2008): pages 66–69.
- The Torah: A Women's Commentary. Edited by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea L. Weiss, pages 427–50. New York: URJ Press, 2008. ISBN 0-8074-1081-0.
- James A. Diamond. “Nachmanides and Rashi on the One Flesh of Conjugal Union: Lovemaking vs. Duty.” Harvard Theological Review. Volume 102 (number 2) (April 2009): pages 193–224.
- Jonathan Sacks. Covenant & Conversation: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible: Exodus: The Book of Redemption, pages 157–86. Jerusalem: Maggid Books, 2010. ISBN 1-59264-021-4.
- Joseph Telushkin. Hillel: If Not Now, When? pages 47–52. New York: Nextbook, Schocken, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8052-4281-2. (prozbol).
- Joe Lieberman and David Klinghoffer. The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath. New York: Howard Books, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4516-0617-1.
- Torah MiEtzion: New Readings in Tanach: Shemot. Edited by Ezra Bick and Yaakov Beasley, pages 289–337. Jerusalem: Maggid Books, 2012. ISBN 1-61329-007-1.
- Adam Kirsch. “Ancient Laws for Modern Times: When is a tent just a tent and not like a bed or a hat? To update Jewish laws, the rabbis reasoned by analogy.” Tablet Magazine. (February 26, 2013). (Shabbat).
- Adam Kirsch. “Leave the Jewish People Alone: Rabbis left enforcement of their Talmudic decrees to communal standards and voluntary commitment.” Tablet Magazine. (March 5, 2013). (Shabbat).
- Adam Kirsch. “Written in the Stars (Or Not): To overcome fated lives, the Talmud’s rabbis argued, perform virtuous acts according to Torah.” Tablet Magazine. (March 12, 2013). (Shabbat).
- Adam Kirsch. “Navigating the Talmud’s Alleys: The range of problems and the variety of answers in the study of Oral Law lead to new pathways of reasoning.” Tablet Magazine. (March 18, 2013). (Shabbat).
- Alissa J. Rubin. “Painful Payment for Afghan Debt: A Daughter, 6.” The New York Times. (March 31, 2013). (debt servitude).
- U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report: June 2013.
- Stephen Beard. “Britain Wants To Be Hub for Sharia Banking.” Marketplace. (July 18, 2013) (adaptation to Islam’s parallel prohibition on charging interest).
- Amiel Ungar. “Tel Aviv and the Sabbath.” The Jerusalem Report. Volume 24 (number 8) (July 29, 2013): page 37.
- "Torah Stats — Shemoth". Akhlah Inc. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
- See, e.g., The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash: Shemos/Exodus. Edited by Menachem Davis, pages 145–76. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2008. ISBN 1-4226-0204-4.
- Exodus 21:1–11.
- Exodus 21:12–14.
- Exodus 21:15.
- Exodus 21:16.
- Exodus 21:17.
- Exodus 21:18–19.
- Exodus 21:20–27.
- Exodus 21:28–32.
- Exodus 21:33–36.
- Exodus 22:1–3.
- Exodus 22:1–5.
- Exodus 22:6–14.
- Exodus 22:15–16.
- Exodus 22:17.
- Exodus 22:18.
- Exodus 22:19.
- Exodus 22:20–23.
- Exodus 22:24–26.
- Exodus 22:27–30.
- Exodus 23:1–3.
- Exodus 23:4–5.
- Exodus 23:6.
- Exodus 23:7.
- Exodus 23:8.
- Exodus 23:9.
- Exodus 23:10–11.
- Exodus 23:12.
- Exodus 23:13.
- Exodus 23:14–17.
- Exodus 23:18.
- Exodus 23:19.
- Exodus 23:20.
- Exodus 23:21–23.
- Exodus 23:24–25.
- Exodus 23:26–33.
- Exodus 24:1.
- Exodus 24:3.
- Exodus 24:4.
- Exodus 24:4–5.
- Exodus 24:7.
- Exodus 24:8.
- Exodus 24:9–11.
- Exodus 24:13–14.
- Exodus 24:15–17.
- Exodus 24:18.
- See, e.g., "A Complete Triennial Cycle for Reading the Torah". The Jewish Theological Seminary. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- The Code of Hammurabi, sections 194–214. Babylonia, Circa 1780 BCE. Reprinted in, e.g., James B. Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, page 175. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969. ISBN 0-691-03503-2.
- For more on inner-Biblical interpretation, see, e.g., Benjamin D. Sommer. “Inner-biblical Interpretation.” In The Jewish Study Bible. Edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, pages 1829–35. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-529751-2.
- Exodus 12:11, 21, 27, 43, 48; 34:25; Leviticus 23:5; Numbers 9:2, 4–6, 10, 12–14; 28:16; 33:3; Deuteronomy 16:1–2, 5–6; Joshua 5:10–11; 2 Kings 23:21–23; Ezekiel 45:21; Ezra 6:19–20; 2 Chronicles 30:1–2, 5, 15, 17–18; 35:1, 6–9, 11, 13, 16–19.
- Exodus 12:17; 23:15; 34:18; Leviticus 23:6; Deuteronomy 16:16; Ezekiel 45:21; Ezra 6:22; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 30:13, 21; 35:17.
- Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:7–8; Numbers 28:18, 25.
- See, e.g., W. Gunther Plaut. The Torah: A Modern Commentary, 456. New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981. ISBN 0-8074-0055-6.
- Plaut, page 464.
- Exodus 12:11, 21, 27, 43, 48; Deuteronomy 16:2, 5–6; Ezra 6:20; 2 Chronicles 30:15, 17–18; 35:1, 6–9, 11, 13.
- Plaut, page 464.
- Exodus 12:42; 23:15; 34:18; Numbers 33:3; Deuteronomy 16:1, 3, 6.
- Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10; see also 2 Chronicles 8:13 (חַג הַשָּׁבֻעוֹת, Chag haShavuot).
- Numbers 28:26.
- Exodus 23:16.
- Leviticus 23:21; Numbers 28:26.
- See also Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:17; Numbers 28:26.
- Leviticus 23:34; Deuteronomy 16:13, 16; 31:10; Zechariah 14:16, 18, 19; Ezra 3:4; 2 Chronicles 8:13.
- Exodus 23:16, 34:22.
- 1 Kings 8:2, 65; 12:32; 2 Chronicles 5:3; 7:8.
- Leviticus 23:39; Judges 21:19.
- Ezekiel 45:25; Nehemiah 8:14.
- Numbers 29:12.
- Exodus 23:16
- Deuteronomy 16:13.
- Compare Judges 9:27.
- Isaiah 1:8.
- Leviticus 23:39; Judges 21:19.
- 1 Kings 8:2, 65; 12:32; 2 Chronicles 5:3; 7:8.
- Deuteronomy 31:10–11.
- 1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 7.
- Ezra 3:2–4.
- Nehemiah 8:13–17.
- Nehemiah 8:14–15.
- Leviticus 23:42–43.
- Numbers 11:10; 16:27.
- E.g., Richard Elliott Friedman. The Bible with Sources Revealed, pages 228–29. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003.
- 1 Kings 12:32–33.
- 1 Kings 13:1.
- Zechariah 14:16–19.
- Babylonian Talmud Eruvin 54b.
- Mishnah Kiddushin 1:2. Land of Israel, circa 200 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 487–88. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4. Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 14b.
- Mishnah Kiddushin 1:2. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 487–88. Tosefta Kiddushin 1:5–6. Land of Israel, circa 300 CE. Jerusalem Talmud Kiddushin chapter 1. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 14b–22b.
- Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 22a.
- Mishnah Sotah 3:8. Babylonian Talmud Sotah 23a.
- Mishnah Ketubot 5:6. Babylonian Talmud Ketubot 61b.
- Mishnah Makkot 2:1–8. Tosefta Makkot 2:1–3:10. Jerusalem Talmud Makkot, chapter 2. Babylonian Talmud Makkot 7a–13a.
- Mishnah Makkot 2:1. Babylonian Talmud Makkot 7a–b.
- Mishnah Makkot 2:6. Babylonian Talmud Makkot 9b.
- Mishnah Makkot 2:6. Babylonian Talmud Makkot 11a.
- Mishnah Makkot 2:6. Babylonian Talmud Makkot 11b.
- Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 30b–31a.
- Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 60a. Reprinted in, e.g., Koren Talmud Bavli: Tractate Berakhot. Commentary by Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), volume 1, page 388. Jerusalem: Koren Publishers, 2012. ISBN 965-301-563-0.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 84a.
- Mishnah Bava Kamma 1:1–10:10. Tosefta Bava Kamma 1:1–11:18. Jerusalem Talmud Bava Kamma 1a–. Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 2a–119b.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 79b.
- Mishnah Sotah 3:8. Babylonian Talmud Sotah 23a.
- Mishnah Gittin 5:1. Babylonian Talmud Gittin 48b.
- Babylonian Talmud Gittin 48b–49b.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 60a.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Kamma 60b.
- Mishnah Bava Metzia 7:8–8:3. Tosefta Bava Metzia 7:9–8:1. Jerusalem Talmud Bava Metzia. Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 93a–99b.
- Mishnah Bava Metzia 7:8. Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 93a.
- Babylonian Talmud Ketubot 18a.
- Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 67b.
- See, e.g., Exodus 22:20; 23:9; Leviticus 19:33–34; Deuteronomy 1:16; 10:17–19; 24:14–15 and 17–22; and 27:19.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 59b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Mordechai Rabinovitch and Tzvi Horowitz; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr, volume 42, page 59b3. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1993. ISBN 1-57819-638-8.
- Mishnah Bava Metzia 4:10. Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 58b.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 58b.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 31b.
- Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 59b.
- Mishnah Bava Metzia 2:10. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 533. Babylonian Talmud Bava Metzia 32a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Edited by Hersh Goldwurm, volume 41, page 32a2. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1992. ISBN 1-57819-637-X.
- Mishnah Peah 8:9.
- Mishnah Sheviit 1:1–10:9. Tosefta Sheviit 1:1–8:11. Jerusalem Talmud Sheviit 1a–87b.
- Mishnah Avot 5:9.
- Leviticus Rabbah 1:1. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Leviticus. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, volume 4, pages 1–2. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Mishnah Shabbat 1:1–24:5. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 179–208. Tosefta Shabbat 1:1–17:29. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, volume 1, pages 357–427. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2. Jerusalem Talmud Shabbat 1a–113b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Elucidated by Yehuda Jaffa, Gershon Hoffman, Mordechai Smilowitz, Abba Zvi Naiman, Chaim Ochs, and Mendy Wachsman; edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volumes 13–15. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2013. Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 2a–157b. Reprinted in, e.g., Koren Talmud Bavli: Tractate Shabbat. Commentary by Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), volumes 2–3. Jerusalem: Koren Publishers, 2012.
- Babylonian Talmud Chagigah 3a.
- Mishnah Beitzah 1:1–5:7. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 291–99. Tosefta Yom Tov (Beitzah) 1:1–4:11. Jerusalem Talmud Beitzah 1a–49b. Land of Israel, circa 400 CE. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volume 23. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2010. ISBN 1-4226-0246-X. Babylonian Talmud Beitzah 2a–40b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Yisroel Reisman; edited by Hersh Goldwurm, volume 17. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1991. ISBN 1-57819-616-7.
- Mishnah Pesachim 1:1–10:9. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, pages 229–51. Tosefta Pisha (Pesachim) 1:1–10:13. Jerusalem Talmud Pesachim 1a–86a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, volumes 18–19. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2011. Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 2a–121b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volumes 9–11. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1997–1998.
- Mishnah Pesachim 9:3. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 247. Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 95a. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Eliezer Herzka, Dovid Kamenetsky, Eli Shulman, Feivel Wahl, and Mendy Wachsman; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 11, page 95a1.
- Babylonian Talmud Yoma 2b.
- Babylonian Talmud Chagigah 18a.
- Babylonian Talmud Chagigah 7a.
- Mishnah Sukkah 1:1–5:8. Tosefta Sukkah 1:1–4:28. Jerusalem Talmud Sukkah 1a–33b. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 2a–56b.
- Mishnah Sukkah 1:1. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 2a.
- Mishnah Sukkah 1:1. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 9a.
- Mishnah Sukkah 1:2. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 9b.
- Mishnah Sukkah 1:3. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 10a.
- Mishnah Sukkah 1:4. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 11a.
- Mishnah Sukkah 1:5. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 12a.
- Mishnah Sukkah 1:6. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 14a.
- Mishnah Bikkurim 1:3.
- Mishnah Bikkurim 1:1–3:12. Tosefta Bikkurim 1:1–2:16. Jerusalem Talmud Bikkurim 1a–26b.
- Mishnah Bikkurim 1:1–2.
- Mishnah Temurah 7:4.
- Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 38b.
- Midrash Tanhuma Mishpatim 18.
- Babylonian Talmud Rosh Hashanah 11a. Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 38a. See also Babylonian Talmud Sotah 13b.
- Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 49b–50a.
- Babylonian Talmud Sotah 36a.
- Babylonian Talmud Sotah 36a.
- Mishnah Zevachim 14:4. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, page 731. Babylonian Talmud Zevachim 112b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Israel Schneider, Yosef Widroff, Mendy Wachsman, Dovid Katz, Zev Meisels, and Feivel Wahl; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 57, page 112b3. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1996. ISBN 1-57819-615-9.
- Babylonian Talmud Zevachim 115b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Israel Schneider, Yosef Widroff, Mendy Wachsman, Dovid Katz, Zev Meisels, and Feivel Wahl; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 57, pages 115b1–2.
- Leviticus Rabbah 6:5. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Leviticus. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, volume 4, pages 82–83
- Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael Bahodesh chapter 3. Land of Israel, late 4th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Z. Lauterbach, volume 2, pages 301–02. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1933, reissued 2004. ISBN 0-8276-0678-8.
- Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, chapter 41. Early 9th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Translated and annotated by Gerald Friedlander, page 321. London, 1916. Reprinted New York: Hermon Press, 1970. ISBN 0-87203-183-7.
- Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, chapter 41. Reprinted in, e.g., Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Translated and annotated by Gerald Friedlander, pages 321–22.
- Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 88a.
- Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 88a.
- Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 88a.
- Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 88a–b.
- Numbers Rabbah 12:4. See also Pesikta de-Rav Kahana 1:2, attributing the parable to Rabbi Judah bar Ilai.
- Leviticus Rabbah 23:8. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Leviticus. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, volume 4, pages 297–98.
- Babylonian Talmud Menachot 43b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Eliezer Herzka, Michoel Weiner, Avrohom Neuberger, Dovid Arye Kaufman, and Asher Septimus; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 59, pages 43b3–4. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2002. ISBN 1-57819-605-1.
- Midrash Tanhuma Beha’aloscha 16.
- Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, chapter 46. Reprinted in, e.g., Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Translated and annotated by Gerald Friedlander, pages 359–60.
- Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 7a.
- Babylonian Talmud Yoma 4b. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Elucidated by Abba Zvi Naiman, Michoel Weiner, Yosef Widroff, Moshe Zev Einhorn, Israel Schneider, and Zev Meisels; edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr and Chaim Malinowitz, volume 13, page 4b3. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1998. ISBN 1-57819-660-4.
- Genesis Rabbah 32:5. Land of Israel, 5th century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Genesis. Translated by H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, volume 1, page 252. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
- Sefer HaHinnuch: The Book of [Mitzvah] Education. Translated by Charles Wengrov, volume 1, pages 197–355. Jerusalem: Feldheim Publishers, 1991. ISBN 0-87306-179-9.
- Exodus 21:2.
- Exodus 21:8.
- Exodus 21:8.
- Exodus 21:8.
- Exodus 21:10.
- Exodus 21:12.
- Exodus 21:15.
- Exodus 21:18–19.
- Exodus 21:20.
- Exodus 21:28.
- Exodus 21:28.
- Exodus 21:33.
- Exodus 21:37.
- Exodus 22:4.
- Exodus 22:5.
- Exodus 22:6.
- Exodus 22:8.
- Exodus 22:9.
- Exodus 22:13.
- Exodus 22:15–16.
- Exodus 22:17.
- Exodus 22:20.
- Exodus 22:20.
- Exodus 22:21.
- Exodus 22:24.
- Exodus 22:24.
- Exodus 22:24.
- Exodus 22:27.
- Exodus 22:27.
- Exodus 22:27.
- Exodus 22:28.
- Exodus 22:30.
- Exodus 23:1.
- Exodus 23:1.
- Exodus 23:2.
- Exodus 23:2.
- Exodus 23:2.
- Exodus 23:3.
- Exodus 23:5.
- Exodus 23:6.
- Exodus 23:7.
- Exodus 23:8.
- Exodus 23:11.
- Exodus 23:12.
- Exodus 23:13.
- Exodus 23:13.
- Exodus 23:14.
- Exodus 23:18.
- Exodus 23:18.
- Exodus 23:19.
- Exodus 23:19.
- Exodus 23:32.
- Exodus 23:33.
- Menachem Davis. The Schottenstein Edition Siddur for the Sabbath and Festivals with an Interlinear Translation, page 245. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2002. ISBN 1-57819-697-3.
- Davis, Siddur for the Sabbath and Festivals, page 244.
- Menachem Davis. The Schottenstein Edition Siddur for Weekdays with an Interlinear Translation, 311–13. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2002. ISBN 1-57819-686-8.
- Davis, Siddur for the Sabbath and Festivals, page 469.
- See Mark L. Kligman. "The Bible, Prayer, and Maqam: Extra-Musical Associations of Syrian Jews." Ethnomusicology, volume 45 (number 3) (Autumn 2001): pages 443–479. Mark L. Kligman. Maqam and Liturgy: Ritual, Music, and Aesthetics of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn. Wayne State University Press, 2009. ISBN 0814332161.
- Jeremiah 34:8–9.
- Jeremiah 34:10–11.
- Jeremiah 34:12–14.
- Jeremiah 34:15.
- Jeremiah 34:16.
- Jeremiah 34:17.
- Jeremiah 34:18–20.
- Jeremiah 34:21–22.
- Jeremiah 33:25–26.
- Exodus 21:2; Jeremiah 34:9,14.
- Exodus 21:2,5,7; Jeremiah 34:9–11.
- Exodus 21:2,5; Jeremiah 34:9–11,14.
- Exodus 24:7; Jeremiah 34:13.
- Jeremiah 34:14; Exodus 21:2.
- Jeremiah 34:13; Exodus 20:2.