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  • Yehuda Pevzner

The Miner

A sweaty coal miner worked in an underground mine in England. Suddenly there was an avalanche of coal and he was seriously injured. After half a year of surgeries and pain, the doctor approached him to update him on the continuation of the treatment.

"I have good news and bad news for you. Firstly, you will never be able to return to mining."

"Excellent,” said the miner, “this is the good news. What is the bad news?”

This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Mishpatim, starts with the laws of purchasing and treating slaves. Following Matan Torah, one would expect the first commandments to be lofty, esoteric, not civil laws that any human would understand on their own. Treating slaves properly is basic humanity.

And yet, the Torah starts off this section by telling us “And these”. These laws, too, come from G-d. Regardless if we understand them or not, all Mitzvot come from Hashem and we do them because we were commanded to, not because our human intellect and common decency tells us to.

This is the mindset we need when we approach any dilemma or situation in life. We’re not relying on our own thoughts and opinions, but rather, we look into the Torah and see what does G-d say? And if we’re unsure, we could ask a Rabbi or mentor for guidance.

Shabbat Shalom!

Light Shabbat candles in NYC at 5:15 PM.


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