Parashat Mishpatim, The Blood of the Covenant and the Presence of God

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 This week’s reading from Shemot / Exodus 21:1-24:18 is titled “Parashat Mishpatim” meaning ordinances (הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים) where Moshe is giving the ordinances that the Lord is setting before the people.  The Hebrew text goes on to tell what one is to do if they have a Hebrew slave (21:2), if a man is forced to sell his daughter because of debt, what is he to do (21:7-9), if a man has a wife he is not allowed to reduce her food, clothing, or conjugal rights (12:10-11).  Stipulations on murder are made, whether premeditated or accidental (21:12-16).  Rulings are made on whether two men are fighting and one is injured, how the injured man’s time in bed is to be compensated (loss of work).  When two men are fighting and strike a woman and she miscarriages, the offending person is to pay compensation for the loss (21:22), and any other injury, the ruling is an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth in repayment for injury (21:23-22:2).  God’s purpose for instructing the people on what to do in the cases of injury (eye for eye and tooth for tooth) is to treat each other mercifully.  Most often it has been taught that the mitzvah (command) eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth is harsh and unmerciful, the facts are these rulings provided structure, justice, and righteousness in a court of law such that the guilty person would not pay more than what his crime required.  In antiquity generally speaking, the wealthy would inflict harsher punishments upon those who had offended them.  This week’s Parashah goes on to discuss things regarding a man’s property, cattle, fields, etc (22:3-14).  Sorcerers / Witches are not permitted to live (22:18), bestiality is forbidden (22:19), and who ever sacrifices to any other god is to be put to death (22:20).  Be good to the stranger (22:21), do not oppress the widow or orphan (22:24).  No interest is to be charged on loans made to a child of Yisrael (22:25).  The law of the first born is given (22:29-30).  The seventh year rest for harvesting is given (23:10-11) along with the seventh day rest from working (the Shabbat, 23:12).  The command to celebrate three yearly festivals is given, (i) the Feast of Unleavened Bread (23:14), (ii) the Feast of Harvest of First Fruits (23:16), and (iii) the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year (23:16).  Read More here.

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!