In Parshat Mishpatim, we learn several rules regarding how to treat one another fairly and kindly. These rules cover everything—from how to handle complex arguments to how to treat people who might not have as much as we do.
One of the big ideas mentioned is the belief that justice should always go hand in hand with compassion. To do this, we must be fair to everyone, especially those who might be vulnerable or in need of help. For instance, the Torah tells us not to be mean to strangers, widows, or orphans. Instead, we should help them out and be kind.
Another important point to dwell upon is that when somebody does something wrong, the punishment should align with the crime. This doesn't mean we should seek revenge, but rather that the consequences should be fair and reasonable according to the action.
Additionally, Parshat Mishpatim teaches us the importance of making things right in times when we mess up. While some simply say “sorry”, we should go a step further by trying to fix the problem and make amends. This is often helpful in healing relationships and keeping our community strong.
Mishpatim reminds us to always be honest and fair in our dealings with others. Whether we're buying something or resolving a disagreement, we should always strive to do the right thing and treat people with as much respect as we can.
Therefore, no matter the situation, we learn to treat others the right way and, in turn, it will come back to help you. Especially nowadays, considering the rising Anti-Semitism, we should always remember that treating people right will be beneficial in the long run.
By: Emilie Besoussan (9th)