Aliya Summary: Some commandments discussed in this Aliya: Building a safety fence around a flat roof; the prohibitions against sowing mixtures of seeds, plowing with a mixed pair of animals, or wearing a garment which contains a mixture of wool and linen (shatnez); wearing tzitzit; the penalty for a husband who defames his wife; the punishment for adultery; the penalty for rape; and certain prohibited marriages.
Of all the things for the Torah to be concerned about, requiring a person who builds a house with a flat roof to build a fence so that people won’t fall off seems a bit irrelevant to most people. But the Midrash explains that this is meant to be a global inclusive obligation to address all hazards we may create. That includes driving unsafely, smoking near others, or any other activity that might endanger others. But this also extends to all commandments, requiring us to prevent accidental transgressions. That’s why, for example, we shouldn’t touch pens on Shabbat, because we may accidentally write, etc. It turns out that a seemingly exclusive rule ends up providing us with all-inclusive direction.