Aliya Summary: We are forbidden to withhold or delay a worker’s wages. Relatives’ testimony is inadmissible in a court of law. Various mandatory gifts for the poor are discussed. The procedure for corporal punishment is outlined. The mitzvah of Levirate marriage (yibum) is introduced: if a married childless man dies, his brother is obligated to marry the widow. If the brother refuses to marry the widow, he and she go through a chalitzah ceremony, which frees her to marry whomever she wishes. We are instructed to maintain accurate weights and measures. The reading ends with the mitzvah to remember Amalek’s evil deed, ambushing the Israelites on their way from Egypt.
We may not take unfair advantage of our less-fortunate workers.A day- laborer must be paid on time. One must not pervert justice even on behalf of an orphan. Securities for a loan must not be taken from a widow. Our experience in Egypt is to be remembered as the motive for many of these “sensitizing” mitzvoth.