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Daily Aliya for Mishpatim, Chamishi (5th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: We are commanded not to lie or take a bribe. The mitzvah of the Shemitah (Sabbatical year) is introduced: six years we work and harvest the land, and on the seventh year we allow the land to rest. Similarly, on a weekly basis, six days we work and on the seventh day we – and our cattle and servants – must rest. We are forbidden to mention the name of other gods. We are commanded to celebrate the three festivals —Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot – and to make pilgrimages to the Holy Temple on these occasions. Finally, we are told not to cook meat in (its mother’s) milk.

The Midrash says that when G-d dictated these words to Moshe and explained to him the laws of Meat in Milk, Moshe requested permission to write Basar b’Chalav, rather than the obscure, confusing G’di bachaleiv imo. G-d told Moshe: write the words that I tell you. For reasons that we sometimes can figure out and sometimes cannot, G-d chose what and how to write something in the Written Torah and how it is to be explained via the Oral Tradition. The words are not arbitrary nor are they superfluous. One thing we know for certain is that the Written Word is inseparable from the Oral Law.