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Parshas Mishpatim

Rosh Chodesh Adar 1

February 9 - 10, 2024

1 Adar 1- 5784

Shalom and hello everyone! I hope you are doing well. 

Join me this Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Adar 1 for special tefilos and davening. 

Enjoy hot coffee and delicious cake, a super gala kiddush after davening, and a wonderful Daf Yomi shiur between mincha and maariv!

Thanks to all who participated in last week’s Shabbos Mevorchim’s Gala luncheon. It was so much fun!

We are planning next month’s Shabbos Mevorchim Adar 2 Friday Night Communal Dinner at the trendy and exciting Thyme and Tonic Restaurant! Look to your email for more information and early reservation.  

Iy”h, I will be traveling next week to Israel (on a very long overdue trip)  to visit my brave daughters Nechama and Faige who are living in Jerusalem. 

I am excited to visit Israel and see my kids but also to connect and share in real-time, the suffering and anxiety of my Jewish brothers and sisters. 

On a similar note, I will be bringing tzedakah monies to distribute to the poor of Jerusalem, especially families with young children adversely affected by the war. I will find these families and assist them. 

Won’t you please partner with me and help in this great mitzvah? 

On Shabbos in shul, please tell me your tzedakah pledge, or call, WhatsApp, or email to Tizku l’mitzvos and thank you in advance!


(As heard and adapted by Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman)


“And these are the rules that you shall set before them.”

Rashi explains the words “And these” to add to the former subject matter and imply that not only were the Ten Commandments given at Sinai, but so too were Mishpatim given at Sinai. 

What is the hidden meaning and message here? 

One might think that a system of laws and jurisprudence concerned with crimes and the punishment of individuals who commit crimes were typical of any nation.

Indeed, any set of governing rules that constituted a financial system that created a legal framework governing money, banking, etc., is basic and straightforward.

So what is the connection to the otherworldly and spiritually sacred Har Sinai experience? 

Is it not the foundation and purpose of any country's criminal/monetary system to protect its citizenry and foster economic growth? 

If this was simply the case, there wouldn’t be the need to telegraph dry legal codes at such a supernatural experience on the level of Mattan Torah and Har Sinai. 

The answer is that Mishpat in the eyes of Hashem isn’t punishment - it is Justice

Justice, according to the Torah, means the Law takes into consideration not only the needs of the victim but the reformation of the criminal as well - and seeks to make material improvements in the life of the criminal.  

Indeed, the Torah demonstrates compassion for the criminal and caps indentured servitude to a maximum of six years. 

Theoretically speaking, why would there be term limits or a cap on the enslavement period? 

One would be justified to argue, “Let the accused rot in prison!”

Rather, Hashem is signaling to the thief that He loves him and wishes him future success in his life. 

Indeed, this feeling of love will positively influence the thief to abandon a life of criminality and lawlessness. 

The thief will reason to himself, “I observe Hashem loves me; if he loves me then He can and will provide for me. I do not have to engage in criminal mischief anymore to earn a living!”

We now understand why these laws were presented at Mount Sinai - to demonstrate that the rules of criminal law defy human logic and understanding. 

Hashem shows love to the criminal and demonstrates compassion even for deviants and miscreants.  

Mishpatim are truly spectacular showcases of G-d’s unlimited rachmanus - to all people. 

Have a wonderful Shabbos!

I’ll see you in Shul, 

Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman

Erev Rosh Chodesh Adar 1 5784

Shabbos Timetable

Friday, Erev Shabbos Kodesh

Rosh Chodesh 

Daf Yomi: 6:45 AM

Shacharis: 7:00 AM

Candle Lighting 5:04 PM

Mincha/KS: 5:15 PM

Saturday, Shabbos Kodesh

Rosh Chodesh

Shacharis: 9:00 AM

Super Gala Kiddush: 11:15 AM

Mincha: 5:00 PM

Daf Yomi

Maariv/Havdala: 6:06 PM

Mishloach Manot

We are excited to announce Ohav Sholom Mishloach Manot program! This year we will focus on supporting Israel and our theme will include a beautiful basket filled with savory and sweets and other surprises from the land of milk and honey! 

Watch your email for details - -

Congregation Ohav Sholom (212) 877-5850