Spiritual Progress
Parashat Mishpatim

Dena Weiss

Parashat Mishpatim is home to the phrase that perfectly encapsulates a certain attitude of blind obedience and unconditional acceptance, נעשה ונשמע, na’aseh v’nishma, we will do and we will listen.  According to various Rabbinic traditions and later interpretations of this expression, this was the ideal response to the giving of the Torah—we will do whatever You will say.  According to R. Elazar in Massekhet Shabbat, this also was a strategy that the angels use, “first they perform, and then they listen.”  In uttering these words, Benei Yisrael tapped into a powerful heavenly secret.  

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