February 20, 2020 / 25 Shevat, 5780 • Parshat Mishpatim
Issue 602
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman


If a person uncovers a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it...the one responsible for the pit must make restitution.

Shemot 21:33

The same law that applies to a pit that is at least 10 handbreadths deep (i.e., a sunken hazard) applies to a raised barrier or other obstacle at least 10 handbreadths high (i.e., a protruding hazard).

Spiritually, a pit represents our ability to receive, and a protrusion represents our ability to give. The depth or height of 10 handbreadths signifies that the influences that we absorb or impart permeate or express all ten faculties of the soul.

When properly used, these abilities can be greatly beneficial. Without proper supervision, however, they may cause damage. If we give or receive indiscriminately -- not paying heed to what or how we are giving or from whom we are receiving -- we will become a danger to society. But if we choose to accept only positive influences and spread only positivity throughout our surroundings, we become a source of blessing to all around us.

From Kehot's

Chumash Shemot