This week, we move from the lightning and thunder upon the mountain of Parshas Yisro to the nitty-gritty details of our every-day interactions one with the other of Parshas Mishpatim. Again, as I opined last year on Parshas Beshallach and on Parshas Yisro, it is often nice to find G-d in the moment of experiential “highs”. However, to truly live in relationship to G-d is to accept ol malchut shemaim and to live every moment—high, low, and in between—mindful of HaKadosh Boruch-Hu and acting toward our fellow human beings and toward Him in consonance with that mindfulness as we are instructed in His Torah.
This year, Parshas Shekalim coincides with Mishpatim, and illustrates the point that though, as we will read in Parshas Teruma, for the initial building of the Mishkan, it took the repetitive, commanded donation of the half shekel each year to maintain the Mishkan and later the Mikdash. The high felt by the people in the initial building was unsustainable and it required commandment to insure the long-term involvement in even in so central an institution to our religious live.