(א) וְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר תָּשִׂ֖ים לִפְנֵיהֶֽם׃ (ב) כִּ֤י תִקְנֶה֙ עֶ֣בֶד עִבְרִ֔י שֵׁ֥שׁ שָׁנִ֖ים יַעֲבֹ֑ד וּבַ֨שְּׁבִעִ֔ת יֵצֵ֥א לַֽחׇפְשִׁ֖י חִנָּֽם׃
And these are the rules that you shall set before them: When you acquire a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years; in the seventh year he shall go free, without payment....
Wherever the phrase אלה, “these are”, is used, it cuts off the preceding section from that which it introduces; where, however, ואלה “and these” is used it adds something to the former subject and forms a continuation of it. So also here: “And these are the rules”: Just as the former commandments were given at Sinai, so these, too, were given at Sinai!
(א) ואלה המשפטים ר' ישמעאל אומר אלו מוסיפין על העליונים, מה עליונים מסיני אף תחתונים מסיני.
(ב) רבי יהודה אומר אלה המשפטים במרה, שנאמר שם שם לו חק ומשפט (שמות טו).
R. Yishmael says: "And these" — What follows is being added to what precedes, viz.: Just as what precedes was stated at Sinai, so, what follows.
R. Yehudah says: "And these are the rules" alluded to in Marah.
(22) Then Moses caused Israel to set out from the Sea of Reeds. They went on into the wilderness of Shur; they traveled three days in the wilderness and found no water. (23) They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; that is why it was named Marah. (24) And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” (25) So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water and the water became sweet.
There He made for them a fixed rule, and there He put them to the test. (26) He said, “If you will heed the LORD your God diligently, doing what is upright in His sight, giving ear to His commandments and keeping all His laws, then I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians, for I the LORD am your healer.”
At Marah He gave them a few sections of the Torah in order that they might engage in the study thereof; viz., the sections containing the command regarding the sabbath, the red heifer and the administration of justice.
So the LORD spoke to both Moses and Aaron and commanded to the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, instructing them to deliver the Israelites from the land of Egypt.
וְאַתְייָא כַּהִיא דְאָמַר רִבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר רַב יִצְחָק. וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר יְי אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֣ה וְאֶֽל־אַֽהֲרֹן֒ וַיְצַוֵּם֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל. עַל מַה צִיוָּם. עַל פָּרָשַׁת שִׁילּוּחַ עֲבָדִים.
Rebbi Samuel ben Rav Isaac said, the Eternal spoke to Moses and Aaron and commanded them to the Children of Israel. About what did he command them? About the chapter of the release of slaves.
ויצום אל בני ישראל ואל פרעה כו' להוציא את בנ"י כו' יתכן כי גם אז במצרים היו גדולי האומה אשר היו שרים נכבדים ואפרתים והם היו משעבדים את בני ישראל לעבדים שמכרו המצרים להם ואולי היו המה השלשה שבטים ראובן ושמעון ולוי שהנהיגו שררה במצרים כמו שאיתא במדרש נשא פ' י"ג לוי שלא היה בשעבוד מצרים לכן לא נטל נחלה בארץ, וכן ראובן לא נטל רק בעבר הירדן ושמעון נתקיים עליו אחלקם ביעקב כמוש"פ רמב"ן ומהם היו בני חורין הרבה ושרים אשר היו משעבדים את ישראל הנמכרים להם מהממשלה של פרעה, לכן צוה השי"ת שבני ישראל גם פרעה יוציאו את בני ישראל מהשעבוד
'To deliver the Israelites' - it is probable that even then in Egypt, the greater ones among the people, who were lords and ministers, also enslaved Israelites and bought them from the Egyptians. Possibly they were from the tribes of Reuben, Shimon and Levi, who acted haughtily in Egypt and didn't suffer the enslavement in Egypt, according to one midrash. ... there must have been many free men among them who bought slaves from Pharaoh's government, therefore God commanded both Pharaoh and the Israelites to free the Israelites from slavery
The Sages taught: The descendants of Noah, i.e., all of humanity, were commanded to observe seven mitzvot: Judgment; and the prohibition against blessing, i.e., cursing, the name of God; and the prohibition of idol worship; and the prohibition against forbidden sexual relations; and the prohibition of bloodshed; and the prohibition of robbery; and the prohibition against eating a limb from a living animal.
לשפט את העם - אפילו אם בא יתרו קודם מתן תורה דיני ממונות היה להם מעולם.
Yitro sees Moses judging the people. Even though this was before the giving of the Torah, they had civil laws always.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat” (Genesis 2:16–17). The verse is interpreted homiletically as follows: With regard to the term “and…commanded,” these are the judgments.
עַל שִׁשָּׁה דְּבָרִים נִצְטַוָּה אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן. עַל עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה. וְעַל בִּרְכַּת הַשֵּׁם. וְעַל שְׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים. וְעַל גִּלּוּי עֲרָיוֹת. וְעַל הַגֵּזֶל. וְעַל הַדִּינִים. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכֻּלָּן הֵן קַבָּלָה בְּיָדֵינוּ מִמּשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ. וְהַדַּעַת נוֹטָה לָהֶן. מִכְּלַל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה יֵרָאֶה שֶׁעַל אֵלּוּ נִצְטַוָּה. הוֹסִיף לְנֹחַ אֵבֶר מִן הַחַי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית ט, ד) "אַךְ בָּשָׂר בְּנַפְשׁוֹ דָמוֹ לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ". נִמְצְאוּ שֶׁבַע מִצְוֹת.
Adam, the first man, was commanded with six commandments: 1) idolatry, 2) “blessing” (euphemistically) the Name (of G-d), 3) murder, 4) illicit sexual relations, 5) thievery and, 6) establishing a system of justice. Even though all of these have been received as a Tradition from Moses our Teacher and we can understand the rationale for them, nevertheless, from verses in the Torah we learn that it was these that they were commanded. A seventh commandment forbidding the eating of a limb torn from a live animal was added for Noah, as it says, “Even flesh, life is in the blood, do not eat of it” (Genesis 9:4).
VI: Before Creation
תַּנְיָא: שִׁבְעָה דְּבָרִים נִבְרְאוּ קוֹדֶם שֶׁנִּבְרָא הָעוֹלָם, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן: תּוֹרָה, וּתְשׁוּבָה, וְגַן עֵדֶן, וְגֵיהִנָּם, וְכִסֵּא הַכָּבוֹד, וּבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, וּשְׁמוֹ שֶׁל מָשִׁיחַ.
Seven phenomena were created before the world was created, and they are: Torah, and repentance, and the Garden of Eden, and Gehenna, and the Throne of Glory, and the Temple, and the name of Messiah.
Rav Ḥanina said: Learn from this that the seal of the Holy One, Blessed be He, is truth.
The judge must assure that the true judgment will prevail at all costs and metaphorically pierce the mountain, as it is stated: “For the judgment is God’s” (Deuteronomy 1:17). And similarly, Moses would say: Let the judgment pierce the mountain. But by contrast, Aaron was a lover of peace and a pursuer of peace, and he would apply peace between one person and the other, as it is stated: “The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity” (Malachi 2:6).