Torah & Texts

Weekly Parsha: Mishpatim

By Rori Picker Neiss

We know that giving is good. But how is interest like a snake bite? Parashat Mishpatim, sponsored by Hebrew Free Loan and narrated by Rori Picker Neiss, features the act of giving without interest — and a money-hungry serpent with other plans.

It offers the question:  When someone asks to borrow money, do we use that as an opportunity to help them, or do we use it as an opportunity to help ourselves, and make ourselves rich with tiny little snake bites of interest.

Two interpretations of Parsha Mishpatim are available. Check out what author and professor David Henkin thinks about writing in an attempt to discover what we need books for here.

Thanks to all of our generous funders that contributed to the BimBam Parashat haShavua (פָּרָשַׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ or “weekly Torah portion”) animated series. Particular thanks to the Staff at the Hebrew Free Loan for producing this specific animated short. Additional thanks to each of the writers, narrators, producers, educators, and sound engineers that contributed to this animated interpretation of Mishpatim (מִּשְׁפָּטִים “laws” Exodus 21:1–24:18) including Barbara Barza, Nick Fox-Gieg, Jordan Gill, Sarah Lefton, Rachel Levinson, Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, Russel Neiss, Matthue Roth, John J. Riley, Cindy Rogoway, Shani Rotkovitz, Emily Savage, Jeremy Shuback and Jeanne Stern.

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Prophets is the English name for the books of the Hebrew Bible called Nevi'im in Hebrew. We have animated many stories from the Books of Joshua and Judges (Shoftim) and look forward to adding more storytelling in the future on these epic stories.

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Writings is the English name for the books of the Hebrew Bible, or Tanach, called Ketuvim in Hebrew. These animated shorts bring to life some of the texts in this rich book - from Megillat Esther to Megillat Ruth, from Mishlei (Proverbs) and from Tehillim (Psalms.)

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Talmud is the encyclopedic code of Jewish oral law and important commentaries on it. It is replete with not just legal writing but also storytelling - of varied types: moralistic, historical and fantastical. In these videos, we have brought to life some of the Talmud's "Greatest Hits" - stories that are frequently taught to illustrate a point in Jewish law, or to teach an important value. We're very proud of these videos, not just for sharing the stories effectively, but for adding a new layer of artistic interpretation to the millenia-old, still evolving, original hypertext document.

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Stories & Philosophy

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Community Made

These are videos produced in collaboration with students of ours all over the world - from Kindergarten on up.

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