Mishpatim: Duck, Duck… Justice! ~ Yehoshua Steinberg

Founding Director, Editor-In-Chief at Veromemanu
Yehoshua (Jeremy) Steinberg is the Founding Director and Editor-in-chief of Veromemanu and it' website

Yehoshua is a retired U.S. Army Chaplain and currently lives in Israel with his wife and children.

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Yehoshua (Jeremy) Steinberg

Article abstract: Parashat Mishpatim is dedicated in large measure to teaching righteousness, defining what is right and good behavior between human beings. Righteousness is called צדק in Hebrew, and as if to emphasize the centrality of this concept to the human condition, this root is one of the most common in the Bible, appearing no less than 655 times throughout the Tanach. But what lies at the core of צדק? From the hundreds of examples of צדיקים and צדקה, what is the fundamental underlying lesson for us in everyday life? In order to discover the intrinsic meaning of the word, this article looks to the foundational letters of the root itself, namely examining the gamut of other terms in the Bible containing the two-letter string דק. A pattern quickly emerges, pointing to an aspect of uprightness only Divine wisdom could teach.