Mishpatim: Keep Each Other Warm

Have you ever wanted to just curl up in your blanket? Among Parashat Mishpatim’s many laws that regulate our interactions with one another is the following: “If you take your neighbor’s garment as security, until sunset you shall return it to him, for it is his only covering; it is his garment for his skin. With what else shall he lie? (Shemot 22:25-26)” The Torah provides us with a scenario in which a lender gave a loan to a person in need and kept that person’s blanket as a security for the loan. Even if the person in need did not have a chance to pay back the loan, the lender is required to return the blanket to him by nightfall.

  • Why does the Torah require the lender to return the blanket by the evening?
  • Do you think that the Torah places a significance on the blanket beyond its essential function for warmth? Why or why not?
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