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Witchcraft! A Dvar Torah on Mishpatim

מכַשֵּׁפָ֖ה לֹ֥א תְחַיֶּֽה:

You shall not allow a sorceress to live.

Rashi explains that a witch can be a man or a woman, but the feminine noun is used because it was more common for women than men.

Sorcery is often understood as a prohibition against using magic or sorcery for evil purposes. In Jewish tradition, sorcery is associated with the worship of false gods and idolatry, and is seen as a threat to the belief in one true God. This verse is meant to warn against the practice of sorcery and its association with false gods and idolatry, as it is a direct negation of the concept of God being the one and only who is in control of the world.

כָּל־שֹׁכֵ֥ב עִם־בְּהֵמָ֖ה מ֥וֹת יוּמָֽת:

Whoever lies [carnally] with an animal shall surely be put to death.

This pasuk is immediately followed by the prohibition against bestiality. According to Rashi, this also applies to both a man and a woman.

Bestiality is considered a desecration of the natural order and an abomination in the eyes of God. Like sorcery, Bestiality was associated with idolatry and worshipping false gods. Both these sins are morally corrupt.

זֹבֵ֥חַ לָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים יָֽחֳרָ֑ם בִּלְתִּ֥י לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה לְבַדּֽוֹ

He who slaughters [a sacrifice] to the gods shall be destroyed, except to the Lord alone.

So it naturally makes sense that the next pasuk has the prohibition against offering sacrifices to idols and false gods!

These three psukim serve as an important reminder of following God's laws and avoiding practices that are forbidden. They serve as a warning against engaging in practices that are contrary to the beliefs and Torah values of the Jewish people.



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