Seemingly detached from the material world and free of human vice, they spy a lost wallet lying on the ground.
The master slips it into his pocket.
“Shouldn’t we find the owner?” worries the apprentice.
“No,” says the enlightened master with a smile. “The gods have smiled on us today.”
This is why all these countries bursting with Eastern spiritual practices and so-called rejection of worldly desires and vices also host terrible human rights abuses and deplorable living conditions with little hope of escape.
People grumble (or at least wonder at) the myriads of detailed laws within Judaism. It seems so nitpicky! And who needs all that...especially after the astounding spiritual experience at Har Sinai?
Yet Parshat Mishpatim imprints upon us the dire importance of creating a society based on justice. If you want real spirituality, then you absolutely must care about damages – even the most minor.
You can’t do a mitzvah through speeding, double-parking, breaking something, or stealing (like taking a Gemara to study without permission from the Gemara’s owner).
Talking loudly in divrei Torah while walking through the streets late at night when people are sleeping is not okay.
Even something like sharing a holy word with another while suffering from halitosis is not okay.
For more, please see Rav Avigdor Miller’s dvar Torah:
Parshas Mishpatim: Preface to Chassidus