By Rabbi Yoseph Kahanov Jax, FL.

The highlight of last week's Torah portion was the Ten Commandments. Our portion – Mishpatim – opens with the statement: And these are the ordinances."

Rashi comments that the juxtaposition of this portion- which deals primarily with civil and tort law – and the Ten Commandments discussed last week, teaches us that just as the holy Ten Commandments originated at Sinai and are thus imbued with G‑dly meaning, so too the seemingly mundane civil laws discussed in this week's portion are from Sinai and possess the same spiritual and G‑dly eminence.

This Rashi tends to convey a fabulous insight into Judaism's perception of religion. Some people relegate religion to the realm of spiritual and esoteric but not to the regular and mundane. In other words, they observe everyday life – including civil behavior and the rules of morality – as a part of a secular or human system that is not necessarily spiritual or G‑dly, and then there is religion. Religion, in their mind, is reserved for a few special moments a year or a week or perhaps even a day.

Not true, says Rashi: "Just as those [the Ten Commandments] were from Sinai, so are these." We don't live in a dual existence. Our life is not 50% secular and 50% spiritual, or 60/40, etc. Even the seemingly mundane elements of life are imbued with G‑dly origins and purpose. In reality, our courtrooms are as much a sanctuary as are our temples. We serve G‑d when we interact in the marketplace no less than when we rest on the Shabbos. In Judaism there is nothing ordinary about the secular and mundane.

Indeed, our basic laws of morality and even civility are contingent on a higher spiritual existence. From whence then do the rules of morality stem? Has there ever been a society that has lost its morality and maintained its civility? The Torah as interpreted by Rashi is prophetically correct when it suggests that one cannot and must not separate the spiritual from the mundane.