This week's Torah portion, D'varim, is the first parashah in the book of Deuteronomy. It begins with a series of speeches given by Moses to the Israelites. In Hebrew, the word d'varim is defined as 'words,' yet it means not just 'words' but also 'things' or 'matters.' D'varim can be weighty or significant. D'varim shows that words matter.
Mishpatim is filled with detailed rules and regulations. It would be naïve to read the interpersonal laws about the treatment of animals, slaves, and property and how to offer kindness to strangers as mundane.