Parashat Mishpatim (these are the laws)
This section holds many rules and laws that were given to the People of Israel together with the 10 commandments.
It should not surprise us if we find many similarities with other ancient laws, such as the Hammurabi Code (which came before the time of the Torah).
Our sages tell us "Derech Eretz kadma laTorah." Being a good human being, a person who respects the civil laws comes before the Torah.
There were important people before the Torah was received - Adam, Noah, Shem, Ever, Chanoch - who contributed to preparing the ground for the revelation in Mount Sinai.
If we find the way to conduct ourselves correctly, it is going to be easier to receive the Torah and its laws.
In memory of my beloved mother and teacher Miriam Rachel bat Israel Itzchak Z"L