Murderers and thieves are punished: Logical.

Your ox gores mine — you pay: Logical.

Don't mistreat widows, orphans or converts: Logical.

Don't boil a kid in its mother's milk: ????

This week's Torah reading is called Mishpatim, which literally means "laws" but refers specifically to the logical, self-evident systems that all societies in all eras have accepted and protected.

However, to establish systems of justice, to pass laws governing torts and damages and regulations designed to protect the vulnerable, is a no-brainer that surely needs no justification, and scarcely seems necessary for inclusion in the Torah at all.

But when one examines the rationale for keeping Judaism in the first place — because by following G‑d's orders one becomes closer to Him — it becomes apparent that one should keep the mishpatim, the understandable mitzvot, with the same degree of self-sacrifice and sense of surrender to G‑d as one exhibits when following G‑d's unexplained desires.

Perhaps this is why the very last of a long string of otherwise sane and more or less self-evident laws is the wholly inexplicable decree against mixing milk and meat: even the rational actions we undertake, acting with honesty, humanity and compassion, are undertaken with a higher purpose than mere logic. Whatever we do, wherever we go, our actions and directions speak of our unbreakable acceptance of a higher reason and express our connection and dedication to G‑d's purpose and desire.