Parshat Shoftim

Parshat ShoftimeParshat Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9) — The struggle between thejudgment of the heavenly court and the final judgments of G-d.

The Shorashim Torah Study and Overview Guide

Moshe teaches the people of Israel to appoint judges and law-enforcement officers in every city. “Justice, justice shall you pursue,”That is to say that the important characteristics of a Judge were the ability to remain objective and the strength to refuse bribery.

Why do we see the repetition of the word justice in the verse” “Justice, justice shall you pursue”?

Moshe declares that in every generation, there will be those entrusted with the task of teaching, understanding nd applying the laws of the Torah. “According to the law that they will teach you, and the judgment they will instruct you, you shall do; you shall not turn away from the thing that they say to you, to the right nor to the left.”

What if they are wrong?

What does G-d imply regarding that possibility? (see verse 17: 11. According to Torah they instruct you).

Then Moshe describes the abomination of idolatry

What is the connection to the previously described laws of Justice?

We are then given the laws regarding the appointment of a king and the commandment that he must write two Torah scrolls

How do we know that it was two scrolls form he verses?

How does this description conflict with the narrative in I Samuel 8 ?

We are also given the guidelines for the establishment of Cities of refuge for the inadvertent murderer. The rules of war: the exemption from battle for one who has just built a home, planted a vineyard, married, or is “afraid and soft-hearted”; the requirement to offer terms of peace before attacking a city and the prohibition against wanton destruction are also discussed

What is the juxtaposition of rules of justice, daily worship, political leadership and rules of battle have to do with each other?

The Torah portion ends with the unique commandment of the Eglah Arufa and the process through which the community takes responsibility for the unsolved murders” If a slain person be found in the land which the Lord, your God is giving you to possess, lying in the field, [and] it is not known who slew him,

What does that teach us about communal responsibility?

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Parshat Shoftim

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