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Shoftim

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Shoftim: (lit. "judges"); (a) Succession of Torah authorities and leaders who ruled Israel from the year 2533 from creation (1228 BCE, 17 years after the death of Joshua) to the anointing of Saul as king in 2882 (879 BCE). (b) A section of the Torah in Deuteronomy. (c) The thirteenth book of Maimonide's Mishne Torah.
In our Sidra we read of the cities of refuge, to which a man who had killed accidentally could flee, find sanctuary and atone. The month of Elul, in which this Sidra is always read, is, in time, what the cities of refuge were in space. It is a month of sa...
This week’s Torah reading begins with the commandment to appoint judges in all communities. This points to one of the fundamental thrusts of Judaism: that a person be continually prepared to subject himself and his conduct to the review of an outside, obj...
It was the last week of summer vacation. Camp was over, and the children had been home all week. They were delighted when their father came home early one Friday afternoon and said, “Come on kids, I’ll take you out to the Botanical Gardens and we’ll all g...
Shoftim
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XVII, p. 213; Sefer HaSichos 5749, p. 666; Sefer HaSichos 5751, p. 780ff A Measuring Rod Ever since his creation, man has felt the need to search for truth. Simultaneously, however, he has had to face the limits implied ...
Shoftim
Read about the great minds of history—those individuals who conceived of and constructed philosophies, theorems, and academic systems that furthered the development of human intelligence and knowledge. Despite their enormous intellectual contributions to ...
Shoftim
Just as I would be falling into a deep sleep, I’d waken to the sound of crashing.
Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9
The fifth section of the Book of Deuteronomy continues Moses’ second farewell address to the Jewish people. It opens as Moses instructs the Jewish people to appoint judges (Shofetim, in Hebrew) throughout the Land of Israel to try cases and uphold the law...
"שופטים ושוטרים תתן לך בכל שעריך" “Judges and officers you shall appoint for you in all your cities.” (16:18) QUESTION: The word “lecha” — “for you” — is superfluous? ANSWER: In a person’s face there are seven openings: two ears, two eyes, two nostrils an...
Shoftim
The bare trees become full of life, lustre and hope, only to fade and fall away, returning back to the earth, gone. Is there a purpose to these revolving seasons, or are we in a cycle of endless and meaningless repetition?
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