In Loving Memory of our Dear Parents

Benjamin Assa & Rebeca Assa z"L

Perasha Shoftim

As its name indicates, this Parasha speaks about the Judges (Shoftim) and the importance of justice in any society.

“.... and they will Judge the People according to The Law, without corruption or preferences...”

The Parasha continues by mentioning the prohibition of planting trees in the Beit Hamikdash and building statues.

It then goes on to explain the Judicial process:

1. The inquiry 2. testimony of the two witnesses 3. determining veracity of testimony 4. the trial 5. the sentence

The Torah warns: “Don´t depart from what they (the judges of the Great Sanhedrin) tell you, to the right or to the left!”

Then the Torah mentions, that once settled in the Land, the Jewish people are commanded to appoint a Jewish king, who will be chosen by Hashem´s prophet and by the Sanhedrin. It was the King´s obligation to carry a Sefer Torah at all times, and constantly read it, to respect Hashem and His Torah and to avoid feeling superior to others and not stray from the ways of Hashem and His mitzvot.

The Torah assures us that we do not need to consult diviners regarding our future, for we must trust that Hashem has prepared it in the best possible way for us.

The Parasha continues with laws regarding the Kohanim and the Leviim, “officials” dedicated to the Divine Service in the Beit Hamikdash.

Moshe warns the People against assimilating with the nations who will live side by side in Eretz Israel.

The next chapter discusses the prohibition against invading the rights of others. It also explains the rule of judicial testimony, which is only valid when there are 2 WITNESSES.

 

At the end of the Parasha, Moshe encourages the Yehudim by telling them: “Do not fear anything or anyone, because Hashem will be with you and will always lead you to victory !!

 

And certain laws concerning warfare are mentioned, for example: a person who has things pending, concerns, or is afraid to go to war, should return home. Hashem who loves peace, commands Bnei Israel not to wage war before making a peace offer to the enemy. The Torah mentions that we may not destroy the enemies´fruit trees, or anything useful, and that they must respect the victims.

 

The Parasha ends by mentioning “The Calf Whose Neck is Broken” Egla Arufa,which was sacrificed in order to atone for a murder who´s murderer´s identity was unknown, and so the judges and the sages of the closest city to the murder bring a one-year-old calf that never performed labor to sacrifice it so it could atone for the sin.


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