Shoftim | שופטים

Who’s a False Witness? Shoftim 5780

Honesty is the bedrock of justice. Legal proceedings to determine innocence or guilt, obligation or exemption, depend on honest and truthful testimony. For this reason, the Decalogue includes the prohibition of false testimony among its list of severe social crimes, beside murder and theft (Exod. 20 and Deut. 5). In Parshat Shoftim we learn that…

Perfect and Whole in a Broken World Shoftim 5779

What’s our position on mediums? Years ago in Detroit some in the Jewish community were drawn to a woman who claimed that she could channel conversations with their deceased relatives. Families who with my help had faithfully followed the Jewish traditions of hesped, levaya, shiva and kaddish were, some time later, meeting with her to…

Doubled Prophecy, Double Significance: Shoftim 5774

Word repetition is one of the most common tools used in Biblical texts to add emphasis to a point, but it also provides interpreters with the opportunity to add layers of meaning to the text. This makes the process of reading Torah interactive and the experience of revealing new facets of meaning available to any…