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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Shoftim

An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parasha Summary - Shoftim

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Moshe tells Bnei Yisrael to appoint judges & officers. Bribes are forbidden. The Sanhedrin may make binding rules on new situations according to Torah
criteria. Even a scholar who won't accept the decision of Sanhedrin may incur the death penalty.

A Jewish king must write 2 sifrei Torah; one is kept with him wherever he goes, so he won't become haughty. Neither Kohanim nor Levi'im inherit land in Israel, but are instead supported by the community tithes. Divination is prohibited. Cities of refuge provide for someone who kills accidentally, to escape the blood-avenger from the family of the deceased. However, one who kills with malice is handed over to the blood-avenger who may exact his revenge.

Moshe cautions Bnei Yisrael not to move boundary markers to increase their property. Witnesses who conspire to "frame" a third party are punished with the same punishment they conspired to bring upon the innocent party.

A Kohen is anointed for when Israel goes to war, to accompany the troops & instill trust in Hashem. Among those disqualified from war: One who has built a new house but not yet lived in it; a newlywed, & one who is fearful. An enemy must be given the chance to make peace. Fruit trees are not cut down during a siege. If a corpse is found between cities, the elders of the nearest city perform a ceremony & declare they are not in any way guilty of the death.
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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