Parsha Talk Shoftim 5781 – With Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Jeremy Kalmanofsky and Barry Chesler
Parashat Shoftim [Deuteronomy 16:9-21:9] with its miscellany of laws is a kind of prequel to Parashat Ki Tetze [Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19], which has the largest number of mitzvot [commandments] of any single parashah, well over 10% of the rabbinic total of 613. Shoftim, which means judges, focuses on the different kinds of leaders: judges, kings, clergy, and prophets. There are also rules for warfare, among other subjects. One feature which we did not address is the last occurrence in the Torah of the lex talion [the law of revenge, better known as ‘an eye for an eye’]. In these parashiyot in particular, there is much to talk about: what laws meant in their original context, what they mean today, what they mean to us as individuals. If I say I am uncertain what it all means, after you listen, you will understand this reference! Shabbat Shalom!!