Parsha Talk Shoftim 5783 2023

Parsha Talk with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat Shoftim [Deuteronomy 16:8–21:9], as described by Jeffrey Tigay in his JPS Torah Commentary on Deuteronomy, “deals with the responsibilities of public officials, . . . It introduces four main types of human authorities: judges, kings, priests, and prophets . . .” It is thus a political document, outlining the rules intended to check the powers of those in authority. It reminds us, in a way, of the US Constitution, predicated on an intricate web of checks and balances so that no one person or group may exercise ultimate, unchecked authority. As is often the case, it is particularly relevant in this summer of 2023, given the unfolding events both here in the US and in Israel. We hope you enjoy our conversation. Shabbat Shalom!