Parsha Shof’tim

Parsha Outline 5770 – Parsha Shof’tim (judges) – D’varim (Deuteronomy) 16:18 – 21:9

PaRDeS Pshat (literal), Remez (Allegorical), Drash (application), Sod (mystical)


1 Prayer – Tools

1.1 Siddur Eit Ratzon – Expanded Version – Red – on Amazon $38 with shipping

1.2 Praying for a location to meet regularly, Philippines.

2 UMJC International conference overview – by Zachary Lerner

3 Future events – Fall Feasts what to do Elul to prepare for 10 Days of Awe – by K Lamar

4 Torah Parsha Shof’tim (judges) – “Justice, justice shall you pursue!” (16:20)

4.1 The Judiciary – judge fairly (18:18-20) by righteous standards (16:22 – 17:1)

4.1.1 Two or more witnesses (17:6, 19:15)

4.2 Kings (17:14-20) from your own people, not self serving, Torah observant.

4.3 Priests (18:1-8) supported to minister

4.4 Prophets (18-9:22) Must clearly direct people to G~d.

4.5 Asylum (19:1-13) provide asylum and righteous judgement

4.6 Witnesses (19:14-21) landmarks, reciprocal responsibility, equity (19:21) “eye for eye…”

4.7 Military matters (20:1-20) Preparation, no fear, proscribed nations, minimize damage

4.8 Unsolvable crimes (21:1-9) released to G~d to judge

5 Judging ourselves creates an implied judgement of others.

5.1 It is obvious from our nature as sentient beings that we must make decisions, which implies we must weigh or judge most every matter of life.

5.1.1 This principle is self evident without scripture as recorded by anthropology and archeology.

5.1.2 Biblical scripture further defines mankind as made in the image and likeness of G~d. Creator (Elohim – role of mother and father). Judge (Y-H-V-H – role of King, Judge, Prophet).

5.1.3 Mankind is here to “rule the earth.” This mandate expects us to both be and act like G~d. We are supposed to judge rightly (righteously).

5.2 Is there a limit to what we are to judge?

5.2.1 Judgement of actions is obvious.

5.2.2 Judgement of motivation is not so obvious as this assumes we can see into the unseen (spirit).

5.2.3 “A broken spirit and a contrite heart” must result in outward action reflecting the inner person.

5.2.4 Judging the “heart” is generally unwise and unfair. Who can judge his own heart, thus who can judge another persons heart?

5.2.5 Judging our own “heart (motivation)” is difficult and requires both quiet introspection and active inspection of our actions (liturgically Tachanun). Self judgement can be a healthy process. Confession to self and G~d Confession to private counsel. In rare cases, public confession. Public confession of the sins of our people (nation and mankind) is valuable in a limited scope (liturgically Yom Kippur).

5.3 Expressing self-judgement to others is very dangerous to healthy relationships.

5.3.1 At best it exposes the private, personal, and tender internals, which easily results in those tender areas becoming desensitized and callous.

5.3.2 In addition, it draws another person implicitly into judging the “heart” of another, which is unhealthy.

5.3.3 Worse yet, an implied reverse judgement immediately takes place. The hearer compares themselves to the externals of the self-judger. This leads to an unfair comparison of the externals of another with the hearers internal state of “heart.” “If that person (the self-judger), who seems like a good person, has big internal flaws, how much worse am I?”

5.3.4 The result is implied self-judgement in the hearer.

5.3.5 Expressing self-judgement has the potential to damage relationships.

5.3.6 Expressing self-judgement has the potential to damage the self worth of the hearer.

5.3.7 Expressing self-judgement has the potential to damage the self worth of the speaker.

5.4 We are created to judge. We must learn to be wise in the use of this G~d given purpose.

5.4.1 This will lead us down the path of Mussar.