This week's parashah begins with Moshe's charge to the people to choose judges and officers for each tribe who will judge the people fairly and equitably, with no fair shown to rich or poor. "Justice justice shall you pursue," he commands. (See below.) There follows a requirement to abolish all of the pagan places of worship and to root out heretical behavior—but only if there is absolute and incontrovertible proof that heresy occurred, There is no "take my word for it" allowed. The parashah also sets forth the need for at least two eyewitnesses in order to convict someone of a capital crime, and those eyewitnesses must be thoroughly cross-examined by the judges themselves. That parashah also gives us the law of the king, which makes clear that the king (if there is one) is to rule over his peers—all in the kingdom are his equals; that he is not above the law; and that he must rule for the benefot of all, and not to enrich himself. There's lots more. To download this week's Shabbat Booklet, please click here.

Shabbat Parashat Shof'tim



Candle Lighting for Friday, August 17, is at 7:34 p.m.

Shabbat ends Saturday night with havdalah at 8:36 p.m.

Shabbat Shalom

The questions below are discussed during each week's Torah reading.

They are offered here and in the Shabbat Booklet,

to allow those who wish to participate to prepare in advance.

This Week:  Shabbat Parashat Shof'tim

D'varim 16.18-21.9, pages 1088-1106

FIRST ALIYAH: Verse 16.22 warns, "Do not erect a stone pillar, which the Lord detests." If so, why is it permitted to set up grave stones or decorative pillars?

FIFTH ALIYAH: Verse 19.4 refers to a person accidentally killing someone with whom he never had any enmity, but what if he accidentally killed someone with whom he once had a dispute?

The fourth haftarah of consolation,

Yishayahu 51.12-52.12, begins on Page 1108.

Next Week: Shabbat Parashat Ki Tetzei

D'varim 21.10-25.19, pages 1112-1136

FIRST ALIYAH: Does verse 21.19 command both parents to demand that their "stubborn son" be stoned to death, or is this the Torah's way of making sure such never happens?

FIFTH ALIYAH: Regarding the requirement to divorce a wife by writing a get, and given that "possesses her" means marital relations, is a get required for marriages that were not consummated?

The 5th haftarah of consolation, Yishayahu 54.1-10 (page 1108)

& continues with 54.11-55.5 (page 1085).