The Portion of Shoftim

Aug 16, 2015

Photo credit: Yehoshua Halevi

שֹׁפְטִים וְשֹׁטְרִים תִּתֶּן־לְךָ בְּכָל־שְׁעָרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ לִשְׁבָטֶיךָ וְשָׁפְטוּ אֶת־הָעָם מִשְׁפַּט־צֶדֶק׃

You shall appoint magistrates and officials for your tribes, in all the settlements that Hashem your God is giving you, and they shall govern the people with due justice.

Deuteronomy 16:18

וְאַתָּה תְּבַעֵר הַדָּם הַנָּקִי מִקִּרְבֶּךָ כִּי־תַעֲשֶׂה הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה׃

Thus you will remove from your midst guilt for the blood of the innocent, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of Hashem.

Deuteronomy 21:9

Continuing Moses’s farewell address to the Children of Israel, this week’s portion deals extensively with the legal system the people must establish when they enter the land. From courts to kings and priests to false witnesses and murderers, the portion details what God expects the people to do in each case.


The portion then goes on by instructing the people in proper procedures for war. It also details what should be done in the event of an unsolved murder.

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