Editor, Daveed

  4th of Elul, 5771
Sat, 3 September 2011
ד׳ בְּאֱלוּל תשע״א


Is there ever justice in capital 


This week's Torah portion famously states, "an eye for an eye." But in today's world, is there ever really true justice in capital punishment?
In this article Sam Shonkoff is pursuing global justice through grassroots change.

In the Torah section of Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9) we read of the cities of refuge, to which a man who had killed accidentally could flee, finding sanctuary and atonement. The chassidic masters note that Shoftim is always read in the month of Elul—for Elul is, in time, what the cities of refuge were in space. It is a month of sanctuary and repentance, a protected time in which a person can turn from the shortcomings of his past and dedicate himself to a new and sanctified future.

 Parashat Shoftim - Eye for Eye

Moses reviews for the Israelites their system of
justice, the rules of kingship, their relationship to
 idolatrous nations, and the rules of doing battle.

Moses continues his last speech to the Israelites before he dies saying: “Judges shall be appointed to judge the people with justice. You shall not twist judgment by recognizing a face or accepting bribery, because both blind the eyes of the wise and cause the words of the righteous to falter. Justice, justice shall you pursue, so that you may live and take possession of the land which God, your God, is giving you.

Unfortunately we suffer because we are not fulfilling our mission to teach the nations.

By Shlomo Riskin 
"Righteousness, righteousness shall you pursue, in order that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God has given to you" (Deuteronomy 16:20). If Judaism had a mission statement, what might it be? How should we guide our actions? How can we sort out the incidental from the essence so that the ideas and ideals to which we bear witness (as Isaiah teaches, "You are My witnesses," says God) do not get lost in the latest scandal threatening to undermine our exalted mission? Furthermore, is there a connection between the vocation ("calling") of Israel and the tear-stained, blood-soaked 
history of our nation, between the

Through Isaiah, God extends a note of condolence

The Haftarah selection is from Isaiah, 51:12-52:12

Tisha B'Av. It is taken from the Book of Isaiah--a prophet who lived in the time of the Babylonian
 Exile and consoled Israel with comforting prophecies of the return to Zion. The haftarah for Shoftim begins, characteristically enough: "I, I am He who comforts you!" (51:12)
Haftarat Shoftim is the fourth of the seven haftarot of consolation read in the weeks following

It continues using Isaiah's colorfully metaphorical language to describe  people in turmoil who are saved by God--"the crouching one who is freed" (51:14) and "an antelope caught in a net" (51:20). All these people will come to praise God, Isaiah promises

Friends, I love Israel , for it is the Holy land and the
 host of all religions .


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