Parsha Q&A - Parshat Shoftim
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- What is the role of shoftim? What is the role of shotrim?
- What qualifications should one look for when appointing a judge?
- May a judge accept a bribe if only for the purpose of judging fairly?
- What is the source for the concept "seek out a good beit din"?
- Although the avot built matzevot, the Torah later forbade doing so. Why?
- "You will come to...the judge who will be in those days." It's impossible to visit a judge living at a different time, so why must the Torah add these apparently extra words?
- What does Hashem promise a king who doesn't amass much gold, doesn't raise many horses and doesn't marry many wives?
- How many Torah scrolls must the king have?
- How was King Shaul punished for disobeying a minor command of the Prophet Shmuel?
- Certain kosher animals are not included in the law of "chazeh, shok, and keiva." Which ones?
- Families of kohanim served in the Beit Hamikdash on a rotational basis. When was this rotation system implemented?
- Which three categories of false prophets are executed?
- What does it mean to "prepare the way" to the cities of refuge?
- How many witnesses are meant when the Torah writes the word eid (witness)?
- "Through the mouth of two witnesses...." What types of testimony does this verse invalidate?
- If witnesses in a capital case are proven to be zomemim (false-conspirators) before their intended victim is executed, how are they punished?
- Why does the section about going to war follow the laws governing witnesses?
- The Jewish army is warned of four "scare-tactics" the enemy might employ. What are they?
- When a murder victim is found in a field, who determines which city is closest?
- What happens if the murderer is found after the calf's neck was broken?
All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated
16:18 - Shoftim are judges who pronounce judgment. Shotrim are officers who enforce it.
16:18 - That he is expert in the law and that he is righteous.
16:19 - No, because it will sway his judgment.
16:20 - "Tzedek tzedek tirdof...."
16:22 - Because the Canaanites used them for idolatry.
17:9 - To teach that although a judge may not be as eminent as judges of previous generations, we must obey him nevertheless.
17:18 - That his kingdom will endure.
17:18 - Two. One stays in his treasury and one he keeps with him.
17:20 - He lost his kingship.
18:3 - Chayot (non-domestic-type animals).
18:8 - During the time of David and Shmuel.
18:20 - One who prophesies something he didn't hear, something told to another prophet, or prophecies in the name of an idol.
19:3 - To post direction signs saying "refuge" at the crossroads.
19:15 - Two, unless otherwise specified.
19:15 - Written testimony and testimony translated from a language which the judges don't understand.
19:19 - They are put to death.
20:1 - To teach that if the Jewish People execute fair judgment they will be victorious in war.
21:2 - The Sanhedrin.
21:9- He is tried and, if guilty, executed.
Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Production Design: Michael Treblow
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