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Questions tagged [parashas-shoftim]

The weekly Torah portion of Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9)

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Different phrasing in Mishpatim and Shofetim

We have just read in Mishpatim (Shemot 23:8): וְשֹׁ֖חַד לֹ֣א תִקָּ֑ח כִּ֤י הַשֹּׁ֨חַד֙ יְעַוֵּ֣ר פִּקְחִ֔ים וִֽיסַלֵּ֖ף דִּבְרֵ֥י צַדִּיקִֽים׃ And thou shalt take no gift; for a gift blindeth ...
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Does Judaism believe in black magic?

What is the opinion of Jewish authorities on Magic, particularly black magic? Traditionally Jews have denied that anything happens outside of the will of God, yet Deuteronomy 18:10 states that these ...
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How many witnesses have to concur - two or three?

Devarim 17:6 says that the testimony of two or three witnesses should be used to determine the death penalty for someone who was found to have bowed to idolatry. Rash"I implies that all the witnesses ...
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Roles of the Cohen and Judges involved in speaking to the people prior to war

In Devarim 20:2-4, the Cohen speaks to the people and gives an general comment not to fear the enemy. Then, in verse 5, the judges speak to the people and exempt 4 groups of people from the army, and ...
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Apparent wrong arrangement of war instructions in Devarim 20:1-9

While reviewing the instructions that the Cohen tells people prior to going to war, as shown in Devarim 20:1-9, there seems to be an incorrect order of statements. In particular: Verse 3 - The Cohen ...
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Why did the Torah have to say “from amongst you” and “from your brethren”?

In Deuteronomy 18:15, it says that G-d will raise up a prophet from the Jewish people. It says "from your amongst you from your brethren". Why does it have to say both, surely it could have said just ...
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Will there be murder after the coming of Moshiach? [duplicate]

After reading answers such as this, it seems to me that according to certain opinions, in the time of Moshiach, there will be no death, and none of the human behaviors that lead to murder. But in the ...
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Nefesh tachas Nefesh vs. Nefesh BeNefesh

Exodus 21:23-24 states: וְאִם־אָס֖וֹן יִהְיֶ֑ה וְנָתַתָּ֥ה נֶ֖פֶשׁ תַּ֥חַת נָֽפֶשׁ׃ But if other damage ensues, the penalty shall be life for life, עַ֚יִן תַּ֣חַת עַ֔יִן שֵׁ֖ן תַּ֣חַת ...
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Practicality of following the Torah's advice about a false prophet

Devarim 18:21-22 says that the way to determine that a prophet is a false prophet is if the prophet speaks in the name of G-d and says that something will happen but it doesn't occur. I'm curious how ...
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What is the significance of ובערת הרע מקרבך and ובערת הרע מישראל?

On seven occasions, Moshe tells the Bnei Yisrael to kill a sinner and “destroy the evil from your midst” - ובערת הרע מקרבך. These seven occasions are (all sources are in Devarim): Executing a Navi ...
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commentary on deut. 18:22 Ramban

I'm looking for an english translation of commentary on deut. (18, 22) by Ramban. Where is it possible to find it? Thank you
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Does Judaism kill the infidels?

I apologize in advance if this comes across as provocative. That is not at all my intention; I ask simply to learn. "Kill the infidels" is a phrase often used to describe Islam's stance on ...
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How should we understand the Torah’s comparison of a tree to a “man”? What message is the Torah trying to convey?

Deuteronomy 20:19 (19) When in your war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees, wielding the ax against them. Because you will eat ...
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What Jewish sources teach about the prophet tests set forth in Deuteronomy?

Are there Jewish sources that teach about the prophet tests set forth in Deuteronomy 13:2-6 and 18:14-22? Are there Jewish studies of the prophetic books that explain, describe, demonstrate or ...
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Would a non-Israeli Jewish king need to write a sefer Torah?

In Deuteronomy/Devorim 17:14, and 17:18-20 we see that a king of Israel is required to write a copy of the Torah to read and keep with him always. Would a convert to Judaism, who is a king of another ...
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Handing over a murderer to the Goel Hadam?

וְשָׁלְחוּ זִקְנֵי עִירוֹ וְלָקְחוּ אֹתוֹ מִשָּׁם וְנָתְנוּ אֹתוֹ בְּיַד גֹּאֵל הַדָּם וָמֵת. The elders of his city must take him [the intentional murderer] and hand him over to the blood ...
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Why “lest another man take her” and not betroth?

Deuteronomy 20:5–7 (with the Judaica Press translation), describing the lead-up to a battle: And the officers shall speak to the people, saying, What man is there who has built a new house ...
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In Devarim 17:6, why does the Torah uses the term שְׁנַ֣יִם עֵדִ֗ים instead of שני עדים?

Deuteronomy 17:6: עַל־פִּ֣י ׀ שְׁנַ֣יִם עֵדִ֗ים א֛וֹ שְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה עֵדִ֖ים יוּמַ֣ת הַמֵּ֑ת לֹ֣א יוּמַ֔ת עַל־פִּ֖י עֵ֥ד אֶחָֽד׃ At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall the dead ...
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Where did the king's horses come from?

It's written in this Torah portion that a king isn't allowed to acquire any horses for himself, because it will cause people to go to Egypt and buy them, and it is forbidden to return to Egypt. ...
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Does Devarim 17:12 refer to a recalcitrant litigant or a rebellious local judge?

In an answer to this other question, someone asserted that rather than referring to a recalcitrant litigant, Devarim 17:12 refers, according to Jewish tradition, to a rebellious local judge. That ...
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Why was Bnei Israel rebuked for requesting a King if this was a commandment given to them?

In Shoftim (Deut 17:14), it is said that Israel will ask for a King to rule over it once it is settled in the land. The Artscroll Stone Edition Tanakh does not list the specific source for this, but ...
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Soul for a Soul?

בס"ד In both Mishpatim and Shoftim there is a verse (Exodus 21:23 and Devarim 19:21) saying "a soul for a soul". I know that we don't take these verses literally and restitution is the punishment. ...
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“דָּם נָקִי” vs. “דַּם־נָקִי”

Parashas Shof'tim, 19:10: וְלֹא יִשָּׁפֵךְ דָּם נָקִי בְּקֶרֶב אַרְצְךָ And 21:8: וְאַל־תִּתֵּן דָּם נָקִי בְּקֶרֶב עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל And then Ki Savo 27:25: לְהַכּוֹת נֶפֶשׁ דָּם נָקִי ...
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why are kohanim mentioned in connection with judgement

In Devarim 17:8-9 we read: If there arise a matter hidden from thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between verdict and verdict, and between plague and plague, even matters of controversy ...
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What is the traditional interpretation of Dt. 18:18?

The Torah contains a prophecy of a future Prophet who will be like Moses: I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he ...
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Is the tree of the field a man?

Dvarim 20:19 reads: כִּי תָצוּר אֶל עִיר יָמִים רַבִּים לְהִלָּחֵם עָלֶיהָ לְתָפְשָׂהּ לֹא תַשְׁחִית אֶת עֵצָהּ לִנְדֹּחַ עָלָיו גַּרְזֶן כִּי מִמֶּנּוּ תֹאכֵל וְאֹתוֹ לֹא תִכְרֹת כִּי הָאָדָם ...
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Unusual cantillation of Deut. 18:19

In D'varim 18:19 we have: הָאִישׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֤ר לֹֽא־יִשְׁמַע֙ אֶל־דְּבָרַ֔י The word הָאִישׁ֙ has a pashta cantillation mark over it, as Minchas Shay notes; then comes the common sequence mahpach–...