Parshat Shoftim – Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9

Topics in this week’s portion include: Judges and Justice, “Sacred Trees and Pillars,” Blemished Sacrifice, Penalties for Idolatry, The Supreme Court, The King, Levitical Priests, Priestly Portions, Special Service, Divination and Prophecy, Cities of Refuge, Murder, Preserving Boundaries, Conspiring Witnesses, Preparing for War, Taking Captives, Conducting a Siege and the Case of the Unsolved Murder. This week we have the famous admonition: “Righteousness, Righteousness shall you

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Weekly Portion Re’eh(Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17)

This week is a jam-packed portion. It begins with a choice: “I set before you a blessing and a curse. The blessing: if you obey the commandments of God…; the curse if you do not … and you follow other gods.” The portion continues with rules and laws for the land of Israel primarily oriented towards staying away from idol worship and the other

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Weekly Portion: Parshat Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)

Moshe continues his discourse guaranteeing the Jewish people prosperity and good health if they follow the mitzvot, the commandments. He reminds us to look at our history and to know that we can and should trust in God. However, we should be careful so that we are not distracted by our material success, lest we forget and ignore God. Moshe warns us against idolatry (the definition of

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Weekly Portion: Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22)

This week we begin the last of the Five Books of Moses, Devarim (“Words”). In English, it is called Deuteronomy (from the Greek meaning “Second Law” — from deuteros “second” + nomos“law” — perhaps because Moshe repeats many of the laws of the Torah to prepare the Jewish people for entering and living in the Land of Israel). The Book is the oration of

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