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Parashat DEVARIM
Revolutionizing the Intersection of Politics and Religion in Judaism

The book of Deuteronomy, which opens with Parashat Dvarim (words), is the book of Eretz Yisrael. (Land of Israel)

The Land of Israel is indeed meant for the People of Israel, but what the People of Israel do in the Land is meant to be a model for all humanity to follow. After all, the entire Torah, in its first four books, provides a series of instructions, mitzvot, and laws. But do we understand what all this is aimed at?

   In contrast, in the book of Deuteronomy, we suddenly see that all the mitzvot are arranged as the political constitution for the Hebrew people in their country. And this reveals to us that the Torah has the intention of political orders, something that is unique to the Jewish Religion.

   All religions are not directly concerned with the political issue. It is even considered to be a mixing of two separate and different species. People think that Religion deals solely with the affairs of the individual, while the State deals with the affairs of society. The world has already become conditioned to believe (through Christianity) to accept the following statement: "Render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Judaism considers that attitude problematic.

   In Deuteronomy, the Torah reveals that this is not the correct way. What belongs to the emperor belongs to God! The proper order of society is indeed the concern of the Holy One, blessed be He. Accordingly, the very opposite of the aforementioned statement should be taught!

   The obligation to deal with political matters stems from politics being the main lever to advance matters in humanity. Therefore, we must ensure holiness (even) in politics, which is what the Book of Deuteronomy is about.

    Now we can understand that what the people of Israel do in their country is meant to be a model for other nations to follow. Each nation should draw on the model of society guidelines from the ways of the People of Israel, Each country as is appropriate for them. This is why one of the seven Noahide commandments is the obligation to set up a just legal system. This means that every nation must establish an appropriate social institution that will be a framework for just and righteous social behavior and not just spirituality. Deuteronomy teaches that it is a religious fundamental that society concerns itself with justice and honesty for all.

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