Liquid error (sections/custom_mobile-menu line 86): Expected handle to be a String but got LinkListDrop
  • Group 27 Login

Parshat Shoftim
The Quest for Desirable Governance:
Unveiling the Torah's Call for Political Influence

Parshat Shoftim discusses a principle that is known in the modern legal system as the separation of powers. The Israelite society was to be built upon four governing institutions, each with partial authorities, and their main titles are: King, Judge, Priest, and Prophet. It is understood that these institutions take different forms throughout generations. The king is not always a king; sometimes it can be a parliamentary democracy. It can be a parliament or  any governing body, but it is just one part of the governance. The governance is divided among the king, the judge, the priest, and the prophet.

The question arises: What is the most desirable form of governance? Does the Torah favor a king, or does it not favor a king? To this, the Torah says, "Appoint over you a king like all the nations around you."  It appears to instruct that, only then shall you appoint a king over the Israelite Nation. This means that as the political culture evolves and we see that states governed by a king are more organized than states without a king, then we know that the time has come to appoint a king over ourselves-  like all the nations around us.

And here arises a question: How is it possible that something as central as the form of governance is dependent on the political culture of the nations of the world at that time? The answer is very simple. The very reason that God demanded His people to establish a state and not suffice with the establishment of a cosmopolitan or universal religion is to influence the nations of the world. The central fulcrum that moves matters in this world is the political tool. Therefore, the Torah demanded that Israel establish a political entity, a state. And the purpose of this state is to influence the nations of the world through their states. And one cannot influence the influenced if there is no minimal resemblance between the influencer and the influenced.

This is the reason that the Torah demanded that when we establish a political entity, so that we too be able to influence through the political culture of the world.

 

More Weekly Portions

అంతరంగిక మందిరం : యూదత్వంలో దైవంతో లోతైన సంబంధం

గుడారంలో జంతుబలి అనే ప్రాచీన ఆచార౦తోపాటు మోషే ఆత్మ నిర్మాణ౦ గురి౦చిన లోతైన ప్రతీకాత్మకతను, నేడు దాని ఔచిత్యాన్ని కనుగొన౦డి. యూదమతం యొక్క గొప్ప సంప్రదాయాల నుండి గ్రహించి, మీ జీవితంలో ఆధ్యాత్మిక పవిత్రాలయాన్ని ఎలా నిర్మించుకోవాలో తెలుసుకోండి. హీబ్రూ బైబిల్ లో వర్ణించబడిన విధంగా దేవుని నివాస స్థానం గురించి అంతర్దృష్టులను పొందండి, సమకాలీన మత ఆచరణలో దైవంతో అనుసంధానం గురించి లోతైన అవగాహనను పెంపొందిస్తుంది.

Liberation Beneath the Surface
Souls, Abundance, and Hierarchy in the Torah
Mishpatim

 In an analysis of Torah laws in Mishpatim, this article navigates the intricate hierarchy of harm, shedding light on the profound concept of spiritual freedom. It elucidates the distinctions between Hebrew and Canaanite servants, revealing the Torah's nuanced approach to liberation from physical and spiritual bondage. The exploration emphasizes the interconnected themes of freedom, harm, and retribution, providing a comprehensive understanding of the Torah's timeless wisdom.

Yitro's Rhapsody Torah's Global Symphony

The Yitro portion delves into the essence of Torah and divine revelation, challenging convention by being named after Yitro, a non-Israelite. Despite Moses' central role, the narrative highlights Yitro's universal connection and the importance of broader global participation in the reception of the Torah. The gematria analysis adds depth, revealing the Ten Commandments' numerical significance and including non-Israelite figures like Ruth in the tapestry of biblical narratives, emphasizing the Torah's universal relevance.

Search