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Dvar for Shoftim

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the concise, relevant Weekly Dvar. I hope you enjoy...

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Parshat Shoftim starts by telling us something seemingly very obvious: The Torah tells us that we should "have judges and policemen in all our cities". Can a society survive without the enforcement of its rules? Of course not! Commentaries explain that the point of us doing it isn't just because it makes sense to do it, but to do it BECAUSE the Torah instructs us. But a little bit later, the Torah tells us that if we have any questions, we should go to the "...judge that will be in those days". This seems even MORE obvious. It would be kind of difficult to ask a judge that isn't alive! To answer this, one of the commentaries points out that although Avraham (Abraham) was known to have converted many people to Judaism, it's interesting that none of their descendants remained Jews through the years. The reason given is because they depended on Avraham, and weren't willing to learn from Yitzchok, and so on. It could be that.

Every generation has a leader, and for a reason! He or she is someone that's easy to relate to, and easier to learn from. Although the great leaders of the past were smarter and wiser by far, the Torah nevertheless tells us that listening to the judge OF OUR DAY is more important, provided that they represent Torah guidelines. Often times we're faced with dilemmas that we think we can handle. But the truth is that if we had a Rabbi we could relate and talk to, we might see things a little differently, from the Torah perspective. And even if we don't ask about every issue we have (like how to respond to the hurricane Katrina disaster), we would still know what the Rabbi would have told us to do had we asked, and that alone can sometimes help us make the right choices. Role models provide stability and support for growth in life, Torah observance and ideals. It's when we THINK we don't need a role model that we need one the most!

Quotation of the Week (thanks to Marjie):
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein

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Last Updated: Friday, September 09, 2005