The Essence of Humanity

“When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees of the field people, that you should besiege them?...

The Birth of Prophecy

Rabbi Moshe Pinchuk Former Rosh Kollel (Melbourne, 1998-2001) Currently Head of the Beit Midrash in Netanya College   Maimonides (Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah 7:7) discusses the two meanings behind the position of the prophet: The prophet may receive prophecy that...

The Murderer’s Admission

We all live a double life. There is our external world – our relationships with friends and family, our jobs, our place in society. And we have our inner world – our private thoughts and emotions, our introspections and contemplations. We are influenced by...

Parshat Shoftim – 5768

Rabbi Shlomo Sobol Former Rosh Kollel in Detroit   This week’s Parasha deals with a number of public policy issues that will guide the life of the Jewish People, as they are about to begin their life as a nation in Eretz Yisrael. One of these commandments is to...

Eglah Arufa: Public Accountability – 5767

Amitai Ben Nun Former Shaliach in Cape Town   The chapter of eglah arufa (literally, a decapitated calf) refers to a case where a corpse is found in a field and the murderer is not known. In response, the city elders and the kohanim participate in a unique...

Parshat Shoftim – 5766

Rabbi Eliad Skuri Former Rosh Kollel in Kansas City   Since I live in Tirat ha-Karmel, close to Haifa in northern Israel, and since I am writing this as a ceasefire goes into effect following a very difficult month in the north of the country, I would like to...

Responsibility – 5765

Parshat Shoftim, as its name suggests, deals with matters related to judges and justice, law and order in the day-to-day workings of Jewish society. At the end of the parsha we read one of the strangest and most unique sections of the Torah: the commandment concerning...