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09/02/2022 01:19:03 PM


Two relevant observations, one from this past week, parashat re'eh, one from this week, parashat shofetim.

1) In last week's haftarah, the 3rd haftarah of consolation following the 9th of Av, from Isaiah, we read "no weapon used against you will succeed, and if anyone stands up against you in judgement, you will show that he is the wicked one." There are 2 ways to attack your enemy: with weapons, and in a court of law and public opinion.

A major item in the news has been the peace treaty between Israel and UAE.  We pray that this will be the foreshadowing of a recognition of the righteousness of the cause of the Jewish people in the land of Israel; and that our enemies will begin thinking of "turning swords into plowshares" (and maybe shares in Israeli companies!) and stop castigating Israel at every opportunity in the UN.

2) This week's parasha begins with the obligation of the appointment of shoftim, judges; and shotrim. In modern Hebrew, shotrim are police.

I heard on the news how in the city of Portland, police were so busy quelling a riot, they did not have time to answer over sixty 911 calls!

Certainly, we agree that there are some policemen who have to learn restraint, and the acts of some (I am sure a minority) are reprehensible.   But the calls for defunding and attacking police have no place in a society of law. As the Torah states, we must have judges to adjudicate the laws, and shotrim to enforce them.

Shabbat shalom, Rabbi Menahem White

Fri, February 23 2024 14 Adar I 5784