Thursday, August 23, 2012

Parshas Shoftim- What our Sages have to teach...

This week’s parsha discusses fundamental aspects for Jewish leadership, such as, establishing Jewish courts, laws pertaining to the conduct of a Jewish king, and laws pertaining to the conduct of judges.

We are told to obey all the rulings of the Great Sanhedrin and the Torah Sages of all generations.  The Great Sanhedrin, consisting of 71 judges, had the ultimate authority regarding Jewish law. The Torah tells us not to depart from their ruling. Hashem reserved this authority to the Sages to preserve the Torah. If each Jew were to interpret the Torah as he saw fit, the entire Torah would be inconsistent and the Jewish nation would not have survived as long as they have.

Moreover, a person who instructs the Jewish people against the Sanhedrin may incur the death penalty.

In our society today, we all think we know what’s best for us. We consider the Torah as ‘ out dated’ and ‘no longer pertaining to us,’ since we have become such a modern civilization, we think we no longer a religion to keep us humane. Well, let us look at the current world we live in. Despite the fact that we have advanced technologically, biologically, psychologically, scientifically, etc., we still seem to be fighting barbaric wars, both worldly and internally. Maybe we should bite our tongues and listen to what our dear Rabbis have to teach us. The ancient wisdom they have to share may be the antidote to the internal and external warfare we are faced with. By living according to the true essence of what religion has to teach, as Hashem had wanted, maybe we will achieve a world as connected to Hashem has the times of the Great Sanhedrin.

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