Parashat Shoftim

Justice And Communal Responsibility

The instructions to pursue justice and practice communal responsibility should motivate us to constantly improve our efforts to alleviate the crises that affect our people.

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Parshat Shoftim begins with the commandment to enforce justice, and it concludes with the lesson of communal responsibility. Once we assume the role of justice-agents, the neglect of any person is inconceivable. Therefore, while we have responded bravely to the crises that faced us, we cannot rest in satisfaction.

What can we do to help the current and future situation in a way never done before? It is the lesson of "Justice, justice you shall pursue…" that calls our attention to the need present in our communities, just as it is the social responsibility learned from the eglah arufah that demands an unprecedented response. We must tap our resources of creativity and aptitude to produce initiatives that address the unique needs of today's problems.

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Rabbi Yoni Sherizen

Rabbi Yoni Sherizen is the First Chief Executive of University Jewish Chaplaincy Board in the United Kingdom.