Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

To read the full text in English and Hebrew, click here: Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9

In this Torah portion, Moses reviews the justice system for the Israelites. Moses talks about the limits future kings should have on their possessions. Moses explains that the priests and Levites should not be paid and should survive on donations from the people. Finally, Moses explains the laws of warfare.


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Click here for a summary of the Haftarah for Shoftim

Moses reviews the justice system.

Text Studies

Social Action and Environmentalism

Pursuing Justice For All
Rabbi Marc Israel, Hillel


The Death Penalty
Sam Shonkoff, AJWS


To Be Holy For God
Rabbi Jim Simon, Union for Reform Judaism


Separation of Powers
Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels, AJWS


The Emergence of Environmentalism
Rabbi Neal Loevinger, Kolel


Engage All Texts
Daniel Septimus, AJWS


A Home of Our Own
Rabbi Phil Miller,


Wasteful Destruction
Rabbi Norman Lamm, Canfei Nesharim


From the Denominations

Pluralism and Outreach

Justice, Justice You Shall Pursue
Rabbi Bradley Artson, American Jewish University


Balance of Power
Rabbi Steve Greenberg, CLAL


Never Return to Egypt
Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz, JTS


We Are All Judges
Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, Big Tent Judaism


Wary of War
Rabbi Avraham Fischer, Orthodox Union


Justice & Communal Responsibility
Rabbi Yoni Sherizen, UJA-Federation of New York


Interpretive Independence
Rabbi Shimon Felix, Bronfman Youth Fellowships
Humanity in Wartime
Beth Kissileff, Women of Reform Judaism




Parshat Shoftim Quiz
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies


Parshat Shoftim Challah
Julie Seltzer


Parshat Shoftim for Families
Torah Topics for Families


Return to the index of weekly Torah portions.

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