Shabbat Parashat Shoftim| 5766
Shoftim | | 1/1/2005
While studying the laws of the Jewish king, found in our parasha, one may ask whether the laws are personal laws for one who occupies that challenging role or whether they are guidelines for running a nation, which are directed at its leader. Let us first review the basic laws of the king.
Last week we brought the Rambam’s idea that it may be possible to renew authentic semicha (full ordination that allows a dayan to administer any type of judicial matter). The Rambam suggested that this could be done by assembling and obtaining the agreement of all of the scholars of Eretz Yisrael. An attempt was actually made to accomplish just that in the city of Tzefat (Safed) some 450 years ago. This famous city was home to the most famous and prominent talmidei chachamim of their day.
Rav Y.S. Elyashiv [who was a judge on the Israeli Supreme Rabbinical Court along with Rav Yisraeli] understood as a simple matter that a deaf-mute (cheresh) does not have the regular rabbinic obligation to support his children. (The base-level obligation, which extends until the age of six, is brought in the gemara, Ketubot 49b). Rather, one can only discuss the matter in terms of the mitzva of tzedakah.
This edition of
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).