Friday, September 02, 2011

posts so far for parshat Shofetim

Print-friendly posts for Shoftim available here.


  1. Shofetim sources -- links to an online Mikraos Gedolos by perek and aliyah, as well as a slew of meforshim on the parsha and haftara. Now, further expanded. For instance, many more meforshei Rashi.
  2. How is the failed negative prophecy exclusion encoded in Shofetim? part i -- Rav Chaim Kanievsky addresses it, with a remez based on beShem Hashem. And I analyze some of the pesukim in parashat Shofetim and sefer Yirmeyah myself.
  3. And part ii -- The same issue as before. How shall we resolve the exclusion of negative prophecy from a prophet test, with the absence of such an exclusion in the plain meaning of the pasuk? This bothers Rabbi Yosef Ibn Caspi, as a pashtan, and so he puts forth a different elaborate theory from that of the Rambam. Namely, there is no distinction between a positive or negative prophecy. Rather, the distinction is whether there is an explicit condition attached or not.
  4. YUTorah on parashat Shoftim.
  5. Was Ibn Ezra killed by demonsSo goes the story, showing how Ibn Ezra got his comeuppance, after claiming that demons did not exist. Though whether he actually claimed this is uncertain. I don't really believe the story, though.
  6. The trail of worms -- Is the pasuk about abolishing the shedding of blood really relevant by the eglah arufah, where we don't know the identity of the murderer? Yes. It depends on what you think it means. But even if you believe it refers to catching the murderer, there is a good reading according to Rashi and according to Rav Chaim Kanievsky.

  1. More on Ibn Ezra and sheidim -- Considering an Ibn Ezra that might, once again, indicate disbelief in sheidim.
  2. "Or any of the host of the heavens, which I have not commanded": What is bothering Rashi? What did Hashem not commandRav Moshe Feinstein on how to interpret a Rashi (or a pasuk according to Rashi). And how Rashi might interpret that Rashi.
  1. A fun story of bribery in Sefarad -- from the Meiri, and how it ties in to tzedek tzedek tirdof.
  2. Are all matzeivot forbidden, or just idolatrous ones? The dispute between Rashi and Ibn Ezra works out to one in dikduk, and how to understand asher.
  3. Why send back the betrothed man, if all is preordained? How different meforshim look at this issue of fate and fatality, and how Divine Providence works on the battlefield.
  4. What is the point of the Eglah Arufah? According to Rambam, to prompt an investigation. Ramban's objection to this, Abarbanel's defense, and finally, Shadal's take on all this.
In The Role of the Shoter and the Shofet, I explain Shadal's position that the shoteir is not an enforcement officer of bet din, with a rod to strike people.

In "How does לִשְׁבָטֶיךָ bind?" Shadal states that he (and Rashi) deviate from trup, and thus that it means a shofet and shoter from the tribe.

In Capital Punishment Based On Two Or Three Witnesses, and the False vs. Failed Witness, I address what three witnesses adds over two, and what the pasuk is trying to tell us here. Furthermore, how this interacts with the single eid zomem, rather than eidim zomemim.

If you want to learn through the parsha in Mikraot Gedolot, I broke apart an online one for Shoftim by perek and by aliyah in Shofetim Sources.

In Double Jeopardy, I discuss how the Sifrei derives from צֶדֶק צֶדֶק, תִּרְדֹּף--לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה that a court should retry a case after a guilty verdict if subsequently evidence is found that clears the accused, but should not retry a case once the person has been found innocent if subsequently evidence is found that would convict him. I propose two derashot: either צֶדֶק means innocent - zakkai, and so multiple times we should run after finding his innocent; or צֶדֶק means justice, but we should run after it multiple times only לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה, if we will save the accused life.

In "Was The Lubavitcher Rebbe a Navi Sheker?", I explain why if the Rebbe was actually stating as prophecy that he was mashiach or that mashiach would come in his generation, as some in Chabad claim, then he would be a navi sheker. I don't think that the Rebbe was a navi sheker.
On the other hand, here is evidence that the Rebbe did consider himself a navi.

Related, from 2004: The Rambam on how one establishes a navi shekerin Hebrew and in my translation.

Yiftach Bedoro keShmuel Bedoro -- A joke I heard in Rav Schachter's shiur.

Turning to the Right / Left - I analyze this famous derasha in the Sifrei, and then examine Rashi, Siftei Chachamim, and Ramban, to see how they understand it. Then, in A Conflicting View of יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל, I consider the aternate version of this statement which is cited in Yerushalmi Horayot, which states that one should only follow them if they say that right is right and left is left, but not vice versa. I should really go back now and analyze all these sources again. I think I would have a very different take now.

to be continued...


Leah said...

I have a question for you, Josh. On Devorah's blog you comeented that the Japanese volcano erupted becasue Hashem is upset perhaps in the not guilty verdict?
What influences you to say this?

joshwaxman said...

to clarify, that was said in jest.

if the verdict had been guilty, everyone would have said that the volcano was a sign of Hashem's displeasure. now that it is not guilty, people are suggesting that it is a sign of Hashem's pleasure.

i don't think you can have it both ways.

Leah said...

Got it. I was thinking that you actually meant it and I was thinking, "No, way, he did NOT just say that!"
Ok, be well. Thank you for clarifying.


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