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September 4, 2016 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Shoftim

This coming week’s portion contains regulations relating to kings.  Arama asks why the Torah even needs to legislate monarchy, since kings are “in world wide use.”

He answers that “leadership is essential for successful pursuit of a nation’s purpose.”  This is the sort of answer that tells us more about the 14th c. than about the Torah.

Today, we know that leadership comes in a variety of ways; as a result, monarchy is rare. Even dictatorships style themselves as republics, usually rejecting hereditary leadership (except North Korea of course!)   But Arama could not concieve of a succssful government without a king, because he lived at a time when kings were common.



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  1. Meryl / Sep 4 2016 4:49 pm

    Hello Convervadox! I have a question, timely to your post as this is my wedding anniversary parsha. I am a woman who converted conservative before I married but I feel increasingly disaffected with the movement and at the same time I am becoming increasingly observant to the point that I am davening shacharit and minchah every day, and I am shomer shabbos (we have always kept kosher). I am getting tired of feeling like an outlier in my synagogue, and dread bringing my sons to Chabad where it can be obvious when they are not counted in the minyan. I don’t live in NYC but I would like find a shul to at least visit regularly or perhaps even affiliate with long distance that satisfies these criteria: a congregation that follows halachah AND a rabbi who would give my teenage sons (all bar mitzvah’ed, all Ramahniks, youngest even at a Jewish boarding school, AHA) an aliyah? Oh yeah, and an eruv would sure be nice… Do you know of such a shul, orthodox or conservative?
    Many thanks!
    Asheville, NC

    • conservadox / Sep 4 2016 7:49 pm

      Are you thinking about NYC or a city closer to there- Atlanta perhaps?

  2. Meryl / Sep 5 2016 4:21 pm

    We are thinking about NYC for sure: anywhere my husband and I can get to that’s an easy flight for a shabbaton once a month or so, on the east coast (planning to visit Boca this fall) or maybe even Memphis, where we also know some folks. But finding a place where my sons would also be accepted would be wonderful. I actually grew up in Atlanta and I been back recently to stay with friends who belong to the YI there; they are checking around that community for me.

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