221/929. Game Over? Shoftim 10.

Have you ever found yourself in a relationship that has turned into a role-playing game? With children, it’s sometimes the game of: set a boundary, break a boundary, give a punishment, get a tantrum. Repeat. With significant others it might be a game of: complain, defend, get insulted, get angry, make up. Repeat. You notice that each player has their set role, each move sets the stage for the next turn, in what seems like a never-ending cycle. At what point do you decide that you’re not willing to play anymore?

For the first ten chapters of the book of Shoftim, the rules of the game have been very clear, and everyone has played their part very well. The Jews sin, God punishes, the Jews repent, God saves. By chapter 10, God has grown quite tired of it. Perhaps He expected that He would have already won. But those stiff-necked Jews are still playing. And as much as God threatens to walk away, He doesn’t, at least not yet. The coming chapters will prove that He’s still in the game, too. There’s something about it that serves Him, too.


A blog of occasional, short reflections on the daily study of Tanach with the 929 project. If you’re a 929-er, or just a lover of Tanach, occasional or otherwise, you might enjoy. What’s 929? A project worth checking out- 929.org.il

About the Author
Avidan Freedman is the rabbi of the Shalom Hartman Institute's Hevruta program, an educator Hartman Boys High School in Jerusalem, and an activist against Israeli weapons sales to human rights violators.
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