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Elaine Rosenberg Miller

Shoftim

There are many moving, instructive, admonishing, inspiring, consoling parshot in the Torah but Deuteronomy 16 Shoftim (Judges), which was read in the West on August 19, 2023 has special timely resonance. To those who believe in the rule of law and its uniform administration and enforcement, the fact that former President Trump, chief political opponent of sitting President Joe Biden, has been indicted in four Democrat controlled districts on vague, specious grounds, is a rude awakening.

Shoftim provides:

19 You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show favoritism, and you shall not take a bribe, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts just words.

יטלֹֽא־תַטֶּ֣ה מִשְׁפָּ֔ט לֹ֥א תַכִּ֖יר פָּנִ֑ים וְלֹֽא־תִקַּ֣ח שֹׁ֔חַד כִּ֣י הַשֹּׁ֗חַד יְעַוֵּר֙ עֵינֵ֣י חֲכָמִ֔ים וִֽיסַלֵּ֖ף דִּבְרֵ֥י צַדִּיקִֽם:
20 Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live and possess the land the Lord, your God, is giving you.

כצֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף לְמַ֤עַן תִּֽחְיֶה֙ וְיָֽרַשְׁתָּ֣ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָֽךְ:
21 You shall not plant for yourself an asherah, [or] any tree, near the altar of the Lord, your God, which you shall make for yourself.

כאלֹֽא־תִטַּ֥ע לְךָ֛ אֲשֵׁרָ֖ה כָּל־עֵ֑ץ אֵ֗צֶל מִזְבַּ֛ח יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־לָּֽךְ:
22 And you shall not set up for yourself a monument, which the Lord, your God hates.

“You shall not pervert justice”.

Misapplication of the law, unequal enforcement of the law perverts justice. The absence of justice creates lack of faith in and support of society.

There many Democratic candidates who have challenged elections, some all the way to the Supreme Court but the only one who has been prosecuted is Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

‘Justice, justice shall you pursue”

The Hebrew word “tzadekah” is often translated as charity” but to non-native speakers like myself, it means “righting the world” (not the over hyped Tikkum Olam business) or putting the planetary objects back in their orbit.

As the torah commentators indicate, repeated words or phrases (Hineni!) signal urgency.

There can be no delay. Our lives are finite. We much seek “justice” within our own lifetime and that a world without “justice” is a world teetering on destruction.

Somehow, after the release of former President Trump’s Macon, GA mug shot, in which he resembled a cross between Winston Churchill and an American bald eagle, things have changed. Republicans are no longer willing to believe that Democrats subscribe to the values and laws upon which this nation was based. We were to be a “New Jerusalem”. Many of our cities have Hebrew names. The first Europeans named their children after biblical figures Truth be told, America was founded on torah principles. Now, Democrat have used the criminal justice system to take out Trump, something that two impeachments, the Mueller Report, the J6 Committee failed to do and they are no longer willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

It is a “Remember Amalek” moment in America.

About the Author
Elaine Rosenberg Miller writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous print publications and online sites, domestically and abroad, including JUDISCHE RUNDSCHAU, THE BANGALORE REVIEW, THE FORWARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST and THE JEWISH PRESS. Her books,, FISHING IN THE INTERCOASTAL AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, THE CHINESE JEW. THE TRUST and PALMBEACHTOWN are available on Amazon and Kindle.