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Friday, September 2

The Weekly Shtikle - Shofetim

    In this week's parsha we are taught of the laws concerning the "zakein mamrei," the elder who differs in opinion with the ruling of the Sanhedrin HaGadol and teaches against their ruling. If all the proper procedures are followed, he is put to death. Chizkuni makes a fascinating observation. The pasuk tells us (17:9) that the dispute is to be brought to the Kohanim and the judges to be resolved. Chizkuni writes that this obligation refutes all heretics who do not believe that there is any portion of Torah in addition to the written Testament and do not believe in the teachings of the Chachamim. If all we were really given was the written Torah, how is it possible to have a dispute that must be settled by the higher authorities? Let them just read the text and figure it out. Why go all the way to Yerushalayim? But indeed, the Torah instructs us that a higher authority will preside over the matter. The Torah is clearly empowering the sages to have a certain command over our laws. Surely, our code of law spans more than the written tradition. Surely there is an oral component that requires the greatest of sages to teach in the proper way.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
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