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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Parsha

In this week’s parsha, the tochachos - the curses, the terrible calamities that will befall us throughout our history are enumerated. There is no parallel to this in the theological or historical writings of any other people, and this, in and of itself, is proof of the Torah’s Divine authorship and the guiding hand of G-d in our history.

There are actually two places in the Torah where these curses are mentioned - once in this parsha and once in the Book of Leviticus - each focusing on a different period in our history. In Leviticus, the destruction of the First Temple and our subsequent exile are foretold, while in Deuteronomy - the destruction of the Second Temple, with the evil that followed and which continues to haunt us to this very

“When you will go out to war against your enemies, and Hashem your G-d will deliver him into your hand and you will capture its people as captives...”

Rashi teaches us that this verse from our parsha is talking about an optional war - for in the wars of the Land of Israel, it cannot be said, “and you will capture its people as captives”, because it has already been said, “you shall not allow any person to live”. From this we learn that there are two types of wars, a “milchemet mitzvah” and a

Rabbeinu Nissim z”l (14th century; Barcelona, Spain) writes that, unlike other nations, the Jews have a dual judicial system. Every nation has laws, whose purpose is to make civilized life possible, and each nation has a king or other official who appoints judges to enforce those laws. In our parashah we read that Bnei Yisrael, too, are commanded to appoint a king.

The parashah begins, however, with the command to maintain a bet din (later called a Sanhedrin) and a system of courts

This parsha contains the most mitzvos of all the parshiot, and they encompass many areas that prepare us for Rosh HaShana and enable us to perceive that there is more to life than mere existence. 

The parsha opens with the stirring words, “When you shall go forth to battle against your enemies, the L-rd your G-d will deliver them into your hands.” (Deut. 21:10) These words are spoken, not only in regard to the battlefield, but more importantly, in connection with the personal struggle that

The parsha opens with the words, “Judges and officers shall you appoint for yourselves in all of your gates.” (Deut. 16:17) There are many levels on which we can understand the passages of the Torah. A simple reading reveals that even thousands of years ago, in every hamlet, in every town, and in every city of Israel, there was a functioning judicial system. Judges - men of enormous integrity and moral excellence, who were not only knowledgeable of the laws of the Torah, but more importantly