Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Despite the bad press we constantly receive at the hands of the media, I do not believe there is an army in the history of world warfare which operates with the degree of ethical sensitivity that is adhered to by the Israeli Defense Forces; we never target civilians despite the fact that our enemy only targets Jewish civilians.

By Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

The parsha of Shoftim is the classic source of the three types of leadership in Judaism, called by the sages the “three crowns”: of priesthood, kingship and Torah.

By the end of the book of Bamidbar, Moses career as a leader seemed to have come to its end. He had appointed his successor, Joshua, and it would be he, not Moses, who would lead the people across the Jordan into the promised land. Moses seemed to have achieved everything he was destined to achieve.

Moshe rebukes the Children of Israel, not for their sin but for that of their fathers who had already perished in the desert. This seemingly unwarranted admonition serves to create within Israel a feeling of collective responsibility and to offer the people an opportunity to correct the major shortcoming of the previous generation. In order to correct past transgressions, however, it is first necessary to internalize what actually took place. And in order to clearly understand this teaching, we must identify who the “they” are that Moshe refers to in his rebuke.

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