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Parashat Shoftim

PARASHAT SHOFTIM (the weekly Torah reading from Deuteronomy 16,18) is dealing with the obligation to establish a legal system and practicing social justice.

The most known verse from this PARASHA is in Deuteronomy 16,20 and starts with:

“צֶדֶק צֶדֶק תִּרְדּוֹף”
“Justice, justice shalt thou follow…”
God is commanding to “chase” (TIRDOF) after justice (TSEDEK).
This obligation also affects the Hebrew language, which ‘chooses’ to use a verb (performing an action) for ‘being right’. This is unlike in English where ‘being right’ is an adjective, a less active meaning and definitely not involved with any action:

This “choice” the Hebrew language does of using a verb to emphasize a meaning of performing an action where it could use an adjective, happens also the other way around. Where in English there is a verb for ‘having’ (‘To have’), Hebrew does not use a verb in this case. The way Hebrew presents the case of “having” something, it uses the form: ‘there is to someone”:
“There is, There are”
This comes from the faith that all comes from above and we, as human beings do not really perform any action by “having” something.

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