September 22, 2017 ~ Shabbat HAAZINU. Maqam NAHWAND.

Shabbat Shofetim

Our Gates

צדק צדק תרדף למען תחיה וירשת את הארץ - To ensure that all interpersonal affairs be conducted fairly, the entire nation is commanded to set up law enforcement systems "in all of your gates" (Deuteronomy 16:18). The word "your" (תתן לך בכל שעריך), written in singular, implies that the Torah is also speaking to the individual; making sure that each individual maintains clean homes within their gates. Regarding corruption practices (such as obstructionism, favoritism, or bribery), they are so toxic to this "cleanliness" that they "blind the eyes of the wise, upset the plea of the just," and as per the DSS Temple Scroll (found on this verse), "bring great guilt" (ועושה אשמה גדולה) and "contaminate the house with sin" (ומטמא הבית בעוון החטאה). In contrast, pursuing justice (צדק צדק תרדף); free of corruption, has the ability to cleanse our gates; enabling a higher quality of life (למען תחיה) and success in all endeavors (וירשת את הארץ). Beth Torah Bulletin, August 26, 2017.