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Shoftim

  
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 16:18
 16:19
16:18 First Reading
Appoint yourselves judges and police for your tribes in all your settlements that God your Lord is giving you, and make sure that they administer honest judgment for the people.
Shoftim veshotrim titen-lecha bechol-she'areycha asher Adonay Eloheycha noten lecha lishvateycha veshafetu et-ha'am mishpat tsedek.
16:19 Do not bend justice and do not give special consideration [to anyone]. Do not take bribes, since bribery makes the wise blind and perverts the words of the righteous.
Lo-tateh mishpat lo takir panim velo-tikach shochad ki hashochad ye'aver eyney chachamim visalef divrey tsadikim.



Commentary:

police
  Shot'rim in Hebrew. Officers to enforce the dictates of the courts and judges (Sifri; Rashi). See Deuteronomy, 1:15. Also see Exodus 5:6.

for your tribes
  Since members of one tribe may not go to the court of another (Sanhedrin 16b). Therefore, even if there are two tribes in a city, each must have its own court (Tosafoth ibid. s.v. Shoftim). Some translate this verse, 'for all your tribes [and] in all your settlements' indicating that besides the city courts, there must also be tribal courts (Ramban). Others translate it, 'in all thhe settlements that God....is giving you for your tribes' (Saadia).

Do not bend justice
  See Exodus 23:6, Leviticus 19:15.

perverts the words...
  See Exodus 23:8.





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