Parshat Shoftim Schedule

Shabbat Schedule

Friday, September 2

  • 06:50 am – Shacharit
  • 06:55 pm – Mincha
  • 06:59 pm – Candle Lighting

Saturday, September 3

  • 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
  • 08:45 am – Shacharit
  • 09:27 am – Latest Time for Kriat Shema
  • 10:30 am – Junior Congregation
  • 11:15 am – Kiddush
  • TBA – Ladies’ Class (at Rabbi & Rebbetzin Rabinowitz’s home, 265 Fellsway East)
  • 06:00 pm – Men’s Class in Derech Hashem
  • 06:30 pm – Mincha
  • 07:00 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
  • 07:55 pm – Ma’ariv
  • 08:05 pm – Shabbat Ends

Week of September 4 – 9


  • 08:00 am – Sunday and Monday (Labor Day)
  • 06:40 am – Thursday
  • 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday


  • 06:45 pm – Sunday – Friday


  • 07:15 pm – Sunday – Thursday

To print this schedule, click here to go directly to the post, and then press ctrl-P (Windows) or cmd-P (Mac) to print it.

Weekly Words of Torah

Jewish Monarchy

Insights into Parshat Shoftim of S’gan Rosh Yeshivat Sha’alvim Rav Aryeh Hendler by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.

The Torah states that the Jewish People will request a king, similar to the neigboring nations. The Torah instructs us to appoint a king (Sefer Devarim 17: 14-15). Indeed, in the era of the prophet Shmuel we did just that – requested a king similar to the neighboring nations. Shmuel was pained by such a request; Hashem stated that the Jewish People did not desire His rule. Yet, Hashem instructed Shmuel to heed the call of the People – despite the problematic demand (Shmuel I 8: 4-22).

This establishment of monarchy is quite complex. Initially, the Jewish People make an improper demand; yet, they receive a king. In fact, the Torah commands us to appoint a king (“whom Hashem, Your G-d chooses”). How do we understand this?

The Ohr HaChaim explains that their are two components of monarchy:
A. A leader who the people trust to achieve goals of security. This is not predicated upon proper behavior; rather on results in the battlefield.
B. The raising of the honor of the Jewish People – this is based upon Divine assistance. The higher the spiritual level of the king, the more Divine aid is administered. The goal is to promote the Rule of Heaven (Malchut Shamayim) in this world – via the Jewish People.

The first aspect is problematic. It ignores the spiritual, moral and ethical level of the king. In additon, it leads to placing trust in humans, rather than in The Master of the World. The second aspect elevates the Jewish People- and consequently the entire world. Thus, the Jewish People were taken to task for requesting a king similar to the gentile nations (aspect A). If they had requested a king in the appropriate fashion they would have fulfilled a positive mitzvah of the Torah.

The sage Rav Elchanan Wasserman – may Hashem avenge his blood – states that nationalism is not recognized by the Torah and constitutes a new form of idolatry. Eventually there came to be a philosophy of “National-Religious”. As if religious is insufficient, and there was a need to add the national component. The Torah is pure; it does not require supplements, additions, etc. If nationalism constitutes a conceptual form of idolatry, then “National-Religious” is idolatry in partnership with something else (shituf).

Focusing exclusively upon aspect A, we can concur with the position of Rav Wasserman. However, the establishment of a holy nation in The Land of Israel is not a new idea. If the concept of nationalism is utilized to form a holy Torah society, it is not in partnership with Torah. Rather is itself constitutes a Torah value. We do not yearn for a king to resemble non-Jewish societies. We strive to establish a monarchy that will promote the Rule of Heaven.

The monarchy that we yearn for will lead the Rule of Heaven to appear in a full and complete way. A monarchy that will fulfill the statement of Shmuel “And Hashem your G-d will be your king” (Shmuel I 12:12).