For a chronological list of all the Torah Portions in each of the five books of Torah, click here.
ShoftimRead / Listen to Portion
Core community content: Sign in to read, or sign up for a free Core community account to access the full Portions Library.
An English maxim has it that fences make good neighbors. In biblical times, territorial borders were marked off with boundary stones. Typically, a boundary-stone landmark might be one stone set up on end, indicating the border between a man's field and his neighbor's.
What would a prophet like Moses look like? He would need to be a prophet who heard directly from God, like Moses did. He would need to be a redeemer of Israel, like Moses was. He would need to be a man of unsurpassed humility, like Moses was. Who is this mysterious prophet?
Wouldn't it be nice if there were reliable prophets like Moses today? Imagine having the ability to seek counsel directly from God. Suppose you were trying to decide whether a certain person was right for you to marry. If there was ever a time to seek spiritual direction, it would be at that moment.
The king of Israel must immerse himself in the Torah. He must write his own copy of the Torah onto a scroll. He is to keep it with him always, and he is to read and study from it every day of his life. He cannot turn away from the commandments in the Torah, neither to the right nor to the left.
In the case of would-be prophets, the Torah is like the rabbinical authority, checking to see if the product is kosher. If the prophet proves to be true and proves to be in concert with Torah, it is as if the Torah stamps that prophet with its heksher. Just as a kosher-keeping person is always careful to check to see if a particular food is kosher before popping it into his mouth, so too, we should be careful to check to see if a particular prophet is kosher before heeding his words.
Does Yeshua of Nazareth meet these qualifications? If we had to judge merely by the conventional theological presentation of Jesus, we would have to conclude that He is not the Messiah. The conventional interpretation of Jesus presents a Messiah who sets men free from the commandments of the Torah, breaks them Himself, and overrides Moses.