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M A Weekly Bulletin - PARACHAT CHOFTIM -7 SEPTEMBRE 2019- 7 ELOUL 5779

09/06/2019 10:09:38 AM



candle lighting 7:05pm
chabbat morning :8:30  am
havdalla 8:07 pm



7 ELOUL 5779




Félicitations à nos champions du Soccer Le match s’est terminé 4 à 3 en faveur de Maghen Abraham . Nous remercions les 2 équipes de M.A et de la S.P. pour leurs contributions à faire de cet évènement une réussite et espérons que ce sera une nouvelle tradition estivale


Bon anniversaire : Isaac Darwiche et David Hasson

Hazkara : Meir Romano


Dans ce bulletin / In this issue :

La Paracha en Bref

Against Superstition & Lucky charms

Confiance exclusive en Dieu

41 Mitzvot in the Parasha

Qui est exempt de la guerre

Questions & Answers on Shoftim


Le sourire du Chabbat





Choftim - en bref

Deutéronome 16, 18 - 21, 9


Moïse enjoint au peuple de nommer des juges et des officiers de police dans chaque cité. « Justice, c’est la justice que tu poursuivras », commande-t-il et elle devra être rendue sans corruption ni favoritisme. Les crimes seront l’objet d’investigations méticuleuses et les preuves soigneusement examinées. Il faut qu’au moins deux témoins crédibles soient entendus pour qu'un suspect soit reconnu coupable et qu’une sanction puisse être prononcée.

Dans chaque génération, dit Moïse, certains se verront confier la charge d’interpréter et d’appliquer les lois de la Torah. « Selon la doctrine qu’ils t’enseigneront, selon la règle qu’ils t’indiqueront tu procéderas ; ne t’écarte de ce qu’ils t’auront dit ni à droite ni à gauche. » La paracha de Choftim contient aussi les interdits relatifs à l’idolâtrie et à la sorcellerie, les lois régissant la nomination et la conduite d’un roi, les règles présidant à la création des « villes de refuge » destinées au meurtrier involontaire.

Nombre des lois de la guerre sont aussi affirmées : l’exemption du jeune marié, de celui qui vient de construire sa maison, de planter une vigne ou qui est effrayé ; l’obligation de proposer la paix avant d’attaquer une ville ; l'interdiction de détruire arbitrairement quelque chose de valeur, illustrée par la loi interdisant d'abattre un arbre fruitier en faisant le siège d'une ville (dans ce contexte, la Torah énonce la célèbre sentence « Car l'homme est un arbre des champs »).

La paracha s’achève avec la loi de la Eglah Aroufah, la procédure qui doit être suivie lorsqu’un cadavre dont le meurtrier est inconnu, est trouvé dans un champ, soulignant ainsi que la responsabilité de la communauté est engagée non seulement au regard de ce qui est commis, mais aussi pour les actes qu’elle n’a pu empêcher.

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There is not to be found among you…a hidden sorcerer, a diviner[1], or an enchanter


“When you believe in things that you don't understand
then you suffer, superstition
ain't the way.”

— Stevie Wonder


There is an old superstition among some Eastern Sephardi communities that restricts a newly married woman from attending other weddings without first trading a hairpin with the bride. If she does not do so it is believed that her chances of conceiving a child will be in jeopardy. I mentioned this superstition in a lecture one year while serving as rabbi in Brooklyn, discouraging its practice, at which point I was savaged by someone in the audience insisting that he had personally witnessed a newlywed woman who had not traded the hairpin and indeed did not conceive until she subsequently rectified it by trading a hairpin with that bride. I responded and asked him how he explained all the other people in the world who knew nothing of this practice and yet experienced no such trouble?!

The belief that life can be controlled through superstitious and unfounded behaviours is not only false, it also distorts/damages our ability to think wisely and rationally.

Perashat Shofetim presents us with a blueprint for building a national system that is built on truth and integrity. It presents a vision for a just society with detailed commandments for moral, judicial and executive systems to ensure its structure. Such societies can only grow and thrive when they are consciously committed to vetting truth and viability. In this light we can understand why the prohibition against following superstitions is mentioned in this parasha.

There is not to be found among you…a hidden sorcerer, a diviner[1], or an enchanter.


When you enter the land that God your Lord is giving you…There is not to be found among you…a hidden sorcerer, a diviner[1], or an enchanter. (18:9)

Superstitions are another means that we use to find security in the face of the unknown. Yet, when we believe that irrational and untested procedures can somehow save us from the dangers and mishaps of the world, we abandon reason and give ourselves over to perpetual fantasies that, in reality, are far more dangerous than many of the dangers we are trying to avoid by using them in the first place.

All who believe in these superstitions and things like them and think in their hearts that they are true, but the Torah prohibited us from engaging in them, are among the ignorant and those who lack knowledge…The wise…know clearly that [these superstitions] are empty and meaningless…and all the paths of wisdom have been destroyed because of them…(Rambam[2])

Lucky charms:

Red strings, key-shaped challas, throwing salt, lucky amulets, chamsas and hairpins all circumvent accepting the fact that the world is an unpredictable place and that our greatest and most effective response to it — although it requires consciousness, stamina and perseverance — is to faithfully dedicate ourselves to truth, justice and righteousness in all of their facets. In so doing we cling to G-d’s presence in the world and build our own faithfulness and integrity. No magical shortcuts can genuinely set us on safer


Shabbat Shalom! From Rabbi Joseph Dweck, SR Rabbi at the S & P Sephardi community– London




Placer sa confiance exclusivement en D.ieu

תָּמִים תִּהְיֶה עִם ה' אֱלֹקֶיךָ: (דברים יח:יג)

Moïse exhorta ensuite le peuple juif à ne se tourner que vers D.ieu pour ses besoins et à ne pas rechercher des moyens de prédire le futur.

Placer sa confiance exclusivement en D.ieu

תָּמִים תִּהְיֶה עִם ה' אֱלֹקֶיךָ: (דברים יח:יג)

[Moïse dit au peuple juif : « Plutôt que tenter de deviner le futur,] fait preuve d’intégrité envers D.ieu. » Deutéronome 18,13

Lorsque nous sommes reliés à D.ieu, nous ne sommes l’objet d’aucune forme de prédestination. Aussi ne devons-nous jamais nous soucier de prédire le futur, de nous libérer de « sorts » issus de forces réelles ou imaginaires, ou d’affronter les possibles influences sur notre vie de précédentes incarnations.

Le moyen le plus certain d’assurer notre bonheur et notre succès dans notre vie est de nous dévouer sincèrement à apprendre ce que D.ieu attend de nous (en étudiant Sa Torah), en lui adressant directement nos prières et en accomplissant Sa volonté.1








This week Paracha contains 14 positive and 27 negatives mitzvot:

  • Here they are:


  • 1) To appoint judges and officers.
  • 2) Not to plant trees in the temple or near the altar.
  • 3) Not to set up any pillars that resemble idol worship.
  • 4) Not to sacrifice a blemished animal.
  • 5-6) To abide by the court’s decisions, and not to deviate from them.
  • 7-8) To chose a Jewish king, and not to chose a non-Jewish king.
  • 9) Not to return to Egypt.
  • 10-13) A king may not have too many horses, wives, or money, and must write (at least) 2 Torah scrolls.
  • 14-15) The tribe of Levi may not inherit any land in Israel, except for the appointed cities, and many not receive any booty from the wars.
  • 16)To give the foreleg, the jaw, and the maw of all slaughtered kosher domesticated animals.
  • 17)To give a portion (recommended 1/50, but not mandatory) of one’s grain, wine and oil to a Kohen.
  • 18)To give the Kohen a portion of one’s flock shearings.
  • 19) To make shifts for the Kohanim and Leviim.
  • 20-25)Not to practice divinations, sorcery, be an animal charmer, inquire of Ov or Yidoni, or consult the dead.
  • 26)To listen to the true prophets.
  • 27)Not to be a false prophet.
  • 28)Not to prophesize in the name of an idol.
  • 29)Not to fear executing false prophets.
  • 30)To designate cities of refuge.
  • 31)Not to have pity on a murderer or someone who injured someone else on purpose.
  • 32)Not to falsify boundary markers.
  • 33)Not to convict on the testimony of one witness.
  • 34)To punish a conspiring witness with the same punishment that the defendant would have received.
  • 35)Not to be afraid when going into battle.
  • 36)To anoint a special Kohen before a war.
  • 37)To give our enemy (in certain wars) the choice of fighting or giving in without killing them.
  • 38)Not to allow any person from the seven nations that occupied Canaan to live.
  • 39)Not to destroy any fruit tree.
  • 40-41)To break the heifer's neck (for an unsolved murder) in a harsh valley, and not to farm that land ever.







Si quelqu'un a bâti une maison neuve et n'en a pas encore pris possession, qu'il parte et s'en retourne à sa maison; car il pourrait mourir dans la bataille, et un autre en prendrait possession.


Si quelqu'un a planté une vigne et n'en a pas encore acquis la jouissance, qu'il parte et s'en retourne chez lui; car il pourrait mourir dans la bataille, et un autre acquerrait cette jouissance.


Et si quelqu'un a promis mariage à une femme et ne l'a pas encore épousée, qu'il parte et s'en retourne chez lui; car il pourrait mourir dans la bataille, et un autre homme l'épouserait."


Les préposés adresseront de nouveau la parole au peuple, et diront: "S'il est un homme qui ait peur et dont le cœur soit lâche, qu'il se retire et retourne chez lui, pour que le cœur de ses frères ne défaille point comme le sien!"


Alors, les préposés ayant fini de parler au peuple, on placera des officiers de légions à la tête de l'armée.


Quand tu marcheras sur une ville pour l'attaquer, tu l'inviteras d'abord à la paix.



Questions and answers /Parachat Shoftim

All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated

  1. What is the role of shoftim? What is the role of shotrim?
    16:18 - Shoftim are judges who pronounce judgment. Shotrim are officers who enforce it.
  2. What qualifications should one look for when appointing a judge?
    16:18 - That he is expert in the law and that he is righteous.
  3. May a judge accept a bribe if only for the purpose of judging fairly?
    16:19 - No, because it will sway his judgment.
  4. What is the source for the concept "seek out a good beit din"?
    16:20 - "Tzedek tzedek tirdof...."
  5. Although the avot built matzevot, the Torah later forbade doing so. Why?
    16:22 - Because the Canaanites used them for idolatry.
  6. "You will come to...the judge who will be in those days." It's impossible to visit a judge living at a different time, so why must the Torah add these apparently extra words?
    17:9 - To teach that although a judge may not be as eminent as judges of previous generations, we must obey him nevertheless.
  7. What does Hashem promise a king who doesn't amass much gold, doesn't raise many horses and doesn't marry many wives?
    17:18 - That his kingdom will endure.
  8. How many Torah scrolls must the king have?
    17:18 - Two. One stays in his treasury and one he keeps with him.
  9. How was King Shaul punished for disobeying a minor command of the Prophet Shmuel?
    17:20 - He lost his kingship.
  10. Certain kosher animals are not included in the law of "chazeh, shok, and keiva." Which ones?
    18:3 - Chayot (non-domestic-type animals).




Si tu souhaites un bon conseil, consulte un vieil homme.

L'absence rend le coeur plus affectueux.

Les bonnes choses viennent à ceux qui savent attendre.
Mieux être envié que plaint.

Le loup peut perdre ses dents, mais jamais sa nature.

Un ami de tous est un ami d'aucun.
Une once de prévention vaut mieux qu'une livre de guérison
Un léopard ne peut pas changer ses taches.
Les actions parlent plus que les mots
Tout ce qui brille n'est pas or
Ne comptez pas vos poulets avant qu'ils n'éclosent.
Ne mordez pas la main qui vous nourrit

Trop de cuisiniers gâtent la sauce





Une jeune fille annonce ses fiançailles à son père, qui dit en soupirant: Paul? Est-ce qu'il a de l'argent, ce Paul Et la jeune fille répond: Mais vous êtes tous les mêmes! C'est exactement la question qu'il m'a posée sur toi!


Morris and Rivkah are taking a rare trip to London's Oxford Street. He's as mean a person as you could imagine and on this trip, as on most trips, he just walks and looks but never enters any establishment.
After an hour or so of this, Rivkah is not only frustrated but also quite hungry. So as they approach a nice looking kosher restaurant, she tries a new tactic to persuade Morris to eat there.
"Oy, Morris," she says smiling, "what do you think of that glorious food smell coming from this kosher restaurant?"
On hearing this, Morris decides to give her a treat. "Yes darling, it's a great smell. So let's walk past the restaurant again."



Morris phones British Airways. "Yes, can I help you?" asks the BA booking clerk.
"I'm looking to book a flight to Tel Aviv for this coming Sunday," says Morris, "and I wondered whether there are any seats still available."
"Before I can answer that," says the BA clerk, "I need to know how many people are going to fly with you."
"Oy vey, what a silly question to ask," replies Morris. "How should I know - it's your aircraft, not mine?"


Our family was at a weekend getaway in the mountains, and when the power went out, we couldn't recharge our smart phone. When the battery finally died, we couldn't Google, Facebook, email, Tweet, or look at pictures. And no apps to play with. On top of that, it was raining -- so we stayed in and my wife and we began to talk to our two children for a few hours. They seem like nice people



During a new television Quiz program, Miriam, one of the contestants, is asked by Isaac the Quiz master, "OK Miriam, what category of question would you like me to start with?"
"Famous People," replies Miriam.
"OK," says Isaac. "As you know, my questions will start very easy and get very much more difficult as you progress. Are you ready for the first question, then?"
"Yes I am," replies Miriam.
"OK," says Isaac, "Who was the first man?"
Miriam instantly replies, "Even if you were offering me one million dollars for this answer, I would never ever tell you. I'm keeping it secret and it is not your business.






David Hasson




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