/

Tag Archives: criminal justice

“But Korach’s Children Did Not Die”: On the Perils of Guilt by Association: D’var Torah for Parashat Pinchas

Our parasha shows the Israelites pivoting toward preparations, finally, for proceeding to the Holy Land to inaugurate civic life. In the context of a census taken after two brutal acts of Divine carnage for national insurrections, the Torah matter-of-factly claims … Continue reading

More on Vigilante Justice When the Justice System Enables Abuse of Power: D’var Torah for Parashat Balak

A few months ago, for Parashat VaYehi, we addressed the violent, vigilante justice carried out at the end of this week’s parasha by Pinhas the priest, a short narrative I described then as “the Torah’s signature episode of political violence”. … Continue reading

You Must Testify, but if You Snitch, You’re Excommunicated — D’var Torah, Parashat VaYikra

What is a citizen’s duty in upholding a responsible, criminal justice system? Our parasha addresses that question head-on with a seemingly clear commandment: “Any person who sins, having heard a public imprecation and is a witness, having seen or known, … Continue reading

There’s a Riot Goin’ On: Talking about Violence and Power, Part II: D’var Torah for Parashat VaYehi

“Shim‘on and Levi are brothers, weapons of violence their trade” (Bereishit/Genesis 49:5). Four weeks ago, in Parashat VaYishlah, we read of Shim‘on and Levi’s premeditated massacre of all men of the town of Shekhem in order to rescue their sister … Continue reading