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Gematria Shorts for Shoftim 5783

Two of the main topics in parashat Shoftim are the appointment of judges and of a king. Shoftim is the 48th parashah of the Torah. 48 is the value of “mind” (מֹחַ). One of the most foundational statements in the Tanya is that we should implement the Zohar’s statement that, “the mind rules over the heart” (מֹחַ שַׁלִּיט עַל הַלֵּב). Who then is the “mind” in the “mind”—the 48th— parashah? That is the judge who judges in accordance with Torah—God’s mind, as it were. The heart is the king, who Maimondies describes as, “the heart of all of Israel” (לֵב כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל). The Torah’s mind keeps the king’s heart in check, as our parashah states about the king, “thus his heart will not rise haughtily towards his fellows, or deviate from the commandments right or left” (Deuteronomy 17:20).


Following the logic that the “mind” is parashat Shoftim—referring to judges, what is the “heart” that it needs to rule over? The “heart” (לֵב), or 32nd parashah of the Torah is parashat Behar, which begins with the commandments required so that we may keep our hold over the Land of Israel, the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, which are intrinsically tied to Torah economics. The gematria of “Land of Israel” (אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל), 832, is the product of 32 and 26, implying that the Land of Israel is the “heart” (לֵב ,32) of “God” (י-הוה , 26). Thus, the rectification of the entire Land of Israel depends on the installation of a justice system that follows the Torah.


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