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Topic: Shoftim, Defined

Bill Baldwin wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I would be very grateful if you could give me some information. Could you please tell me what the word `shoftim' means? The matter arose because of a letter I received from a group using the name `The Shoftim Society.' They asked me to participate in a forum entitled `The Nuremberg Trials: An Inside Story.' The Jewish attorneys comprising the group are based in Columbia, South Carolina. The reason for the invitation came about because I was one of the U.S. Prosecutors at the trial. I told them that I'm sorry but I won't be able to attend, since at the proposed time of the forum we will be in the process of moving north to New Hampshire.

Dear Mr. Bill Baldwin,

`Shoftim' means `judges.' It's a noun, not a verb. One judge is called a `shofet.' Shoftim is also the name of one of the 24 books of the Torah, the Book of Judges, which teaches about the era from the time of Joshua until the time of Samuel. As an American/Israeli, and son of a holocaust survivor, I want to personally thank you for your role in bringing some of the offenders to justice.

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