Sunday, 16 August 2020

Parsha: Shoftim, "To King or Not to King"

Canadians will undoubtedly favour the Royalist Position whilst Americans will surely prefer the Republican Position!

The Torah states that: when you [Bnei Yisrael] ask for a KING,  "'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me" (Devarim: 17:14) you shall surely place one - Even [or especially] when asking to be like the surrounding nations.

Sh'muel [with Hashem's approbation] protests that his people requested a King just like "the Goyim." (Shmuel I 8:5).

Shmuel's protestations all make sense if our Sidrah-Parsha is stating that this royal appointment is optional and subjunctive to a request. In that case, the objection was to the request for appointing a King. Once requested, it must be fulfilled,  according to the law in our Parshah.

However, Rambam Sefer Hamitzvot et. al. states that a king is a requirement.  This implies that the request is also obligatory. Sh'muel's protests then seem difficult to fathom.

I have some answers but I was wondering what you readers might say?



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