<I>Shoftim</I>: Help Build a MiSHKaN

Components of Jewish national leadership.

Aloh Naaleh,

Arutz 7
The abbreviation MiSHKaN sums up the major topics at the beginning of our parsha - Melekh, Shofet (in the reverse order), Kohen and Navi.

National leadership is to be composed of the king (political), the judges (justice), the priests (ritual), and the prophet (spiritual), alongside the elders (ziknei ha-edah), who represent the people at the end of the parsha. Ultimately, we must make a place for HaShem not only in our hearts and homes on the personal level (bi-levavi mishkan
It remains up to each and every one of us to generate the groundswell.
), but attempt to receive the Shechinah as it is directed through the prism of the checks and balances of the different branches of Jewish national leadership.

The Jewish king's mandate is "to elevate the true religion and to fill the world with justice" (Rambam, Melachim Ch. 4). However, the Netziv (Ha'amek Davar on Devarim 17:14) clarifies that the mitzvah to appoint a king comes into effect only in a willing society. With so many of our brothers alienated from our heritage, it remains up to each and every one of us to generate the groundswell, and create the demand that our leaders guide us in the direction of our people's destiny.

In the modern democratic system, "one oleh, one vote" is our path to building the 'mishkan', together forming the vessels to contain kedushat Eretz Yisrael, speedily in our days.
Rabbi Menachem Weinberg was raised in Toronto and moved to Israel in 1992. He currently serves as the community rabbi of secular and religious Israelis in the 'mixed' settlement of Alon, and is the Executive Director of Ner L'Elisheva and Chaverim, a learning community for new olim on Israeli university campuses.

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.