Peace, Jerusalem, and David

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Peace, Jerusalem, and David

In the book of Deuteronomy God commands Israel to establish righteous judges (Deuteronomy 16:18-20). Immediately thereafter we are enjoined not to plant an idolatrous tree near the altar, nor to designate a “matzevah” (- a single stone) for ourselves as this is something that God hates (Deuteronomy 16:21,22).

The association between justice and the altar is not coincidental; it is also found in the book of Exodus where certain laws pertaining to the altar are presented and immediately thereafter we are instructed concerning matters of justice (Exodus 20:21 – 21:1). What is this connection between justice and the altar? And why does God hate the “matzevah”? Didn’t our forefather Jacob offer to God on a “matzevah” (Genesis 28:18)?

A civilization is not a group of people that happen to be living in the same geographical area. Civilization is only achieved when the group of people coordinates…

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