Shoftim – Shishi

Copyright Infringement (Yes, You!)

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

One may not move a boundary marker in an attempt to acquire someone else’s land. The same holds true for encroaching on someone’s livelihood by opening a competing business in a market that cannot bear both. Copyright infringement also violates this prohibition, called hasogas g’vul. (Yes, I’m speaking the guy who re-posted some of my online articles as his own work!)

Punishments are not administered by the courts based on the testimony of one witness; at least two are required. If corrupt witnesses conspire to frame someone and they are found out, they will suffer the punishment they sought to inflict on an innocent person.

When the nation goes to war, Moshe tells them, they are not to fear what appear to be superior enemy forces, since God is with them. There will be a kohein designated to speak to the army and to encourage them. The non-commissioned officers will weed out certain people who are exempted from battle: anyone who has built a house but not moved in, planted a vineyard but not reaped its first crop, or betrothed a woman but not consummated the marriage. Cowards were also sent home so that they shouldn’t infect the rest of the army with their cowardice. After the NCOs finished, the commanding officers took over.

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