Devarim (Pisqa'ot 1-25)

16 Study Questions

Questions to Consider: Pisqa’ 16


This section argues that everyone deserves a day in court.

1. Note: The first part, does a word play with the Hebrew word for “foreigner” and the Hebrew word for “piling up.”

2. We know elsewhere that a foreigner deserves a fair hearing, so the author believes that this text must be teaching something else. The author says that here the text means that even someone who continually brings frivolous lawsuits deserves a fair hearing – every time. Do you agree with this idea? Why, in a well-functioning legal system, would this be true?

3. Why might a person not want to give a hostile neighbor a fair hearing? Can you think of real-life examples? Think about people who have done terrible things to others.

4. Defense attorneys often say that they do their work, even for the worst criminals, because everyone deserves a fair trial. Why?

5. This section, and others like it, describe a fair legal system for our unredeemed world. Jewish law focuses on legal systems rather than on a system of government (democracy, for example) as the key to a functional society. Do you agree? Why is a fair legal system so important?