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Torah QueeriesWeekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible$
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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720127

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.001.0001

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Setting Ourselves Judges

Setting Ourselves Judges

Parashat Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9)

(p.250) Forty-Eight Setting Ourselves Judges
Torah Queeries

Julia Watts Belser

NYU Press

This chapter provides a queerly interpretation of Parashat Shoftim's call for justice: “Justice, justice shall you pursue.” The verse has been an important buttress for queer people who call for the creation of a community that includes and celebrates queer experience, as well as activism for LGBT justice in the world. In addition, the parasha note that “Judges and officers shall you give yourselves, in all of your gates which God has given you, for your tribes, and they shall judge the people with right justice.” The phrase “for your tribes” may refer to all contemporary gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews. Queers have an obligation to make themselves into true judges and righteous officers who help affirm the moral wisdom of queer interfaith couples.

Keywords:   LGBT justice, queer people, Torah, queers, judges

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