The name of this week’s parasha, Shofetim, means judges or magistrates. Much of the parasha is about judicial matters, including a description of what seems to be the first High Court in ancient Israel. In Deut. 17:8-9 we learn that cases that are too “baffling” for lower level judges are to be taken “to the place that God will have chosen” (that is, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem) and presented to the priests and magistrates there. This is the first mention of what later became the Sanhedrin of 71 judges that functioned like the Supreme Court of ancient Israel. This court ruled on religious and civil matters, appointed the high priests and kings, and authorized decisions to go to war. It even created law and in that way, functioned as a legislative body as well.