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Parsha Mitzvot: Shofetim: Mitzvah 494 – Concept 83

“It shall be that when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself two copies of this Torah in a book, from before the Kohanim, the Levites. It shall be with him, and he shall read from it all the days of his life, so that he will learn to fear God, his Lord, to observe all the words of this Torah and these decrees, to perform them, so that his heart does not become haughty over his brethren and not turn from the commandment right or left, so that he will prolong years over his kingdom, he and his sons, amid Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:18-20) The King must write a second Sefer Torah. (Rambam, Hilchot Tefillin, Mezuzah, V’Sefer Torah)

The Rambam is teaching us a powerful lesson by including this Mitzvah/Concept, unique to the king, not in Hilchot Melachim – The Laws of Kings, but in the laws of a Sefer Torah. It is not his royal position that obligates this MItzvah; it is the Torah, that is above his throne, that reminds him that all his power derives only from the Torah.

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