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Av 12

For the judgment belongs to God (Deuteronomy 1:17).

When the Tzaddik of Sanz assumed his first rabbinic position, he was approached by someone who wished to sue in the rabbinical court the wealthiest, most powerful person in the community. The Tzaddik sent a court summons to this man, but the shammash (bailiff) returned saying that the man had very rudely turned him away.

The Tzaddik sent a second summons. The defendant responded with a message, "You are new here and very young. You may not be aware that I am the one who supports all religious activities in the community. To be a rabbi in the community requires my approval. Be aware of this and retract your summons."

The Tzaddik sent a third summons, warning that failure to honor it would result in dire consequences. The rich man then came and surprisingly brought the plaintiff with him. He explained that the entire thing had been a sham that he had staged simply to test whether the new rabbi would have the courage to implement the law, even when his own position was in jeopardy.

The community's number one citizen welcomed the rabbi, stating, "You are the kind of rabbi we need."

Not everyone feels this way. Some people try to use "pull" to receive preferential treatment. They should realize that when justice is the issue, it is corrupt to seek preferential treatment and corrupt to give it.

The judgment belongs to God, and when litigants and judges are engaged in a din Torah, they are in the immediate Divine Presence, and there can be no favoritism.

Today I shall...

remember not to show favoritism, even when under pressure.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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Visitor Comments: 1

(1) mysteries, August 2, 2009 8:23 PM

wrong and right

In a court of law the judge and the advisors should rule fairly. They should not rule in favour of one party because they share the same or have a liking for: profession, background in life, education, upbringing, ethniciy, religious sect, wider religious group, class, appearance, looks and charms, accent or position due to wealth, membership of open or secret societies/organisations. Those in power to make decisions in law should think that they are but a functionary and are there to deal with the case. Their own quibbles and loyalities are not important because the proceedings are not about them it is about the circumstances of the case and the parties involved. Trying to get in on the case and become personally embroiled complicates matters and the actualwork is adversely affected i.e. if something is wrong it may not be judged as wrong and if something is right it may not be judged right.

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