Freedom and justice for all - Religious Life

Freedom and justice for all

Rabbi Bonnie Koppell | Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 5:00 am

Parshat Devarim, Deutoronomy 1:1-3:22

The book of Deuteronomy opens by reminding us of the important role that judges play. And now, all eyes are on Washington, D.C., as a new Supreme Court justice will be appointed, someone who will potentially decide the law of the land for decades to come. The Torah establishes criteria for choosing judges — people who are wise and understanding, individuals whose attributes are known to the community (Deuteronomy 1:13). In Exodus 18:21, Jethro reminded Moses that judges must be truthful and impervious to bribery. The book of II Chronicles (19:7, 9) records that Yehoshofat appointed judges who were in awe of God, who did not show favoritism, and who judged with faithfulness and with their whole hearts. Every one of these qualities is vital for our new appointee.

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