Parshat Beha’alotcha: Virtues of compromise - Torah Study

Parshat Beha’alotcha: Virtues of compromise

Posted: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 7:42 am

What is the primary approach judges should take? In this week’s Torah portion, we learn about the nature of the Sanhedrin and its role in ensuring keen justice for the Jewish people. Indeed, compared to systems of justice that only seek retribution over rehabilitation, Judaism takes a more utilitarian approach. Further, Judaism offers a novel approach; that arguing that compromise is the approach of the wise.

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Karcha says, “It is a mitzvah to seek compromise.” As it is written, “Truth and peaceful judgment should you judge in your gates.” It would seem that where there is judgment there is no peace, and where there is peace there is no judgment. Compromise is the judgment that incorporates peace (Sanhedrin 6b).

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