2nd Torah Exodus 30:11-16
Candle Lighting time 5:04 p.m.
When asked for her occupation, a woman charged with a traffic violation said she was a schoolteacher. The judge rose from the bench. “Madam, I have waited years for a schoolteacher to appear before this court,” he smiled with delight. “Now sit down at that table and write I will not pass through a red light five hundred times.”
Sometimes it’s easy to make fun of judges. But it's not funny to attack our system of justice and undermine it. A free and impartial judiciary is a cornerstone of our democracy. Our representatives in the government, starting with the president, then with the leaders of Congress, and finally down to the pundits in the media, go ahead need to choose their words wisely.
Unfortunately respecting our judicial system lately has not been the norm. During the presidential campaign candidate Trump cast aspersions on a federal judge because of his Mexican descent. More recently we have another example of this worrisome trend with the Nunes memo. The Nunes four page memo decries the FISA Court's decision to permit the Carter Page wiretaps in order to ascertain the depth of Russia's interference in the last presidential election. This memo cherry picks details from the original 50 to 60 page document and doesn't provide the necessary context to understand the reasons why there was good cause to continue the investigation into the potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and the potential obstruction of justice by Pres. Trump in order to protect their partisan politics.
This Torah warns us not to undermine our court system. Judges are human. Sometimes we may laud their decisions. Other times we may disagree wholeheartedly with them. The Torah commands us in this week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, that we are not permitted to curse a judge (Exodus 22:27) no matter what. Sforno commenting on this verse writes: “even if you think that the judge has miscarried justice do not curse him for no person can find fault with himself.” Consequently, even if the judge has in fact erred, we nonetheless have no right to curse the judge.
We would be wise to heed the words of Rabbi Yochanan ben Nappacha, “Woe to the generation that judges is judges!” (Talmud, Baba Batra 15b)
Save the Date!
Order form for Shalach Manot packages for Purim have been mailed and emailed out. Please return your order as soon as possible.
Purim at MJCC Wednesday, February 28th, 7PM. Our annual Megillah reading in our main sanctuary. Prizes will be awarded to the best costume as well as knowing the ins and outs of the Megillah.
Friday Night Live at Marathon JCC March 2, at 6:00PM, Service and a Shabbat dinner catered by Annie Chan. Free for all members and $25.00 for non-members. RSVP by 2/26.
The community Yom Hashoa service, at Temple Torah
Celebrate Israel’s 70th Birthday as we march in the celebrate Israel Parade Sunday, June 3rd.