Torah for Today
You shall not be partial in judgment; hear out low and high alike. Fear no man, for judgment is God’s.
— Deuteronomy 1:17
Every judge who judges with complete fairness, even for a single hour, tradition gives that judge credit as though they had become a partner to the Holy Blessed One in the Creation.
— Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 10a
Yesterday we saw something that was most unexpected—a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in which conservative justices sided with the protection of LGBTQ rights. Our surprise is a shame—we have come to expect all areas of our government, even our courts, to function according to ideological/political divisions.
Of course, our judicial system is meant to aspire to something greater. The ideal of impartial, fair judging goes all the way back to the Torah. And as judges themelves, the ancient Rabbis had much to say about the seriousness and sacredness of proper judging. Here the Talmud says that completely fair judging is equal to being a partner with God in the work of creating the world.
The Rabbis of the Talmud constantly disagreed on the proper outcome of legal disputes. But they argued and ruled in good faith. They allowed themselves to be persuaded and sometimes changed their minds.They tried to be guided by their best understanding of the law and what was right. Their arguments were "l'shem shamayim"—"for the sake of heaven"—and so they have served as the foundation of wisdom for centuries of Jewish learning.
May our secular courts likewise aspire to fairness and honesty and contribute to the Creation and Repair of the world.
First Anniversary Service
Friday, June 19th, 6:00pm
Check your daily email for information on how to join in.
Bring out your candles! Candles from "Shabbat ShaBag," any Shabbat candles, any kind of candle... We will begin on Friday by sharing light with each other and blessing the day of rest together.
We will have our Religious School students singing (pre-recorded)! We will install our new President and Board of Trustees! We will bless our high school and college graduates! We will come together to mark the first full year of Kol Dorot.
This service will not be long—please join us if you can. Participate with your children. This is a community milestone we will look back on for years to come. Don't miss it!
In Case You Missed It
On Friday we honored Rabbi David Widzer at his final service with Kol Dorot. For those who were not able to join us, here are two very meaningful moments from that service: