Hebrew | Francais

Search


> > Archive

Shabbat Parashat Shoftim 5779

Parashat Hashavua: A Just Judgment As Opposed to What?

Harav Yosef Carmel

The famous first pasuk of the parasha, commanding to appoint judges, is followed by the goal: “and they shall judge the nation a just judgment.” The idea of a just judgment seems a little obvious – did we think that we would want an unjust judgment?

We will try to explain with the help of the words of one of the great rabbis. Every dayan is bound by the rules of jurisprudence and Halacha, as they appear in the works of Chazal, and brought as halacha by such poskim as the Rambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch, and their commentators. This is agreed among all observant Jews. However, this is apparently not sufficient – the judicial system has to also convey a message of honesty and justice. Let us give an example from a ruling from Eretz Hemdah’s court system (the full ruling can be found on our website):

A man had signed a rental agreement. The rental period ended, and a new contract was not signed. At first, the landlord agreed that the rental would continue without a contract. After a year, the landlord requested of the renter to vacate the apartment because the landlord wanted to live in it himself. The renter presented various strange claims to justify his refusal to leave, while he continued paying rent. The landlord sued for penalty payments for refusal to vacate, as had been spelled out in the original contract. The renter claimed that this provision does not apply to him because that contract lapsed.

The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 312:9) rules that if the parties did not negotiate after the contract was over and the renter stays in the house, we assume the intention was to continue with the old conditions. Later (ibid. 14) he rules that if the renter stayed for even one month, he is required to stay for a whole year (when that was the original rental period). In other words, not only the rate of rent stays the same, but other conditions as well.

The Rama (CM 333:8) discusses a similar situation of continuing a business relationship without negotiation, regarding employment. He says that if they renewed the agreement without mentioning its details, the conditions continue, but if he continued working without any discussion, the worker is not entitled to his original privileges. Does the Rama argue on the Shulchan Aruch above? We will cite an idea of the Netivot Hamishpat whose importance Rav Yisraeli stressed. Only regarding continuing in the house, in which if there is no agreement the renter is a thief, do we say that the renter continues to obligate himself. In other words, Halacha has to work with the assumption that when the alternative to agreement is that someone finds himself in an unethical situation, the pursuit of just judgment means that we have to assume that the ethical solution is the correct one.

At the time of Mashiach, a major part of the world leadership that we will be able to achieve is not only in the spiritual realm but also in adjudicating between the nations. This is described as leading to turning swords into plowshares (Yeshayahu 2:2-4). May we merit not only to see it but also to help it occur.
Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

 

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Yehuda ben Chaya Esther

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

David Chaim ben Rassa

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar
  10

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9 5776


Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 5776


Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10   5774


Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9 5769

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l


R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l


Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13, 5778


Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23 5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tammuz 19, 5778

 

R' Yitzchak Eizik

ben Yehuda Leib Usdan z"l

Av 29

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 5779

 

Mr. Isaac Moinester z"l

Elul 5

 

Hemdat Yamim
is
endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of
Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis
and Lillian Klein, z”l

 

site by entry.
Eretz Hemdah - Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. | Terms of Use.