The Torah Revealed: Talmudic Masters Unveil the Secrets of the Bible

By Avraham Yaakov Finkel | Go to book overview

48
Torah Portion
Shofetim
Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9

JUDGES AND JUSTICE

(16:19) Do not bend justice, and do not give special consideration to anyone. Do not take bribes, since bribery makes the wise blind and distorts the words of the righteous.


The Talmud Teaches

makes blind … and distorts The Rabbis taught: “Bribery makes the wise blind”—even a great sage who takes bribes will end up suffering from numbness of the mind. “It distorts the words of the righteous”—even a perfect tzaddik who takes bribes will end up suffering confusion of the mind (Ketubot 105a).

(16:20) Righteousness, righteousness shall you pursue, so that you will live and possess the land that God your Lord is giving you.


The Talmud Teaches

Righteousness, righteousness shall you pursue Why the redundance? The first mention of righteousness refers to a decision based on strict law; the second, to a compromise. How so? For example: Two boats sailing on a river meet at a narrow strait in the river; if both try to pass simultaneously, they will collide and sink; whereas if one makes way for the other, both can pass without mishap. How should this case be decided? Who goes

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