Weekly message from
Rabbi A. M. Sufrin MBE
As the summer comes to a close and our children return back to school and regular schedules, whilst wishing them all every success for the New Year, so too are out thoughts with our brothers and sisters in Israel.
A new cease fire is in place, and we pray that peace will remain for all for a long time to come. The government have their hands full with trying to deal with the challenges they encounter at home and in dealing with the bias against Israel and Jews as a whole. We too, cannot let up on our undertakings to strengthen ourselves as a people by committing ourselves further to G-d, who will not forsake us.
This is the month of Elul. We have started listening to the Shofar each morning, training our minds and hearts in preparation for the New Year.
This week we read the portion of “Shoftim” – “judges”.
“Appoint Judges... In All Your Gates”
A city gate is its opening, so the Torah is requesting here that even the in comprehensible and seemingly unacceptable rulings of the judges should penetrate “your gates,” that they should enter into your way of thinking. In other words, when a person learns a new Torah directive, it should penetrate all his faculties until he feels that it is good advice.
In light of the explanation of Shach al Hatorah (that, “Your gates” represent the organs which form the interface between a person and his environment), “You should appoint judges... in your gates,” means that the senses (“one’s gates”) should be controlled by judgement from the G-dly soul.
As the Alter Rebbe writes in Tanya: “The evil inclination is no more than, for example, a judge or advocate who offers his legal opinion, but nevertheless... it is challenged by the second “judge,” which is the G-dly soul...The final verdict follows the ultimate arbitrator, G-d Himself, who assists the good inclination... by means of a G-dly revelation to the G-dly soul, so that it may gain the upper hand...”
Wishing you a good Shabbos and successful week to follow.