"You shall appoint judges and police in all of your gates, and they
will judge the people a righteous judgment."
Our Parasha begins with instructions to the people of Israel to set up a
judicial system in all of their cities and with an admonition to judges to
judge their cases fairly. Our Sages teach that all of the Torah portions
that we read in the days between Rosh Hodesh Elul and Yom Kippur contain
allusions to the battle with the evil inclination, the Teshubah process
and character improvement -- all the elements necessary for a successful
trial on Rosh Hashanah.
The Kli Yakar points out that the verse says, "you shall appoint judges
for yourself [Lecha] "--indicating that one should judge himself or
herself before they point a finger at others. Check your character and
behavior, fix your faults and only then can you judge others
fairly. "Appoint judges for yourself" and then you will certainly "judge
the people a fair judgment"
Others say that the word "lecha"-- "for you" advises one to treat others
as they would treat themselves. One should not be strict with others and
lenient when it comes to themselves. Rabbi Simha Bunim from Peshischa
says that when one is constantly evaluating their own behavior and they
realize that they are not perfect then it will certainly lead them to see
the strong points in someone else. In other words the verse is telling us
that when you "appoint judges for yourself'' then certainly you
will "judge the people fairly".
The Shelah HaKadosh sees in this instruction a command to control what
goes in and out of you "gates" A person has eyes, ears, a mouth and nose.
To reach spiritual perfection on must set judges and policemen at all of
your gates. Should we all exercise caution and monitor carefully what goes
in and out of our physical "gates" i.e. what we look at, what we say and
what we listen to then we can all be assured of "righteous judgment" on
that crucial day Rosh Hashanah.
May we all take advantages of this special period of grace and favor
called Elul and concentrate on self improvement and forgiveness so that G-
d will also only see good when He judges every individual, every community
and every country on this Rosh Hashanah for life filled with blessing and
DID YOU KNOW THAT
One is permitted to begin a “melacha” [labor that is forbidden to perform
on Shabbat] on Friday afternoon, even late in the day, even though
the “labor” will continue on Shabbat and be completed on Shabbat without
It is permitted to put a pot with food that is still raw on a fire even
though it will cook on Shabbat. Clothing may be put in an AUTOMATIC
washing machine on Friday close to sunset, so long as the machine will
complete the cleansing and turn itself off on Shabbat.[This law applies to
those who follow the rulings of Maran Yosef Karo who does not forbid
melacha of this type because of the fact that the machine makes noise on
Shabbat –see your local rabbi for explanation] (Source Yalkut Yosef Siman