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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"You shall not show favoritism in judging, the small shall be heard like the great." (1:17)

The Torah is teaching the laws of Judges. The Rambam writes in Hilchos Sanhedrin 21:1 that if one of the litigants is dressed well while the other is dressed shabbily, the judge should turn to the well-dressed litigant and tell him: "Either provide similar clothing for the other party or dress like him." I would like to learn this law in a metaphorical manner, Bezrat Hashem.

This is an original Torah thought. The well-dressed litigant represents the person that is finely "clothe" in Torah learning and Mitzvoth, while the poorly-dressed litigant represents the person that is "naked" of Torah learning and Mitzvoth. The person being judged in this case is the well-dressed litigant by G-d Himself by placing the poorly dressed litigant beside him.

G-d is demanding to know why the well-dressed litigant has not provided the poorly dressed litigant with finer clothes to wear. Obviously, the clothes here represents Torah and Mitzvoth. Every learned person is obligated to provided the unlearned with Torah and Mitzvoth.A similar idea is found in Tanna Debei Eliyahu Rabba (chapter27), as follows: " When you see the naked, cover him" (Isa.58.7)-How? If you see a person devoid of Torah, take him in. Teach him the Shema..........., and teach him 1 verse of scripture or a single halacha (Jewish Law) each day.

Stimulate him to perform mitzvoth. There is none more bare in Israel than he who has neither Torah nor mitzvoth. He is like a naked person."( End of Quote) We all have an obligation to cloth the "naked" with Torah and mitzvoth. We can not be complacent with our own "Armani" clothes while others walk around bare. Little by little we can all bring people back to G-d's Torah. This our obligation. Have a good Shabbos


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