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Parshat Shoftim

We were made in the image of God (Bereshit 1:27). We must strive to fulfil essence of God in our actions and in our dealings. And so, if God is merciful we should be merciful. If God is just we should be just and so on. For the obvious reason that human nature is incompatible with the divine spirit it is clear that we are setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves.

צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף

Justice, Justice you will pursue

The above quote from this week's parsha stands as a challenge to us. It challenges us to be justice and to seek justice, which, we as humans struggle to intuitively achieve. Linguistically this sentence is also very interesting as it is one of the few instances in the Torah in which consecutive words are repeated. The message is clear. We should be just.

Let us talk about justice momentarily. It would seem to me that our human disposition causes us to pursue justice when it is both public and popular. It is our tendency to support just cause causes once they are already causes. It is uncommon for people to be pursuing just courses of actions that are unknown. One need look no further than Australian political views on social issues over the past 50 years.

We as Jews are commanded to seek justice, to in fact pursue it. A pursuit that should take us to the ends of the earth to reach justice and not to the closest gathering of our comrades.

Here are a view social issues which we should perhaps be focusing on despite the lack of publicity and support.

Sound pollution in the oceans:

Yemen Civil War:

Poverty among Holocaust survivors in Israel

Rising sea level in the Pacific

Let us remain vigilant in our quest to fulfil the prophecy of righteousness and peace (צדק ושלום).

Chazak Ve'ematz.

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