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Parashat Shoftim – Who Cares?


The dog came to the heavenly court with a complaint:

“I am completely degraded down on earth!” he cried. “The lion, which tears other animals apart, is honored as king of the jungle, while my name is thrown around in a derogatory way!

Who helps the blind people walk? Who is considered man’s best friend? I ought to be treated with the respect given to the lion!”

The court pondered his case, and responded:

“Respect you want? A lion has a backbone! He holds his ground; he is truly king of his territory – he earns his respect. You, on the other hand – all you need is a bone thrown at you for you to change your mind…”

We’re a society far too concerned with how others perceive what we do. How will my boss look at it? What will my co-worker think? What will the world say?

But fluctuating values to respect is like laziness to success – they’re both absolute contradictions.

Pushing that extra mile is where athletes are born. Sweating is where exercise begins. Maintaining values, even when it’s uncomfortable, is where respect is earned.

And the bottom line is nothing less than these poignant words made by British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks:

“Non-Jews respect Jews who respect Judaism.”

Shabbat Shalom

R. Mendy