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Parashat Shoftim


We all make judgments, large and small, constantly throughout our daily lives. Therefore, we have to ask ourselves whether we are being objective in our decision making or if immediate personal gratification or other considerations are clouding our rational judgment.


The Torah guides us this week not to take a bribe because it will “Blind the eyes of the wise and pervert the words of the righteous”. Although this teaching is directed towards judges in a courtroom, our sages applied this statement to everyone.


In other words, every person should evaluate his own personal biases in his decision making process not to be misled.

Even if a person is in the pursuit of a mitzvah, he can get carried away and justify everything he does in order to fulfill the mitzvah. He may be dishonest, inconsiderate of others rights, and prone to speak disparagingly of others in order to achieve his goal.


How can a person escape the risk of being misled by his own distorted perception? Our sages tell us “acquire for yourself a trusted companion”. The objective opinions of people who sincerely care for us may help prevent us from being misled by ulterior motives hidden in our subconscious into making decisions which are not truly just.