Doing Elul Louisiana Style

Thursday, 17 August, 2023 - 10:31 am

Today marks the beginning of a 40-day period the culminates with the High Holidays – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The high holidays are days of judgement. So today, as the beginning of Elul, is when we start with our pre-trial motions, to invoke some legal parlance.

I have a memory from sometime in the early 80s. There was a school play at Lakeshore Hebrew Day School and the plot involved a Jewish boy (David) getting arrested after being falsely accused of shoplifting. While in jail, he meets another Jewish kid (Danny) who had a rough childhood and ran with the wrong crowd, landing him in prison. David strikes up a conversation with Danny and realizes that if the kid only had a good home environment, he could live a decent life. As they converse, David tells Danny that when his father comes to get him out, he will ask him to help Danny as well. He concludes with this declaration. “My father knows the judge; he will be able to get you out.”

The entire audience got a good chuckle. “Only in Louisiana…”

Now, while using connections to the judge may be a corruption of justice in our legal system, when it comes to the “Judge of all of the universe,” it is highly recommended.

In fact, while feeling judged is usually something we recoil from, we should embrace the judgement of the Judge Who loves us more than we love ourselves and knows us better than we know ourselves. Indeed, He programmed us with the proclivities for failure and success. He knows the deep truth about the circumstances that caused us to falter. He empowers us with the tools for personal redemption and is our most devoted cheerleader.

Talk about conflict of interest… And yet, this is one case where the Judge will never recuse Himself, despite the defendant being His precious child. Throw in some “bribery” in the form of Mitzvot and Tzedakah, some “flattery” in the form of prayer and psalms, and we are well on the way to a positive judicial outcome.

Did I mention that the judge also attends the victory party? That’s what Sukkot/Simchat Torah are all about!

Who said there was nothing positive to be derived from our system of corruption?

In all seriousness, seize the opportunity these next 40 days to present your best case and then get ready to party with the judge in victory!

Shabbat Shalom. May we all be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year filled with health, prosperity, nachas, and meaningful spiritual growth.

Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

Comments on: Doing Elul Louisiana Style
There are no comments.