Parsha: Shoftim (2023)

Inspirational Judaism or committed Judaism? Which one is the right approach?

The parsha opens with the words שופטים ושוטרים, we must have judges שופטים and officers ושוטרים. The judges represent logic, ideas that resonate with us, things that can be explained. Whereas, officers represent discipline and commitment, where we must obey and follow, even if we may not understand or agree.

Like many things in life there needs to be a balance.
One cannot just follow their inspirational mood swings. It will wax and wane, as inspiration tends to rise like a wave and crash down with the same force.
The same thing is with commitment. We cannot just have commitment and discipline; we need inspiration as well. When we have both, we have the right recipe for an enduring meaningful, and spiritual relationship with Hashem and the Torah.

Jewish philosophy teaches us that the world wasn’t just created 5783 years ago. Rather the world needs to be recreated every moment. The world’s creation cannot be treated like everything else that we make or create. When we create something from pre-existing matter, we can walk away and it’s still there, full intact.

But when G-d created the world, he created it from nothing, from scratch, a true novelty. This is why the world needs to be recreated every moment anew.

This gives a huge dose of confidence in knowing that G-d is very active and consciously aware of the details and challenges of our life. He is actively recreating them every moment.

The sages tell us, “G-d never overwhelms his creations with tasks beyond their capabilities.” What we are given in life, is customised to our abilities.

There were two great sages who were conversing with each other about profound ideas. One asked the other, “How would you run the world if you were G-d?”
The first sage responded, with descriptions of kindness peace and tranquillity.
The second sage said “If I was G-d I would run the world…. exactly the way G-d is running the world right now.”
He had deep faith and trust that G-d is running the world exactly the way it should be.