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Elul 19: The TV Judge

Hot Bench
Judge Judy
Judge Faith
Judge Mablean
Judge Karen
Judge Ross
Judge Marilyn Milian

If you want to have a blast one day, check out all the television shows featuring judges. You can spend an entire day watching this stuff. From the obviously pretend (pretty much anything on
Justice Central) to the supposedly real (People's Court), these things are a hoot.

The judges' attitudes range from kind and compassionate to downright nasty. Some address themselves in the 3rd person (or the 3rd object), as in "The Court will receive this evidence."

No matter how they comport themselves, the judges are the gods of the courtroom.

While some of their judgments appear totally capricious, there is no recourse. There are no courts of appeal from daytime court TV. Emotional appeal is useless.

But that's not the way I think of God when I approach the High Holidays. The God of my חשבון הנפש, my cheshbon hanefesh, my accounting of my sins, is compassionate, discerning, loving, willing to hear every appeal.

I have a feeling my God wouldn't succeed on tv; that's probably a good thing.


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You shall love the stranger that dwells with you (who will be for you like the native-born among you), as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am Adonai, your God. (Lev. 19:34)

And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might ... (Deut. 6:5)

If you've paid attention to your flight attendant, you know that in the event of an emergency, you put your own oxygen mask on first. Only then do you help someone next to you, including a child. Why? Because if you don't have oxygen, you're useless to anyone else.

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Start by loving and caring for yourself. It's not selfish; it's just a place to start.

Then move outward: your neighbor, your community, the strangers around you.

Then, finally, the realm of God: the spiritual love that holds all the others together.

But it all starts in your own home.


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Choices are terrifying.
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Now take that food-ordering mentality and make it macro.

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