How to Avoid the Long Arm of the Law

August 25, 2014 at 4:01 PM , , ,

“….You shall set up judges and law enforcement officials for yourself in all your cities….” (Devarim 16:18)

Parashat Shoftim
Effective governance relies on judges to establish the law, and law enforcement officials to ensure that the law is being upheld by all the citizens. Yet, of the future era of Moshiach, the prophet Yeshayahu (1:26) prophesied, “And I will restore your judges as at first and your counselors as in the beginning.” He speaks of leaders who adjudicate, counsel and advise the people, but makes no mention of the law-enforcement officials to police the community and oversee that the rulings of the judges are carried out.

The reason for this is because the need for law enforcement is only due to the yetzer hara, the inclination to do what suits and serves one’s self even if is wrong and contrary to the Torah. This creates a concern that not everyone will be happy and willing to abide by the laws and rulings dictated by the judges.

With the coming of Moshiach, however, “the spirit of impurity will be removed from the earth (Zechariah 13:2).” This refers to all evil, including the evil inclination. Therefore, there will be no need for policemen to enforce the Torah’s laws dictated by the judges, as no one will be tempted to do otherwise.

Instead, counselors, whose purpose is not to give orders but to advise, will complement the judges. By definition, good advice is not imposed; it is presented in a way that the listener appreciates it as his best plan of action. Likewise, the counselors will help the masses of Bnei Yisrael realize that the Torah’s laws are in their best interest. Thus, the judges’ rulings will be adhered to not only in practice, but also without struggle from within.

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