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The Weekly Reflection – Parshas Shoftim:
Judging One’s Self

By Rav Simcha Klein

שפטים ושטרים תתן לך בכל שעריך אשר ה’ אלקיך נתן לך לשבטיך -דברים טז, יח

In this verse Hashem is commanding the Jewish people to establish a competent judicial system for the populace. It is remarkable that the injunction is worded in the singular – לך and שעריך and not in the plural – לכם and שעריכם.

Rav Moshe Feinstein Z”L suggests that the singular form was chosen to allude to the fact that a person needs to be a judge on himself too. A person must always scrutinize his own actions as if he is truly judging himself.

Perhaps one can add to this the following: There are judges in the courts who gauge a person’s deeds and misdeeds. However, there is another type of judge who evaluates a person skill and talent out of court, such as a judge at a tournament or competition. A person should act as a judge on himself not only in the arena of deeds and misdeeds, but also in the area of utilizing one’s talents and unique capabilities for his life’s mission, thus bringing more glory to Hashem. One must constantly evaluate if he is maximizing all his strengths to that end or not.
May we all merit to fulfill our personal mission here in this world!