Shoftim – Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9, The Parashat Ha Shavua for Shabbat, Saturday, September 7, 2019

We live in a time and in a political culture where “the ends justify the means.” We are so concerned with achieving our goals that we don’t care how they are achieved.

Want to stop immigration? Separate immigrant and refugee children from their parents because hopefully it will scare them away. Want to stop abortion? Murder doctors who perform them. Want to make sure you win the next election?  Suppress voter turnout. We can have healthy political disagreements over policy, but when we engage in immoral tactics to achieve our goals we tear our society apart.

This value is reinforced by our Torah portion this week, “Justice, justice shall you pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16:30).

Our sages of blessed memory asked, why is the word justice repeated. One answer is that it teaches us to pursue justice justly. In other words, how we go about achieving our goals is as important as the goals themselves, because the means become the ends.

Let’s remember to be just as we pursue justice. Otherwise our society is immoral.