web analytics
September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Religion Of Evolution

The-Shmuz

“You shall not pervert judgment, you shall not respect someone’s presence, and you shall not accept a bribe, for the bribe will blind the eyes of the wise and make just words crooked.” – Devarim 16:19

The Jewish nation as a totality was given the mitzvah of appointing judges. These judges were commanded to mediate with righteousness according to the Torah’s laws. One of the rules of a judge is that he may not accept a bribe because a “bribe will blind the eyes of the wise.”

Rashi is bothered by a question: the Torah already commanded the judges to rule honestly with the expression “Do not pervert justice.” There is no need for a second prohibition against accepting bribery. The purpose of a bribe is to cause the judge to ignore the truth and change the verdict. That is certainly included in the requirement of not perverting justice. So why does the Torah issue a prohibition specifically warning judges not to accept bribes?

Rashi answers that the prohibition of not accepting bribery refers even to cases in which the judge fully intends to rule fairly. If a shofet plans to accept a bribe but not to allow it to influence his decision, the Torah forbids him from doing this. The nature of bribery is to pull his heart, and it is impossible to remain unbiased once he has received a bribe. The Torah is teaching us that even if he wants to judge honestly, it will be impossible for him to do so because once he accepts a bribe, against his will he will favor the one who bribed him.

This Rashi is difficult to understand. Assuming we are dealing with an experienced, skilled judge who is well-versed in law and the proceedings, why can’t he accept a bribe and still judge honestly? The facts are the facts. Either the man is guilty or innocent. Either he owes the money or he doesn’t. Why can’t a judge make up his mind that the money is the money, but I will not allow this to affect my ruling in this case?

The answer to this question can best be understood with a mashal. Imagine that you find yourself in a junkyard in the backwoods of Tennessee. You look around and see piles and piles scrap: old refrigerators, a rusted-out stove top, entire cars demolished. Everything is all strewn about without any order. Then suddenly you see something out of place: a brand new Dell laptop computer – red color, no less. You pick it up and you see that it is unscratched and in perfect working order. You turn to the owner of the junkyard, a rather primitive fellow, and innocently ask, “Where did this come from?”

“Oh,” he responds. “I don’t know if you all heard, but we had us some fierce winds here last night.”

“Fierce winds?”

“Yeah, some real gusters. I come this morning and things are all blown about. Then I sees that there computer. I rightly figure that them winds just blew the pieces together.”

You look at the fellow incredulously and ask, “The wind blew the pieces together? Sir, I don’t mean to be rude, but there is a monitor and a fully functioning mouse. I turn it on, and the fan kicks in. And the keyboard! How do you explain the keyboard? Look at it, QWERTY, in perfect order!”

This is a very apt parable. We will have conversations with intelligent, well-educated people who will tell you that the world evolved. Everything that you see – from the flower to the bee, from the oceans to the mountains, rivers, planets, the sun, the moon and the stars – all just sort of happened. No designer. No creator. It just began with a Big Bang and all of the wonder of this infinitely complex world came into being. The uniformity, the complexity, the harmonious systems, the universal laws of physics, just happened. A lucky roll of the cosmic dice and a hundred billion galaxies, each one containing a hundred billion stars, appeared out of nowhere.

These same people who tout evolution as a religion are also aware that life has exact rules. The simplest amoeba is far more complex than any machine ever devised by man, and a human baby is infinitely complex than an amoeba. The trillions and trillions of cells of the body are all specific, all organized into organs and systems with each one perfectly in place, each one playing its part. Every cell in the human body is directed by DNA coding. The question is, how can any thinking person possibly think that this just evolved? Who wrote the code?

The answer is that Hashem created man with free will, free will to believe or not to believe, to accept or not to accept. The capacity for free will was included this most amazing ability to accept the most farfetched, ludicrous positions as long as it fits into a person’s agenda.

This seems to be the answer for Rashi. The Torah is teaching us that the human may be brilliant and wise, but he has a weakness. His pure judgment can be easily influenced. If a man accepts a bribe, it will color his vision. He will lose his detached sense of judgment and will no longer be able to rule objectively. He may think he won’t be influenced, but it is human nature to be pulled, and he will no longer be capable of objective clarity. He will be blinded.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

7 Responses to “The Religion Of Evolution”

  1. If we had evolved from apes, as some who believe in evolution claim, then why is it written in Genesis 2 verse 20"And Adam gave names to all cattle and fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found an help mate for him" therefore the religion of evolution is a lie. and is it not written "therefore G-d send them great delusion that they should believe "the lie".

  2. Cookie Jar says:

    Rabbi Shafier, you either have no understanding of evolution, or are assuming none of your readers do.

    Here are some relevant links for you:
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_design
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkyard_tornado

  3. John Sanders says:

    Or the verse is a lie…

  4. why cant i share t his

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Palestinian Authority has produced a brilliant piece of propaganda to sow more seeds of war.
Hamas Propaganda Video Compares 9/11 with IDF Bombing of Gaza
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

The-Shmuz

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.

There are often two distinct perspectives of an event: the perspective from living in the moment, and the perspective of history.

The rock doesn’t have needs, yet it listens to Hashem. How much more so should we, who have so many needs?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-religion-of-evolution/2013/08/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: