Photo Credit: Courtesy BZ Spitz AI

Instant communications often demand instant decisions. Life often moves so quickly that the pressure to make decisions on the spot can be overwhelming. Time is short and we don’t always have the luxury of dithering as to what choice to make. Those who deliberate are often at a disadvantage over those blessed with the ability to make snap decisions.

After God’s revelation at Mount Sinai and the giving of the Ten Commandments, the Torah starts to enumerate many other laws and commands. A number of those commands have to do with the topic of decision-making, specifically that of court judges.


Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim of Prague, the Kli Yakar (1550-1619), who himself was the head of the Rabbinic Court in the great city of Prague, has a very different view of quick decisions, especially in judicial matters. Commenting on the verse in Exodus 21:1, he connects to a different verse on justice from Isaiah 56:1, which says: “keep (‘shimru’) justice.” The Kli Yakar attributes this verb as a command to let the case “settle” much as the dregs (‘shimurim’) of wine will settle to the bottom of the bottle.

By giving time for matters to settle, one reaches clarity, very much as the dregs of wine settling to the bottom of the bottle gives one clear liquid.

May we be blessed with the ability to make correct decisions in the time we have and have time for the important decisions we need to make.

Shabbat Shalom

Dedication: To Argentinian President, Javier Milei, on his visit to Israel, for his friendship and support.


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Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay. He is the author of over a dozen books on Torah themes, including a Biblical Fiction series. He is the publisher of a website dedicated to the exploration of classic Jewish texts, as well as TweetYomi, which publishes daily Torah tweets. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.