Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

Rosh Hashanah is just a few days away, and what thoughts are going through our minds?

Probably most of the thoughts we have are of physical matters; the shul we will attend, the meals we will have, the guests we might have, and the new clothes that we bought for ourselves and for our family.

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What about the big courtroom we are about to enter? Can we really imagine that? And how about the prosecutor, can we imagine that as well?

Some people have never even seen a courtroom, let alone have your own actions bring you into the courtroom. I myself have been to court, and more so, I have seen people that I love very much enter a courtroom and be sentenced as well.

The son of my best friend is currently going through many challenges surrounding the court system. For my friend and her son, it’s Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur every day. The prosecutor, the defendant, the judge and all the attendants are at the hall. Many times I escort my friend to the courthouse. And let me tell you it’s not a heavenly court and there are no angels. In the court down here on earth it seems as though everyone is a prosecutor. All attendants must wear these awful black robes and usually the person who is being accused of a crime, whether it’s true or not, is put behind this great wall made of glass, so that no one may come close to them.

As far as justice and a fair trial, that is something not so automatic in our “human” courts as compared to the heavenly ones.

We pray so many prayers to our merciful father and King. And we learn how many chances Hashem gives us to repent and to change our ways.

We stand on Rosh Hashanah in beautiful clothes and sing and pray long hours, and then eat wonderful meals and enjoy our family and guests. But how much do we feel that courtroom, how much do we feel that threat of the trial and the consequences of the decree?

Unfortunately, the courtroom I attended with my friend for her son just a few days ago doesn’t leave my sight. Do we really believe and think that we are in a live courtroom being judged for all of our actions? Do we feel the trepidation of the verdict or the venom of the prosecutor? Or do we leave shul and go home to eat and enjoy the holiday as if we are not all being judged for all our deeds?

If a person hasn’t ever been to court or experienced such an episode, it’s quite hard to imagine or feel that fear and apprehension when entering the courthouse, especially trying to get that feeling while entering your shul, at home, or any synagogue wherever it might be.

Sometimes we may go through certain experiences, so that we can share what we went through or felt, with others. Since not everyone can endure the same amount of pain or suffering, as I have mentioned many times in the past.

Therefore, with the experiences that I had and currently have, regarding the court system down here in this world, let me try to pass over something useful so that we can all enter the high holidays with a lot more sincerity and repentance.

To start with, the judge on earth is very physical and cannot see or feel your thoughts or your feelings. The judge here on earth makes almost no decisions. He is subjugated to whatever the prosecutor of the country says, and the defender has to work so hard to convince the judge that his client is really innocent. Often there isn’t justice here in the courtroom. Most of the time one leaves the courtroom with a heavy heart and with a lot of despair.

Hashem isn’t like the judges here on earth, nor is the courtroom in heaven like the one down here.

In heaven there is true justice, and in heaven our judge hears our cries and our pleas for mercy.

May we appoint Hashem our King and true Judge, this Rosh Hashanah, to have mercy on us not only in the heavenly courts after 120, but may we feel that mercy and protection from Hashem, also here in our gray and cold courtrooms, where it seems that there is no mercy or compassion.

May Hashem show my friend’s son true mercy in his upcoming trial, and may Hashem inscribe us all in the book of life and health.

May we all come out in the verdict innocent and be free to worship our Master with love.

Shana Tova!

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com