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A Correct, Incorrect Ruling

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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A Correct, Incorrect Ruling

The Baal Shem Tov[1] cites the Zohar that says that ואלה המשפטים…, these are the designs of soul reincarnations. The Baal Shem Tov continues, “I have heard about a case of a person who judged another in court and he himself knows that he is definitely innocent but the Torah says he is guilty (according to halacha he should be found guilty). He shouldn’t be asking himself is the Torah all truth and its ways all pleasant? For this is the truth of the Torah and the pleasantness of its ways; surely he must have been culpable in a past gilgul to the one who is in court with him and now the Torah requires him to pay him to fulfill his (prior) obligation. The other who now took the money through deception will be held responsible in the future. There are many such scenarios in matters of litigation.”[2]

Recently in a Beis Din, the judge ruled that Yisrael owes Mendy money. Yisrael told the judge, “I will pay because that’s what you ruled. But the truth is that I don’t owe him the money.” The judge felt that Yisrael was telling the truth. However, he also was certain that his ruling was accurate according to Torah. That night the judge had a dream that although this time Yisrael did not owe Mendy the money but from a previous occurrence, he did owe the money. And so the judge and the litigant were correct.


[1] Mishpatim, 1.

[2] See also the Chofetz Chaim in Sfas Tamim, 4.

Writer of the weekly Fascinating Insights Torah sheet in Englishעברית ,אידיש and français
Author of Five Books including the recently released “Magnificent Marriage Insights: Captivating Torah Essays about Marriage”

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