Friday, May 14, 2010

Jew for Justice

The goal of this blog is to provide a conversation-starter for the Friday night dinner table. Please print and share.

Just about a year ago, I asked, "What makes someone qualified to sit on the Supreme Court?"

The Jewish Supreme Court (Sanhedrin) was disbanded 1,600 years ago, but lives on in the pages of the Talmud.

In 1806, Napoleon convened a "Sanhedrin" in order to emancipate the Jew and assimilate him once and for all into French society.

In 2004, a quasi-Sanhedrin convened in Jerusalem, in order to get the bureaucratic ball rolling for when the real Sanhedrin will be revived.

Why wouldn't these rabbis want to go ahead and make a real Sanhedrin?

One problem is the requirements are quite stiff.

You can read last year's blog for the full scoop, but today I'd like to focus on just one of those amazing qualifications:

All the wisdom in the world won't get you anywhere unless you are first and foremost a "tov" - a person with a good heart.

How can you tell if you're a tov?

So I've designed a short self-assessment. You can print this out and try it at your table.
1. Do you eat the last cookie or do you leave it in case someone else may want some?
2. Do you cheerfully allow others enter traffic in front of you?
3. Do you notice when the cashier looks frazzled? Do you say, "Long day?"
4. Do you look for ways to help your spouse/parent/child/neighbor every day? Or do you wait to be asked?
5. How do you react to someone's help or a gift that you don't want, when given sincerely?
6. When giving tzedaka, are you doing them a favor, or are they doing you a favor?
7. Are you the first to greet, or do you wait to be greeted?
How'd you do? If nominated would you serve?

Shabbat Shalom

“Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.” - Churchill

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