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Home » Shoftim

Shoftim: Judge Thyself

Submitted by on August 13, 2006 – 4:21 amNo Comment | 2,300 views

Guarding the Gateways

Judges and guardians shall you appoint at all of your gateways” (Deuteronomy 17, 18). Every person has seven “gateways” through which impressions enter from the surrounding environment: one mouth, two nostrils, two eyes and two ears. It is our duty to appoint judges and guardians to regulate traffic at these entrances.

What’s Coming In?

We use the knowledge of Torah to gauge )judge) the appropriateness of our traffic. What is an appropriate show for my eyes to watch, what is an appropriate aroma for my nose to sense, what food categories are appropriate for my mouth to eat, what is appropriate music, or language, for my ears to hear? These are the questions that must be explored if we are to live our lives based on Torah morality.

Having accepted these judgments, we must now appoint guardians at our gateways to enforce their rule. The guardians consist of an ironclad will to live by the requirements of Torah.

And What’s Going Out?

Our sages taught us to concern ourselves not only with the foods that enter our  mouths but also with the words that come out of our mouths. It is for this reason that G-d placed two guardians at the mouth’s gateway; they are our lips and teeth.

Take a moment to consider the thoughts you are about to articulate. If you suspect they might be negative then purse your lips and close your teeth; use your natural guardians to assist you in your verbal discipline.