Dvar Torah Parshat BeHa’alotcha 5771 2011

The rabble among the Bnei Israel in the Wilderness complained to Moshe that they were tired of the Manna menu and they wanted meat. Moshe was upset about their complaint and he turned to Hashem in his frustration. He asked why Hashem had placed the entire burden of the people on him. He asked, had he given birth to this people that he should be obligated to shoulder their responsibilities: KA’ASHER YISA HA’OMEN ET HAYONEK, “…as a nurse carries an infant…”. (Num. 11,12)

The Talmud learns a rule for judges from what Moshe said. A judge should patiently bear the people “as a nurse carries the infant.” (San. 8a) What is the comparison that the Talmud makes between a judge and one who is carrying an infant?

The “Torah Temimah” explains that a father or a mother must bear the nuisances and the hassle that a child creates. They brought the child into this world and are responsible for his needs. A judge is to consider himself in the same position and not to be traumatized by the impolite actions of the defendants before him. This is obviously not the way a judge today reacts to disruptions caused in his court.

In effect this is also what Moshe was complaining about. He did not create this people. Why should he have to bear the brunt of their complaints?
The Talmud, however, expresses its opinion that, indeed, a judge must bear the misbehavior of those that come for judgment.


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