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Judges, Judges, Everywhere

Judges, Judges, Everywhere

Thanks to Yisro, Moshe appointed many judges and divided them into groups: judges of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. So, for a nation of 600,000, Moshe appointed 600 judges of thousands, 6,000 judges of hundreds, 12,000 judges of fifties, and 60,000 judges of tens. A total of 78,600 judges. That sure is a lot of judges!

This is how it worked:

Let’s use our good friends Reuven and Shimon as an example. They are arguing about their business partnership. They first go to a judge of 10. If that judge can’t come to a conclusion according to the Torah and they are not willing to compromise, they go to the higher judge – the judge of 50. If he can’t issue a verdict they go to the judge of 100, and if he doesn’t know, they go to the judge of 1,000. In the unlikely event that even this brilliant judge can’t help, at that point they go to the “Supreme Court” judge who was none other than Moshe Rabbeinu.

With Yisro’s advice in place, the Jewish court system was a lot smoother and life became much easier for Moshe, and for that matter, for every single Jew in the desert.

With that problem taken care of, Yisro decided to stay on until after Matan Torah, and only then return back to Midyan.

“It is my duty and obligation to teach everyone back home about HaShem’s Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach,” Yisro thought.

Indeed so! There was no better person than Yisro himself, the great thinker and philosopher, for this task. He had witnessed the most amazing miracles at Matan Torah, and was totally convinced that HaShem is the supreme G-d of the world, and all other gods are worthless. Yes, he will be the one who would be able to influence the Midyan citizens to keep these special 7 Mitzvos that are binding on all non-Jews.

Yisro also had something else in mind.

“I think now is the best time to convert the rest of my family. My wife and daughters.”

And so, after the Giving of the Torah, Yisro bid his daughter’s family goodbye and headed back home to Midyan.

“Goodbye Tzipporah. See you later, Moshe. And Gershom and Eliezer, be good, and make a proud grandfather. Help your parents and learn HaShem’s holy Torah.”

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