Devorah, a Fiery Woman, a Private Court

I was reading the Devorah and Barak story to my kids the other week. It was the Haftarah for Parashat Beshalach. She’s in Shoftim 4:4. What struck me about her is that she was the accepted judge for the whole people. She mediated disputes for a living. That was her job. People would have a fight, they’d go to her for arbitration.

Did she have a humongous ostentatious supreme court building with marble statues chiseled with self-righteously “deep” quotes from past dead government heroes? Did she sit on a huge bench 10 feet above the people she pompously looked down on from her high horse? Did her court cost millions of dollars of other people’s money to build?

No. She just sat under a tree and judged cases there. That’s it. The Israeli court system is filled with crony gangsters who sit on high and pontificate about nothing while they determine the course of people’s lives from their posh chairs that somebody else paid for. And then they are paid gargantuan tax-funded pensions when they stop bloviating their nonsense opinions on anything they choose to go off about.


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