Biblical Faith – with Shmuel “Sam” Peak
Weekly series with new shows available every Tuesday.
The Hebrew term translated as “lawyer” refers to anyone who tutors litigants with regard to how to formulate their arguments, or who presents the litigants’ case to the judges. The Mishnah is directed to judges, warning them not to coach the litigants in any way. Such conduct is strictly forbidden, because it could modify the outcome of the judgment.
This admonition is critical to the fair administration of justice, because it is likely, and indeed not uncommon, for a judge to be more sympathetic to one litigant than to the other.
Shimon ben Shatach, advocates the pursuit of righteous judgment. It is important to be thorough when examining a witness, for they might embellish a detail of withhold a detail upon which everything depends. If the judge does not choose his words carefully, a witness could discern the direction of the examination from the questions and alter the testimony to suit the purpose.
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