Thursday, 24 September 2020

No Defense Attorney - and It's OK

באין מליץ יושר מול מגיד פשע, תגיד ליעקב דבר חק ומשפט. וצדקנו במשפט המלך המשפט
No Defense Attorney - and It's OK

Sometimes one thinks (mistakenly) that he is so far and did so many sins that he can't even come back. He is so embarrassed that he has nothing to say for himself as defense, and he feels he can't even open his mouth or take the first step.....

But there is good news.....

We say on Rosh-Hashanah and Yom- Kippur "באין מליץ יושר" - If there is no defense attorney, "מול מגיד פשע" - against the prosecutor, then "תגיד ליעקב דבר חק ומשפט" - tell the Jews the word of the law, "וצדקנו במשפט המלך המשפט" - and exonerate us from the judgement, Oh' King of Judgement".

Now what's going on? What does this mean?

It seems to be saying that if we are, G-d forbid, in a situation with no ability to find any excuses at all for our behavior against the prosecutor.... No problem....."Tell the Jews the word of the law and exonerate us from the judgement, Oh' King of Judgement".... Huh? What kind of argument is that?

The explanation is brought down from a number of Chassidish sources that quote the Gemara in Sanhedrin 32, which brings an interesting Halacha: If all the judges in a Beis Din rule that a man is guilty and clearly deserves death penalty, the law is that he goes free (the Gemara learns this from a G'zeras Hakasuv) and this is ruled as the law in the Shulchan Aruch. Only if at least one of the judges rules that he is innocent do we follow the majority and condemn the defendant to death.

So this is how they explain the tefilah: "If there is no defense attorney against the prosecutor", in other words, if there isn't even one defense and all of a person's deeds testify against him, "tell the Jews the word of the law", tell G-d for the sake of the Jews that the law in this situation is that we are acquited and therefore, "make us win the judgement, Oh' King of Judgement"!!

What a beautiful pshat!

Now back to us. If we feel that we've fallen so far and have absolutely NOTHING to say in our defense, that is precicely when the halacha declares that we are given a new lease and a new chance to try again!

And once we're back in the game and feel like we came back home, it's a lot easier to start to take small baby steps in the right direction (like a car that's dead no juice all it needs are cables to jump-start the engines).

And this Tefillah also coincides with what we say during Aseres Yemi Teshuva " 'ממעמקים קראתיך ה" - from the very depths I will call out to you Hashem.

There's no such thing as "too far gone"!

G'mar Vechasima Tova!!


Click below for a beautiful rendition of the song by MBD

meilitz