NY's Chief Judge Visits Central Synagogue
Ron Tabak, a lawyer, is chair of the Jethro Committee to Honor the Legal Profession at Central Synagogue in New York City.
The Torah portion Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23) is named for Moses' father-in-law Jethro (Yitro). After observing Moses, the leader of the Israelites, act as judge to settle every dispute that arose, Jethro suggested to Moses that others resolve the less difficult disputes. On each Shabbat when we read this portion, Central Synagogue honors the legal profession in a special service called Jethro Shabbat. This year's guest speaker was New York State's new Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.
Judge Lippman spoke in the sanctuary immediately after the February 5, 2010 Shabbat service. His talk is titled "Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue: The Chief Judge's Perspective on Justice and Jewish Values."
Read his speech or watch it below, followed by a question and answer session.
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In the past, the Jethro talk was given at a luncheon or dinner following either Sabbath morning or Sabbath evening services, and attendees had to pay to defray for the cost of the meal. For the first time this year, the talk was given in the sanctuary and no one had to pay anything to attend. There was an oneg thereafter. As a result, the attendance was far greater than in the past, except when former Supreme Court Justice Blackmun was the speaker!