Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Elul 5759 - August 18, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Day of Judgment
by Rosalie Saltsman

We have often described to us the scene we will be faced with when our Day of Judgment arrives on our 121st birthday. I personally had never felt the full impact of what that day in court might be like until recently when I went to an earthly court over a large sum of money that was owed to me.

Suddenly, I was called upon to respond to accusations, recall dates and events that transpired long ago, remember what I said on those occasions and prove my rights to the demands that I was making.

I was in Israel during the Gulf War. I have been in childbirth labor, but except for one time when I didn't know the wehereabouts of my son for a couple of nervewracking hours, I don't recall saying Tehillim more fervently. Not that money means more to me than life, only that here was a situation where my destiny seemed to be at the mercy of a judge and all I could do was plead my case. And suddenly, I understood.

I realized how it must feel when it comes time to render accounts. Not how I spent my money, but how I have spent my life. I sat there looking at my attorney who very much looked like a defending angel, at the other attorney, trying in the best interests of his client to make me look as if I had shirked my responsibilities, and at the judge sincerely trying to be reassuring, merciful and just to both parties. And suddenly, sitting there in helpless limbo, I was afraid, because I saw a glimpse of what it might be like in a Superior Court.

If I was extra scrupulous in my mitzva observance in the weeks preceeding my trial and unquestioningly gave $5 to a Jew who approached me in the subway on my way to the trial, if I could be so diligent in saying Tehillim and motivating everyone I knew to dedicate their supplications on my behalf upon my days in court -- with only human beings pleading a monetary cause, how much more so did I become aware of my obligation regarding a much Higher Court made up of defending and prosecuting angels and the A-mighty Himself. With the visual and tactile experience I was undergoing, I couldn't imagine Yom Kippur being the same for me again.

My judgment wasn't rendered right away. When I turned tear- filled eyes questioningly to my lawyer, as this case had been going on for a number of years already, my attorney said to me that perhaps Heaven wanted me to achieve a higher level of sanctity. She is undoubtedly right.

My lawyer is pretty sure that b'ezras Hashem the verdict will be in my favor. I wish I had the same assurances in the Higher Court.

This article was submitted half a year ago, but was withheld until Elul. Just last week Mrs. Saltzman called to find out to remind me -- and to let me know that she won her case!

May we all find favor and mercy before our own Heavenly Judge in our own upcoming annual Judgment.


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