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