Section: Moadim   Category: Elul-Tishrei
Two Wild Courtroom Scenes and Birchas Kohanim

Last week a frum man was brought into court for sentencing for a white collar crime. I can't promise the accuracy of the details but this is an account of an eyewitness. The court was packed with friends who had come to give the defendant support. The federal prosecutors were out for blood and had already declared that if he does not get the long sentence they were asking for they would appeal. The first order of business by the Judge was to deny all the motions that the defendants counsel had made for leniency. It was not looking pretty.

Then before handing down the sentence the judge asked the defendant if he would like to address the court. The defendant meekly got up and started muttering something that was inaudible to all present in the courtroom. The judge in a gesture of mercy told the defendant he need not stand up and may address the court while sitting. Sitting in his seat the defendant again started speaking but the results were no different. No one heard anything. The judge asked for a microphone to be brought to make it easier for the defendant to speak. That didn't help the situation either. Then to the shock of all those present in the courtroom the still patient judge left the bench and pulled up a chair alongside the defendant and they began to converse like two friends for a lengthy amount of time while the people present in the courtroom sat there in shock. At the end the defendant received a relatively light sentence compared to what the prosecution was asking for. Furthermore the judge carefully laid out his reasoning to head off any possibility of appeal.

A few days later and even wilder courtroom scene took place, which most of us witness firsthand, although some of us may have overlooked the significance of it. It was judgment day in Heaven. Each one of us stood there individually as defendants. The charges against us had been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. The prosecution was out for blood and it was time for sentencing. The Shofar was blown and the judge came in. The defendants were asked what they had to say before sentences were handed out. We meekly read a prepared statement from our machzorim some of us more inspired than others. Some of us so out of it that it looked like we simply had no idea of the significance of what was going on.

As the prosecutors were standing by smiling confident that their most vicious requests punishments will be granted, Hashem stops the proceeding and said that before He hands down the sentence He need a three minute break. Hashem left the bench and came to the defendant. He placed His hand on his head and began to say "Yivarechicha... To the shock of all present Hashem went on to bless the defendant, who sinned against Hashem himself, with (according to the Chesed L'Avrohom) wisdom, children, life, grace, wealth, leadership, and peace. After that He returned to the bench and handed down the sentence to the stilled stunned courtroom. After we received our sentence we smiled and sang "K'Hayom Hazeh Tiveinu Sasim U'Smeichim B'Vinyan Shaleim"; Just like you have brought us to this happy and joyous day please bring us soon to the Bais HaMikdash.

This scene will repeat itself in a few days on Yom Kippur. Don't miss it, relish it, enjoy it, and appreciate it.

Important Note:  If you know of any inaccuracies in the above account please let us know so that we can correct the article.