Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Life Lessons
Parshas Shoftim: Rav Simcha Bunim of Pshischa and the Kotzker Rebbe on Chasing Tzedek

"Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof," (Shoftim 16:20). Why does the Torah write the word Tzedek twice? The Pninim UParparaos brings from Rav Simcha Bunim of Pshischa that the Torah is teaching us that to chase after Tzedek you must do so with Tzedek. Often we pursue righteousness with bad intentions, or we even chase pure righteousness but using improper methods, thinking that the ends will justify the means. Not so says the Torah. Tzedek is a process that must be pure from start to finish and not filled with corruption along the way.

The Kotzker Rebbe take a different approach and says that sometimes the Yetzer Hara tricks us by deluding us into being too overzealous in our righteousness. The Torah warns us to take measured steps and use our head. When we start chasing Tzedek Tzedek, an extreme excess, we need to run away as it is merely the ploy of our foe, the Yetzer Hara, dressed in a cloak of righteousness.