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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “A conduit for God’s words”

A judge, acting as an emissary of God in the search for truth and justice, must put aside his personal feelings — personal and philosophical — in order to adjudicate fairly.

He cannot disregard the facts and side with a poor petitioner over a wealthy one because he feels the wealthy one can better “afford” to lose.

He must decide according to the law.

Similarly, a prophet can only prophesy when he transcends himself and becomes a conduit for God’s words.

As we read in Kings II (3:11-15), when Elisha becomes angry – that is, when his ego is engaged – he cannot prophesy.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz