Parshat Shoftim And Justices Ginsburg, Arthur Goldberg, Breyer; President Clinton and HHH

BS”D                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is very clear that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has carved a unique place in history for herself with all the many years she has served on the Supreme Court.  But more importantly is her proclamation to the world that she is Jewish and proud of it.

In that speech I referred to in my last Blog, which was sponsored by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs in appreciation for the Albert D. Chernin Award on February 18, 2002, Justice Ginsburg mentions something at the beginning of her talk that I left out of my last Blog to include here.

The phrase she uses is “Tzedek, Tzedek”.This comes from the beginning of Parshat Shoftim which we have listened to twice this week in Shul – on Shabbat Afternoon Mincha and Monday morning’s Torah reading. We will hear it again on Thursday morning and on Shabbat when the whole Parsha along with the Haftorah will be read.

I will be paying close attention in Shul because as I said before this was my Bar Mitzvah Parsha as well and I enjoy hearing it over and over again. Especially the Haftorah which starts with the words “Anochi, Anochi” which are the words of G-d as He comforts the Jewish people.

G-d is comforting his people over the destruction of the first and second Temples which took place on Tisha B’ Av.  This Haftorah in Shoftim represents the fourth of the seven “Haftorot of Consolation” read between Tisha B’ Av and Rosh HaShana. All seven are from the end of the Book of Isaiah (chapters 40-66) emphasizing this theme.

It is interesting to note that the Haftorah begins with the word “Anochi” , which is the same word used to begin the Ten Commandments. This differs from the more common word for “I” that we use in everyday Hebrew,-“Ani”. One commentator interprets the double use of this word to indicate that G-d will console us with a deeper revelation of His essence than that which was revealed at the Giving of the Torah.

As I pointed out in a previous Blog, there are at least four times this pattern appears in the Haftorah, and now Justice Ginsburg is pointing out another time where this same pattern appears in the Torah reading itself.

Tzedek, Tzedek – Justice, Justice shall thou pursue. It is most appropriate for this week’s Parsha to describe Ginsburg’s mission. She was an accomplished scholar in school, and fought for her rights as a woman. And now to see her quote the Torah in her speech is most satisfying.

In that speech referred to above she praises  The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, as an organization comprising agencies devoted to the social imperatives of Judaism.

She then continues referring to the words Zedek, Zedek as mentioned above – “On the walls of my chambers, I have posted in two places the command from Deuteronomy — “Zedek, Zedek,” “Justice, Justice shalt thou pursue.” Those words are an ever present reminder of what judges must do “that they may thrive.” There is an age old connection between social justice and Jewish tradition. Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, whose tenure on the Court, 1962-1965, was far too brief, once said: “My concern for justice, for peace, for enlightenment, . . . stems from my heritage.” Justice Breyer and I are fortunate to be linked to that heritage.”

Justice Arthur Goldberg

In 1962, Kennedy successfully nominated Goldberg to the Supreme Court to fill a vacancy caused by the retirement of Felix Frankfurter. Goldberg aligned with the liberal bloc of justices and wrote the majority opinion in Escobedo v. Illinois. In 1965, Goldberg resigned from the bench to accept appointment by President Lyndon B. Johnson as the Ambassador to the United Nations. In that role, he helped draft UN Resolution 242 in the aftermath of the Six-Day War. He ran for the position of Governor of New York in 1970 but was defeated by Nelson Rockefeller. After his defeat, he served as president of the American Jewish Committee and continued to practice law.

During his tenure on the Supreme Court, one of his law clerks was future associate justice Stephen Breyer, who holds the exact seat Goldberg once occupied. Another was prominent criminal law professor Alan Dershowitz. Goldberg resigned from the Supreme Court to become the U.S. ambassador to the U.N, in what has been described as a calculated move by Lyndon Johnson in order for Johnson to appoint his longtime friend Abe Fortas to Goldberg’s seat (which some at that time called the “Jewish seat” on the Court).[9][10]

Justice Stephen Breyer

A lawyer by occupation, he became a professor and jurist before President Bill Clinton appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1994; Breyer is generally associated with its more liberal side.[1]

After a clerkship with Supreme Court Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg in 1964, Breyer became well known as a law professor and lecturer at Harvard Law School, starting in 1967. There he specialized in administrative law, writing a number of influential textbooks that remain in use today. He held other prominent positions before being nominated for the Supreme Court, including special assistant to the United States Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust and assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973. He also served on the First Circuit Court of Appeals from 1980 to 1994.

The Notorious “RBG” Makes The Headlines Again In Clinton Territory

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Tuesday night that her work on the bench saved her during her cancer treatments, as the judge was given a rock-star reception in the home state of the president who nominated her to the nation’s highest court.

“I think my work is what saved me because instead of dwelling on my physical discomforts if I have an opinion to write or a brief to read, I know I’ve just got to get it done so I have to get over it,” she said during a one-hour interview on stage with NPR Reporter Nina Totenberg at Verizon Arena. About 13,000 attended the event, which was hosted by the Clinton Foundation and the University of Arkansas’ Clinton School of Public Service, and more had been on a waiting list to attend.

Former President Bill Clinton praised Ginsburg as he introduced her Tuesday night.

“I liked her and believed in her. I just knew she was the right person for the court,” Clinton said. “But I have to say over the past 26 years she has far exceeded my expectations.”

Tuesday’s speech was the latest in a handful of public appearances Ginsburg has made since her radiation treatment was disclosed last month. Ginsburg’s health has been watched closely by both conservatives and liberals since it’s believed the court would shift to the right if President Donald Trump could nominate someone to replace her. Clinton alluded to that concern.

“All of us hope that she will stay on the court forever,” Clinton said.

President Bill Clinton and Hubert H. Humphrey

I wrote in an earlier Blog that during the unveiling of a statue honoring HHH, that suddenly President Clinton arrived while Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar was speaking, and when Senator Klobuchar was finished, President Clinton was given the opportunity to give a speech in honor of one of Minnesota’s greatest politicians.

After his speech, President Clinton and Hubert Humphrey’s sons removed a black velvet cloth to reveal a 7-foot-tall statue depicting the former vice president in a suit, one hand tucked in his pocket and the other arm stretched forward.

The bronze Humphrey has a finger extended, as if midway through making a point. The expression on the statute’s face is friendly, belying Humphrey’s history of delivering fiery speeches.

His most important one might have been in 1948, to the Democratic National Convention, when Humphrey was mayor of Minneapolis.

“There are those who say — my friends — to those who say we are rushing this issue of civil rights,” he said at the time. “I say we are 172 years late.”

At the time of Humphrey’s speech to the Democratic convention, Clinton was 2 years old.

“You have no idea how many times I watched a tape of that speech when I was a boy growing up in Arkansas,” Clinton said. “Because I knew that that led directly to the passage of the Civil Rights Act, to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, to the passage of the Housing Rights Act, and, eventually, to the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States.”

Clinton said Humphrey taught him to laugh even when times were tough for Democrats.

“All my life, I loved and admired Hubert Humphrey. He believed that public service was a noble endeavor,” Clinton said. “He believed that his adversaries need not be his enemies. He believed that with a happy heart and an open ear and an honest dialog, a lot of conflicts could be resolved. And he lived his life to do it.”

Fast Forward to 2019 – My Question To All Justices Who Sit On The Supreme Court

All of the values that HHH worked so hard to bring to the Democratic Party in Minnesota have now all but vanished.  Gone are the happy hearts, open ears, honest dialog. The Minnesota Rep. who occupies the Fifth District seat, has destroyed all of those values HHH had worked so hard to establish. And she claims to have graduated from the school that bears his name.

Has The Supreme Court No Power To Silence A Congresswoman Who Openly-

Talks Against Members Of The Jewish Faith

Talks Against Israel

Talks Against The US and Its Military

Refuses To Answer Questions Regarding Her Marital Status Or Validity Of Her Passport

Files False Reports That Are Subject To Fines And Jail Terms Based On Evidence That Has Been Uncovered

Looking At All Of The Above, Please Explain To Me Where Justice Exists In This Case.

I Simply Fail To Understand This

About the Author
Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Married to a South African, we lived in Johannesburg from 1979 to 1996. Made Aliyah with our seven children on Parshat Lech Lecha. BSB Accounting Degree from the University of Minnesota. Investment Portfolio Manager and Analyst. Served in the US Army Reserves Semi Retired spending quality time with my wife, children, grandchildren and attend Kollel while analyzing current events as they relate to Torah and Mitzvahs.
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