Deuteronomy 1:17 "Do not respect persons in judgment"

It was time to choose a new class president and Rina's class was considering candidates.

"I'm going to pass out slips of paper," the teacher announced.

"Please, jot down the name of the girl of your choice.

Beneath her name, list the qualities that make her suitable to be the class president."

After the girls filled out the forms and they were collected, the teacher made a list of the names with the most nominations.

These would be the candidates from which the class would choose their president.

As she was going through the papers, the teacher came across one that caught her attention.

She held the slip in front of her and said:

"Girls, I'd like to read this to you. Please, tell me what you think of this list of qualities."

The girls listened attentively, wondering why the teacher singled out this form.

"The paper says: I think this girl should be president of the class because she's a talented artist, she's great at sports and has a beautiful voice."

"Those aren't reasons to make her class president!", many of the girls protested.

"That's just the point," agreed the teacher.

"They may be wonderful skills, but a class president should be chosen because of her leadership capabilities and her abilities to make the right decision. She must also be a good student, so her activities as president will not interfere with her school-work."

This Negative Mitzvah instructs us to appoint judges that are knowledgeable and learned in Torah law and are careful to keep the Mitzvot. These must be their main qualification.

The people in charge of choosing the judges are cautioned not to appoint judges only because of other talents or skills they have.