It was the last week of summer vacation. Camp was over, and the children had been home all week. They were delighted when their father came home and said, "Come on kids, I'll take you out to the Botanical Gardens and we'll all give Mom a well-deserved rest."

Off they went to the park, equipped with their balls and snacks.

"Let's try to find a nice shaded area to play," their father suggested.

The children raced about happily, stopping to watch the ducks splash noisily in the pond. Soon they found a perfect spot to play. As Sam helped take the baby out of the stroller, he pointed to a uniformed man standing nearby. "Daddy, why are there so many guards and policemen in the park? There were at least five others at the entrances we passed. What would anyone want to steal from a park?"

"The city officials built this park so that people could come and enjoy the outdoors," dad said. "There are many entrances to the park, and these guards watch who and what comes through. They help keep the park safe and orderly. Actually, Sam, we'll be reading about guards and policemen in synagogue on Shabbat."

Sam looked at his father in surprise, "Guards and policemen in the Torah?"

"Yes," his father replied. "The Torah describes the judges and officers who were to watch our city gates in order to prevent harmful people or things from entering."

Sam's father bent down and looked directly into his eyes. "Do you know, Sam, that you are just like a miniature city yourself? Your eyes and ears are the 'gates' to your 'city,' and they allow pictures, sounds, and feelings to come in. But not everything is good for your city. So G‑d told us to place judges and officers at our gates.

"Don't let everything go through, Sam. Judge and decide what is good for your 'eye gates', and if what you hear is proper 'ear gates' .

"Be on guard. If you catch something that should not enter through your gates, enforce the law; prevent it from coming in."