This week’s Torah portion is Shoftim, and it contains the very famous phrase, “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof [Righteousness (or justice), justice you shall chase].” I say every year this phrase is dear to heart as a retired, career prosecutor, but this admonition means more this year.
We have awakened to the fact that some people are treated by the justice system badly. Some of us knew that in some abstract fashion, some of us in the system knew that fact more concretely. Ever since the killing of George Floyd, the unequal treatment of people by the justice system has been brought home with unusual intensity.
Driving while Black. The rise of the “Karen” syndrome, caught on video. We need to do our part to ensure that justice is equally available, and we need to do our part to ensure that all of us treat people the same.
It starts with individual behavior, and society as a whole echoes individual behavior. If one individual chases justice, the society as a whole will chase justice.