The Matzav Shmoooze: My Day in Court; Please Advise Me


court-GAVELDear Editor,

Does this happen to you? It is happening to me, and, I am embarrassed to say, this is not the first time either. Unfortunately, I had a few brushes with the law this last year and have to be in court in a couple of weeks, when I will ask the Judge to please see that I am a good person but made a few mistakes.

I was advised that for each offense, the punishment may not be too harsh, but as a repeat offender, combined with the facts of what I have done wrong, they will probably be grouped together to paint “a picture of who I am,” and it may result in a significant and perhaps harsh punishment.

Now I am told that only a week after my appearance, the judge wants me back for sentencing. I can’t find a defense attorney to go and represent me in person and it seems that I must be there myself. Any suggestions from your readership of what to do?

On a personal note, I am not sure how to handle my family, because they seem to feel I am better off and will be more relaxed for my court appearance if we go upstate and enjoy the country air. I happen to think that now, with the potential of serious consequences for my actions staring me in the face, I should be home and in my shul getting inspired from my rov and preparing for my day in court, yet somehow my family thinks I can get the same inspiration upstate. Dare I think that this scary life threatening situation I find myself in is not that critical to some members of my family? I shudder to think that they would be okay and just move on if anything drastic happened to me.

If any of your wonderful readers can calm me and help me through this, I would appreciate it very much. I try to focus on all of the wonderful things I have in my life and how fortunate I have been this past year, but I cannot ignore the tragedies, illness, poverty and other terrible situations surrounding me. I kind of feel that since I am a part of Klal Yisroel, it is probable that the Judge will look at my group as a whole when deciding my personal fate. I happen to know that the Judge overseeing my case is a very fair and very reasonable one, who seems to always look for a good result, but I cannot just sit back and assume all will be fine.

Should I go upstate, relax and try to get inspired there? Or should I stay home and be in a real shul, with a real rov, and be inspired here? My life is on the line, but some people in my house don’t seem to get it.

Confused and anxious about the Yemei Hadin

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  1. We are all in that boat when we stand in Shul on rosh hashana – no different. And I am very scared about it. However prayer can change anything. So get started.

  2. First of all take the chance now to scream to Hashem for mercy. And also talk to the judge in apologetic way. Explain that you have a family and wouldn’t want to see them hurt and you’ll make sure never to do anything bad again.
    Don’t make it sound like you did nothing but acknowledge the seriousness of your actions and just ask for a chance to improve. Maybe say you plan to go to college and change your life around.
    As far as shul or upstate… Does it really make a difference where you’ll spend your last few days of freedom?

  3. Find an attorney. Reading your letter doesn’t give specifics …several thefts…get an attorney…several speeding tickets or auto related, I might go it alone.

    Combination of violations…get an attorney.

    Goyisha courts are fair to billy Jo bob…to Moshe and Shimon they have been known to see things differently.

    Get counsel…from Rav…from lawyer…but get counsel immediately.

    And where should we be…daven netz with the vasikim …recite Tehillim …speak to your Rav

  4. Since when is Rosh Hashana a day in court.
    Its a day we crown the ribbono shel olam and yes get judged but the focus is on the “malchiyos”.

  5. Contact Dror – 718.280.1510 – an organization that can advise you in such things imeediately.

    While ultimately Hashem is the one who will pull the strings, you MUST do your hishtadlus to influence a good outcome. It seems foolish to try and tackle this without proper counsel.

    Hatzlocha Rabbah!!!!!

    From a relative of one who went through such things

  6. I am amazed at hos so many commenters HAVE MISSED THE POINT OF THE LETTER! Are you people dumb? The person was not in trouble with the law – as in American law! He was using it as an analogy for the Yom Hadin! Read the letter again. How dumb are people these days?

  7. Regardless of if the writer was writing this as an analogy or not, calling people dumb is probably not the best way to go into the Yom Hadin. Hatzlacha.

  8. “I am amazed at hos so many commenters HAVE MISSED THE POINT OF THE LETTER! Are you people dumb? The person was not in trouble with the law – as in American law! He was using it as an analogy for the Yom Hadin! Read the letter again. How dumb are people these days?”

    And I’m amazed that, to make your point, you felt the need to denigrate people. Could you not have simply pointed out that the letter was allegorical without calling people who didn’t get it “dumb” and “fools?”

    The Wolf

  9. B”H, in this case, before the judgment is entered and you receive your sentence, you have a week-long probation period. Rumor has it that the Judge is merciful and, as long as you comply with the conditions of probation, he will likely find in your favor and give you another chance. However, you must show sincerity when you admit your wrongdoings and resolve that, as best as possible, you will overcome them before next year’s probation review.

    Kesivah v’chasimah tovah!

    What’s more foolish, misunderstanding the writer’s intent, or engaging in unbridled vicious nastiness and contempt to well-meaning people who are trying to help someone (especially now, halfway thru Elul)?

  11. #9, Glad I’m no the only one who couldn’t figure out how so many people missed the boat. Obviously he is referring to yemei hadin and even signed with saying it straight out. In addition, the entire point this writer is trying to make, is specifically in regards to the fact that people go upstate for the yomim noraim which he/she clearly thinks is very wrong. Now that we get the point, everyone feel free to voice your opinion on this matter.

  12. the letter was written very cleverly
    i fell for it too at the beginning, till in the middle i chapped it’s talking about yom hadin

    ????? ?????? ????

  13. If your heart is in it, and you show The Judge you really are remorseful, then it doesn’t matter where geographically you are. And if you take the whole thing in a relaxed frame of mind – The Judge will see it too, it doesn’t matter what air you are breathing. Just remember, the Judge is your Tatenui and will see if you are really serious when you pour your heart out to Him.

  14. Why is it that sometimes people have to go to court [& stand in front of a judge], Rather its for a driving violation or any other reason…? WE THINK that we sped or did something else wrong, we deserve to go to court & pay a fine etc… But that’s what WE think. What’s Hashems true reason? (from the true world upstairs) why would hashem need to send a person to court? sometimes we tend to forget that there’s a true judge THE JUDGE OF JUDGES-HASHEM that sees everything we do-not just from mitzvos to sins but also bad habits that a person has (ex. Laziness, jealousy etc…)-& the person needs a reminder that EVERYTHING IS BEING WATCHED 24-7. The person needs to face a judge in a robe with fear & think whats going to happen? am i going to get a fine? Will i lose any points on my license? (or something worse in a serious case) the best way to avoid having to go through this, is to constantly remember that HASHEM IS ALWAYS WATCHING US (rather by putting up a fake camera in your house or many other ways)

  15. Really, these types of “why me” letters on matzav are about as introspective as a walnut in a broken jaw. This is absolutely not Torah and the reality is that applying to the general community for sympathies incriminates not only you but any heart felt moods that you try to stimulate. This is readiness for only your own matters and not that of the Torah community.

    There is no real issue with the American Court System that discriminates against a jewish soul.

    If you are nervous about being jewish with tzitzis and a kippah or elsewise for a women, you are just in it as every jew really is.

    Be good and do your best with your court dates.

    If you are going to be guilty of a crime, that is your job to impress Hashem that you are ready for repentance.

    This note is very unusual and not orthodox.

  16. If anyone has ever had to stand trial in front of a human judge, and felt the awe and fear while waiting for sentencing, imagine how much more we should be feeling in front of the ultimate judge Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Unfortunately we usually don’t feel the awe and fear as much on Yom Hadin as we feel in a human courtroom.

  17. I became a better jew this year.

    I worked very hard last year. Last years ‘ELUL’

    Trying hard.

    More Chesed.

    Better, regretful and Teshuva.

    Learning clearer.

    Fighting the Yetzer Hara.

    Saying the entire Tehillim.

    Better Shemonai Esreis.

    Shacharis on time.


    We all must have a filter on this internet.

    True meaning.