Portion Mishpatim -Why Make Laws that No One Follows - Students, Women, Feminism - or a story about JUSTICE

Portion Mishpatim -Why Make Laws that No One Follows   -   Students, Women, Feminism - or a story about JUSTICE
Big Portion with a Lot of Laws this week -
and a little more connection to the Sinai experience
I will try to cover a few things while I write freezing in an unheated room at a relative's home.
I may not get to the other issues - please forgive me if this computer freezes up!
So what you may ask? Why more connections to the Sinai experience? JUSTICE???
Below is a story of ILLEGAL ARREST which this week is reported in Israel ,
after those illegally arrested were awarded in court 5000 shekels (about $1600) each for the 4 hours of being held by police when they were just standing around to protect a young couple in the middle of an Arab riot a few months ago
( in the mixed Jewish-Arab town of Ramla. The Arabs there WANT APARTHEID - as in most Arab villages the ruling party is the Arab Mafia). 
Overall, Itamar was left with a feeling of humiliation. Here he speaks:

“I mainly remember inexplicable physical sensations throughout that evening,” he said. “I guess the events affected me more than I thought.

“Anger was definitely there, mostly because of the humiliation. There was humiliation in a few senses – because of the very act of being apprehended, which included things like the body search, prevention of freedom of movement, the confiscation of personal belongings, and the very unempathic treatment at the hands of the arresting officers – not answering simple questions such as asking for the name of the policeman or why we were being picked up, feeling as if facing an impenetrable wall.


“In retrospect, I can understand that the police were under a great deal of stress, and it makes sense that they avoided talking to us, perhaps they directed their energies to other thoughts about how to manage the situation in general.

“But the fact is that we had come to support the residents, to do something good, and in the end we were the ones arrested.

“At the same time, there was anger regarding the lack of justice there, not for us, but for our fellow Jews, the Jewish residents of Lod and Ramla.”

So the portion sets up a basic set of laws - which have been digested, used, and updated for 3000 years!

I once taught a few college courses to police officers in New York - but I think that the job requires an annual 3 days seminar to upgrade all officers' perceptions of humanity - if possible.
As one friend said yesterday - the milk of human kindness was given to the female of the species - so does that biological fact influence the Torah views of Justice through the last 3000 years?
I doubt if it makes female judges "better" - but I think the perspective should be given a place in most legal cases.
Just a word about students here, before I get out of this freezing room and heat up my coffee and try to finish it -
Joshua was the number one student of Moses the Lawgiver.
Yet the Traditional View is that Moses first taught the justice rules to Aron the High Priest, then the other priestly families,
then to the 70 elders, and then to the whole people of the Israelites.
Where was Joshua? The tradition says he didn't budge from his teacher-master Moshe. Not that he learned everything - but he was the person selected to lead the Israelites for the next 14 years after Moshe/Moses left the world.
The Ethics of the Fathers begins with the statement 
"That Moses first gave over the Torah to Joshua ..."
"So - who gives over the Torah to us?"
I bless us all that we all seek out and learn from great teachers .
Love Health Safety Blessings and - SHABBOS!
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Andy Eichenholz