A Judgment of Truth and Mercy


A Rabbi, analyzing the statement, “The king must establish the land with justice,”* discusses the middle line between kindness and strength. That middle line is called Tiferet, loosely translated as Perfect Beauty. Tiferet is the intermediary which measures and weighs a situation in an evenly balanced manner. It is neither inclined excessively toward kindness, nor toward strength, but rather balances the interplay of these two opposites. This is referred to as true Judgment, because such a finely balanced approach is the truth of every Judgment: not being inclined to the right or left at all, but acting only in response to the middle line of truth.

The Character of a king’s leadership of his kingdom reflects an integration of kindness and strength. Were he to display an excessive measure of kindness, there would be an increase in robbers, tricksters, and deceivers. Conversely, were he to display and conduct himself excessively with the attribute of strength, he would judge even an innocent man as guilty. The righteous would perish together with the wicked and much innocent blood would be shed. Therefore, “The king must establish the land with justice.”

— He must establish the land with the intermediate quality that is called truth.

*Commentary on Proverbs 24:21