"Judges and Officers you shall appoint for you in all your cities." (16:18)
The word "lecha" – for you- seems extra, yet our rabbis tell us that each word in the Torah has a reason for being there. In a person's face there are seven openings: two ears, two eyes, two nostrils and a mouth. The Torah is indicating that besides judges for all cities, you should also appoint judges – "lecha" for yourself- i.e. You should judge carefully and police whatever you see with your eyes, hear with your ears, smell with your nostrils, and speak with your mouth.
We receive a timely reminder of this since Perashat Shoftim is always read around the beginning of the month of Elul, when teshubah is primary. The Torah calls our attention with the word "lecha" that every person should carefully judge and patrol his own body, especially during this month, and rectify any wrongdoing committed through these avenues.
Aside from inspecting our ways, we have begun the Selihot season. Attending Selihot is a fabulous way to get into the holiday spirit. Often when we get to the prayers on the holidays, some of our congregants want to repeat certain portions of the prayers, since the tunes are so moving and inspirational! If only they realized that during the month of Elul we hear these tunes daily and are getting into the Teshubah mode. Please join us! Don't miss this great opportunity.