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07-07-2010
Title:
Negative Commandment #71

Message:
Sefer Ha’mitzvos Ha’Katzar (The concise book of mitzvos)
By the Chofetz Chaim

This book lists the Torah mitzvos that can be observed today

Second Section – the Negative Commandments

71. It is a negative commandment for a judge “do not accept a bribe”

As it states in Shemos (Exodus) 23:8, “do not accept a bribe.” This is applicable even if it will cause a judge to judge honestly. If he accepted it, a judge is required to return the bribe. Even a bribe through words is forbidden. A person who gives a bribe commits the transgression of “do not put a stumbling block before the blind.” - Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:14. A judge is allowed to take payment for being taken away from his work to act as a judge, as long as the payment is the same amount from both litigants.

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