“Judge the wretched and the orphan, vindicate the lowly and the poor.” (82:3)
Reminder: These reflections do not necessarily represent the original or contextual meaning of the verse.
We are called to judge and to vindicate, but this does not mean that the purpose of judging is to vindicate. It is not a kinder, gentler version of “give ‘em a fair trail and then hang ‘em!” We are called to hold everyone accountable, even those who are at a disadvantage. And we are also called to remember that all too often the poor suffer greater punishment than the wealthy because they lack the resources to present the best defense.