In the blessing of Hashiva Shofteinu in the amida, we ask Hashem to restore the judges - referring to the times of Moshiach.

Why would there be a need for judges (and Sanhedrin) in the times of Moshiach, when G-d's presence will be revealed, and presumably there would be no more sin or wrongdoing?

  • 3
    "referring to the times of Moshiach" How do you know this? – Double AA Jul 23 '17 at 13:45
  • 4
    Do judges only deal with wrongdoing? What if we simply don't know if a certain action is permitted and we need to ask? – Double AA Jul 23 '17 at 13:45
  • Doesn't every authorized Jewish King need a proper Sanhedrin for a legitimate Kingdom's government? – Gary Jul 23 '17 at 14:06
  • The Siddur Ohel Sarah has a comment that the request refers to "When Elijah herald's the Messiah's coming, he will first reestablish the Sanhedrin, and then the Redemption will begin" so this has to do with establishing the Messianic age. I guess that's why "vlamalshinim" is right after because removing wicked people is also one step towards that age. – rosends Jul 23 '17 at 14:40
  • Regarding whether or not people will have the capacity for evil in the Messianic age, see judaism.stackexchange.com/a/78419/8775. – mevaqesh Jul 23 '17 at 18:23

Your assumption that in the times of moshiach there will be no more sin is unwarranted.

First of all, there is a machlokes in gemara (see shabbos 151) if there will be a yetzer hara when moshiach comes. According to Shmuel, there will be no difference between our times and the times of moshiach, aside from the fact that we won't be under someone else's rule. Indeed, the Rambam in sanhedrin (also in Yad Hachazaka) accepts Shmuel's view. According to this view, your question is moot.

Second, even according to the shitos that hold that the yetzer hara will be destroyed right when moshiach comes, it does not follow that a person will not be able to commit a sin. Indeed, even Adam Harishon was able to commit a sin, although there was no yetzer hara at that time. As the ramban and others explain, before Adam sinned, people had a natural inclination to do good; however, they still had the capacity to sin as Adam proved.

Lastly, even if people won't sin intentionally, they might still commit a sin unintentionally. Also as doubleAA already pointed out, the Sanhedrin not only decide if a punishment is required, but guide us in our ways, and tell us what is mutar and what is asur.


The Lubavitcher Rebbe explained in a Sicha (Shoftim 5752) (that's the Hebrew translation, the original Yiddish is on Hebrewbooks.org) that the prayer is precise.

עפ"ז מובן מדוע ביעוד הגאולה נאמר רק "ואשיבה שופטיך" ולא "שוטרים" - כיון שלעתיד לבוא יתבטלו מציאות הרע והיצר הרע, ולא יצטרכו לשוטרים שיכריחו את אנשי העם להשמע להוראות השופטים, כיון שכל האנשים יקיימו מעצמם את ההוראות. יצטרכו רק "שופטים", שיפסקו דינים וילמדו תורה ויורו את הוראות התורה והמצוות לבנ"י ("ילכו מחיל אל חיל" בקדושה גופא).

The purpose of judges is to teach Torah, and to guide people, which is something which will need to be done even during the era when there will be no evil inclination.

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