In the Court of Peace in Eilat an extra-ordinary court case took place. A 50 year old homeless man was suspected of stealing and started to talk of his distress. “I have no money to buy food to eat. As soon as I’m released I will be arrested again,” said the man. At that moment Justice Shlomo Gal Taib couldn’t remain apathetic to the man’s plight. He called a recess to the court case and opened his wallet and took out a 200 shekel bill.
The homeless man was arrested last week for stealing a purse from one of Eilat’s hotels. This crime took place during the time he had a restraining order to keep away from the hotel district. He was arrested and detained for a few days and the police wanted to put a restraining order on him to banish him from Eilat.
Justice Taib took the trouble to mention a few salient points in giving his judgment. “One should bear in mind that the suspect has no money to deposit or any money with which to leave Eilat and cannot pay for a basic meal.”
The defense attorney of the homeless man (probably a free defense attorney from the state) complimented the judge and said: “He understood the difficult plight of my client and acted with compassion and sensitivity.”
The court may have been a secular one, but the justice that came out of it was Jewish justice.