Rabbi Aba said: worthy are Israel, that G‑d did not call them "like holy" but actually "holy," as it is written: "Israel is holy to G‑d;" the end of the verse reads, "all that devour him shall be held guilty."

We learned, Rabbi Yosi said, why did G‑d see fit to place the chapters of laws [in Parashat Mishpatim] after the Ten Commandments [in Parashat Yitro]? We have learned that Torah was given to Israel from the aspect of gevura [as it says at the end of the Torah, "a fiery law" and fire is related to gevura]. As a result [since fiery gevura can lead to controversy], it is important to establish harmony among them [among the Jews, therefore the judgments and laws immediately follow] in order that the Torah be the guarded from all sides. Rabbi Abba said in the name of Rabbi Yitzchak, the earth can survive only with law; without law, the world cannot survive; so consequently the world was created with law and so it survives.

Rabbi Abba taught, it is written, "Execute judgment in the morning". (Jeremiah 21:12) Only in the morning and not all day? "Morning" is before the judge has a chance to eat or drink, for we know that one who judges after consuming food or drink does not render a truthful verdict, as it is written, "You shall not eat anything with the blood". (Lev. 19:26) What is meant "with the blood"? It is a warning to judges that they not eat before judging.

And one who judges a case after food and drink is considered causing the loss of blood of the individual and giving it to another, as he is literally transferring blood to another.1

If this holds true in monetary matters, then how much more so in capital matters. Judges must be careful to judge only before food or drink is consumed. So that is why it is written: "Execute judgment in the morning" and it writes "that I am G‑d who exercises loving-kindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, says G‑d" (Jeremiah 9:23) [that they judge with kindness, be just and acquit the innocent and convict the evil one].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does it mean to you, and why is it revealed to you now?

There is an expression, "to sing for one's supper." The law prohibits one to eat before praying the morning prayers, citing the verse: "You shall not eat anything with the blood." The Zohar applies this verse above to judging. And what is prayer, if not self-reflection/judging, for prayer in Hebrew is LeHitpallel/to judge oneself. This is a spiritual activity that takes precedence over the physical activity of eating.

Prayer is when we speak to G‑d from our inner part; if there is no self-reflection, namely to personalize the praise, requests, and thanks, then one may have been excused from one's duty, but the prayer, the prayer is of little merit. So we sing/pray first, and then eat.

There are exceptions, for sure, for situations of health, age, pregnancy, etc. But we, as naturally spiritual creatures, should place our physical needs subsidiary to our psychic requirements.

So, on Shabbat, we pray, then eat, pray, then eat, and then pray then eat. And the law says that we similarly cannot eat until reciting Havdalah on wine on Motzai-Shabbat.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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