Mishpatim, Siman 2 משפטים, ב׳
1 א

וְאֵלֶּה הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים. זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: מֶלֶךְ בְּמִשְׁפָּט יַעֲמִיד אֶרֶץ, וְאִישׁ תְּרוּמוֹת יֶהֶרְסֶנָּה (משלי כט, ד). מַלְכָּהּ שֶׁל תּוֹרָה, בְּמִשְׁפָּט שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה, מַעֲמִיד אֶת הָאָרֶץ. וְאִישׁ תְּרוּמוֹת יֶהֶרְסֶנָּה. אִם מֵשִׁים אָדָם עַצְמוֹ כַּתְּרוּמָה הַזּוֹ שֶׁמֻּשְׁלֶכֶת בְּזָוִית הַבַּית וְאוֹמֵר מַה לִּי בְּטֹרַח הַצִּבּוּר, מַה לִּי בְּדִינֵיהֶם, מַה לִּי לִשְׁמֹעַ קוֹלָם, שָׁלוֹם עָלַיִךְ נַפְשִׁי, הֲרֵי זֶה מַחֲרִיב אֶת הָעוֹלָם. הֱוֵי וְאִישׁ תְּרוּמוֹת יֶהֶרְסֶנָּה.

Now these are the ordinances (Exod. 21:1). Scripture says elsewhere: The king by justice establisheth the land, but the man who sets himself apart (terumah)1The word terumah means “something set aside,” as with the priestly offering. overthroweth it (Prov. 29:4). The Torah’s king rules through justice and thereby causes the earth to endure, but the man who sets himself apart (terumah) overthrows it. This implies that if a man acts as though he were a terumah (the portion separated, or set aside, for the priests) by secluding himself in the corner of his home and declaring: “What concern are the problems of the community to me? What does their judgment mean to me? Why should I listen to them? I will do well (without them),” he helps to destroy the world. Hence the man of separation (terumah) overthroweth it.

2 ב

מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרַבִּי אַסִּי, כְּשֶׁהָיָה מִסְתַּלֵּק מִן הָעוֹלָם, נִכְנַס בֶּן אֲחוֹתוֹ אֶצְלוֹ, מְצָאוֹ בּוֹכֶה. אָמַר לוֹ: רַבִּי, מִפְּנֵי מָה אַתָּה בּוֹכֶה? יֵשׁ תּוֹרָה שֶׁלֹּא לָמַדְתָּ וְלִמַּדְתָּ, הֲרֵי תַּלְמִידֶיךָ יוֹשְׁבִים לְפָנֶיךָ. יֵשׁ גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים שֶׁלֹּא עָשִׂיתָ. וְעַל כָּל מִדּוֹת שֶׁהָיוּ בְּךָ, הָיִיתָ מִתְרַחֵק מִן הַדַּיָּנִין, וְלֹא נָתַתָּ רְשׁוּת עַל עַצְמְךָ לְהִתְמַנּוֹת עַל צָרְכֵי צִבּוּר. אָמַר לוֹ: בְּנִי, עָלֶיהָ אֲנִי בּוֹכֶה, שֶׁמָּא אֶתֵּן דִּין וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן עַל שֶׁהָיִיתִי יָכוֹל לַעֲשׂוֹת דִּינֵיהֶם שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל, הֱוֵי, וְאִישׁ תְּרוּמוֹת יֶהֶרְסֶנָּה.

It is related that when R. Ammi was about to die his sister’s son visited him and found him weeping. He said to him: “My master, why do you weep? Is there a single law that you have not learned and taught? Indeed even now thy disciples sit in your presence. Is there any kind deed you have not performed? But more important than all the virtues you possess is the fact that you have restrained yourself from acting as a judge and have refrained from the overseeing the needs of the community.” Whereupon he replied: “My son, that is why I weep. Perhaps I shall have to account for the fact that I refused to serve as a judge in Israel though I was able to do so.” Hence, but the man of separation overthroweth it.