12-year-old Plays Judge for a Day

An unlikely character was partner to a Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court judge's deliberations last Tuesday - a 12-year-old girl.

At an age when most children dream of becoming celebrities, Na'ama Oved, from Moshav Sapir in the Central Arava Regional Council, wants to be a jurist - and not just any jurist, but a Supreme Court justice. Last week, she came a little bit closer, when she spent an entire workday alongside the magistrate's court president, Judge Moshe Mechlis.

"When I was smaller, my mom told me she once wanted to a be a lawyer and a judge," Na'ama said. "I became interested in the field, started reading some material, and my mom's dream became my own."

Na'ama is a student at the Shitim School. This year, the 7th graders were instructed to take on a personal project - making their dreams come true.

"I knew just what I wanted to do, and I told mom, and she managed to arrange the visit to the court," Na'ama said.

"When she started school she would dream about climbing very high, so I figured she can get anywhere she wants," said Na'ama's mother, Mazal. "She's a smart girl and there's a good chance she'll become a judge - when she sets herself a goal, nothing can distract her from it."

"I agreed as soon as I saw the request," said Mechlis yesterday. "I'm very happy to encourage the younger generation."

Na'ama spent Tuesday by Mechlis's side at the magistrate's court, listening to several cases, one involving a nanny accused of assaulting 7-month-old twins. "I was looking into the files, and Judge Mechlis explained everything," said Na'ama. "He obviously didn't consult me on his decisions, but he constantly asked if I understood the process."

"He was great fun to be with, he was very kind and treated me with respect," said Na'ama. "He's a very honest man - you don't meet people like him every day."