Parshas Yisro: It Takes More Than A Genius To Make a Fair Compromise
When Moshe appointed judges like Yisro advised, he appointed Anshei Chayil. The Mechilta says that Anshei Chayil are those who know how to arbitrate. This is in accordance with the halacha that a Dayan should always try to negotiate a compromise (pshara) rather than render his strict halachic decision. What exactly are Anshei Chayil and why do you need Anshei Chayil to compromise?
There is a concept called Dinei Adam and another called Dinei Shamayim. Dinei Adam is law as dispensed by humans. The Torah created a framework of laws for judging between people based on guidelines that don't always reflect the ultimate truth in each case. That is impossible for humans to do, and only Hashem can create perfect solutions. Halacha determines truth in broad strokes in order to ascertain the truth with the highest certainty possible across the board. Hashem uses his own set of tools to work everything out after Bais Din has rendered their decision. Hashem knows the truth and has the ability to create perfect justice.
Chayil, says Rav Shamshon Refael Hirsch, refers to a person who has amassed many virtues and talents. Beyond being an expert in Halacha the Ish Chayil understands people, business, emotions, misunderstandings, motives, and honesty. He can apply all his capabilities to get to the heart of the matter and come up with a solution that will be fair to both sides. While for strict din in accordance with the Shulchan Aruch one needs to have a complete grasp on the halachos only, in order to reach fair and agreeable compromise one must be a true Ish Chayil.