Crucial Lesson on Judging Favorably


The Baal Shem Tov taught that man decides his own punishment for his transgressions.  “He is given the opportunity to view someone else doing exactly what he did, in a slightly camouflaged form, and in a fit of righteous indignation he passes sentence.  Only then is the façade lifted, and he realizes that it is he who will receive the punishment.  The fashion in which man judges his friend is in reality the way in which he is judged from Heaven.

It is for this reason that we are taught to judge everyone favorably.  One should not be in a rush to interpret his friend’s actions with severity, for he may actually be passing judgment on himself.  The reverse is also true; one who judges others favorably effects a favorable judgment for himself.” ~ The Pirkei Avos Treasury

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