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Don’t be Judgmental - 'cuz you don't know

Wednesday, 25 April, 2012 - 12:53 pm

Walking down the street with my kippa  and tzitzit , someone opens their window and hollers “free Palestine”. At a store checkout, Fraida dressed with long sleeves because of tzniut,  in the dead heat of summer, someone makes a “smart” comment. Made up to meet a friend for coffee and he does not show.

Are we being judged? Do we judge others?

Hillel says “Do not judge your fellow, until you have reached his place.” Pirkei Avot 2:4 (this weeks chapter)

Imagine an indoor ceiling with tiles and there is one tile missing – just one. Now tell me, what would you concentrate your vision on? What would you look at the most? The answer is obvious: the missing tile.

A teacher once conducted an experiment. He held up a white plate and showed it to the class. In the center of the plate was a small black spot. He then asked the class to describe what they saw. One student said he saw a black spot. Another said it must be a target for shooting practice. A third suggested that the plate was dirty or damaged. Whereupon the teacher asked, “Doesn’t anyone see a white plate?”

But can we not judge others? Can we see the ceiling without focusing on the missing tile? Why do we only see the dirt and not the plate?

Let us learn to find the good in others. Let us realize we are not "in their place", we do not see the full picture. We do not know the whole story. This realization is not easy but it is simple, it can help us to not be judgmental .

Nobody is perfect, not even ourselves. Let us not be so judgmental and critical. Let us try to see the good in others.

Have a Good Shabbos.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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