...and judge every person to the side of merit
Ethics of the Fathers 1:6
Sometimes it is extremely difficult to judge another person
favorably. That person might have committed a certain deed
or he might possess a certain trait which, try as we might,
we cannot see in a positive light. At such times, it is important
to remember that there is more to this person than that particular
trait or deed. If we learn to appreciate his positive qualities,
the negative ones will be more tolerable and forgivable.
The Ethics of the Fathers alludes to this approach
when it says, Judge every person to the side of merit.
The Hebrew phrase es kol haadam, which the Ethics
uses for every person, literally means the
whole person. If we view the whole person rather than
focus on the parts that are wanting, we will surely find much
that is meritorious.
This is an excerpt from "Beyond the Letter of the
Law" by Yanki Tauber published by The Meaningful Life
. Told by Rabbi Moshe Rubin, The Albany Haggadah,