Sunday, March 26, 2006

Other peoples shoes...

Shared by my friend Anna:

A couple decades later I learned about one of the Torah's most intriguing mitzvot, the obligation to judge other people favorably. The Torah enjoins us: "Judge your fellowman justly." [Lev. 19:15] The classic commentators explain this to mean "judge your fellowman favorably and interpret his actions and words only to the good." [Sefer HaChinuch 235]

Three thousand years before the advent of Cognitive Psychology, the Torah recognized that our attitudes (and consequently our words and actions) are formed not by what the other person said or did, but rather by our interpretation of what the other person said or did. Therefore, the Torah obligates us, whenever possible, to find or devise a favorable interpretation