Monday, July 2, 2012

Judgeth Not

Rabbi Dovid Forhman is one of my favorite thinkers. He brings before you simple pshat, and can blow your mind. 

I heard him speak on Pirkei Avos, and he shows how each one can be divided into three categories: Torah, Avodah (service to God, bein adam l'Makom), and Gemilus Chassadim (kindness to mankind, bein adam l'chaveiro). 

So here we have from Perek Alef: (6) Yehoshua the son of Perachia and Nitai the Arbelite received from them. Yehoshua the son of Perachia would say: Assume for yourself a master, acquire for yourself a friend, and judge every man to the side of merit.

"Assume yourself a master" = Torah. (Rabbi Fohrman explains this establishing for oneself a role model, not necessarily a rav.)

"Acquire for yourself a friend" = Gemilus Chassadim, since friendships are based on doing favors for one a another. 

How does "judge every man to the side of merit" = Avodah?

Judging is something we do automatically; it can even be said to be logical. However, there is one problem: It is not our job to judge. Whose job? Only God's. By us saying, "I do not judge, for that is not my purpose in this world," we are testifying to God's existence. We are serving Him.

If I haven't already, I recommend his book, The Beast That Crouches at the Door, about Adam, Chava, and beyond.  


tovah said...

I wish I could be better in that way.

corti said...

This was a really great explanation. Thanks!

Nechama said...

That is really something. Thanks.