I was waiting in line to pay. In front of me was a man with his four kids. The kids were loud, whiny and wild. Now I have kids of my own and I know how kids can be, but this was really out of control. What a foolish man, I thought to myself, and what a disgrace. Why’d you bring all your kids with you if they’re bound to be such a disturbance? As if reading my thoughts he turned to me with a sigh: “It’s a difficult time for us… Their Mom just passed away….” I couldn’t control my tears and though my previous thoughts had thankfully remained unspoken, I was hot with shame.
We all judge others and our judgements are often harsh. We judge our neighbours. We judge our kids' teachers. We judge our supposed-friends-whom-we-couldn’t-help-but-gossip-about. But since there's so much that we'll never know about another person, any attempt to pass judgement on him or her seems doomed to failure.
In the words of theTalmud, "Do not judge your fellow until you have reached his place" and can one ever be in “his place”? So really we can’t judge another - ever!
How does G-d decide our destiny for the upcoming year? How does He judge us? The answer is simple: The same way we judge others.*
So let’s look at others carefully, with fresh eyes. Let’s look at another’s potential, exactly the way we want G-d to look at us.