There is a quote in Hebrew, "Aseh l'cha Rav, u'kneh l'cha chaver, v'hevi dan et kol ha'adam l'kaf zichut." This means, "Find yourself a teacher, and acquire for yourself a friend, and judge all according to merit."
I am currently reading a book called The Other Side of the Story that deals with the concept of dan l'kaf zichut. The book gives many examples of cases where people misjudged others, and reminds us of the Jewish laws regarding treatment of others, even our enemies.
There is one idea in the book, however, that stood out to me above all else: We should be willing to use the same excuses for others that we would use for ourselves! What a novel idea!
It isn't really a novel idea, of course--I said that tongue-in-cheek--because the idea of v'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha (Love your neighbor as yourself) is as old as the Torah, perhaps older. But to many, applying these principles to daily life and using them regularly is, in fact, a novel idea.
The Other Side of the Story was written by Yehudis Shamet for a Jewish audience, but the principles and ideas found within are relevant to everyone, everywhere. If you can get past the Hebrew and/or Yiddish terms (usually translated or made clear in context), this can be an excellent read.
Whether you read the book or not, I challenge you to be kinder to others, even in your head.
Now I am off to pray afternoon prayers.
"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."
I believe in God.
I believe in God.
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- I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!