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Trust and Acceptance

Trust and Acceptance

Ethics 1:6

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Rabbi Joshua ben Prachia says, "Make for yourself a mentor, acquire a friend and judge everyone favorably."

Why are these three concepts lumped together in one teaching? We can appreciate the connection between a mentor and a friend. They are both relationships that support the growth of the individual. But why is the lesson of judging people favorably taught in the same sentence?

We are disappointed at how someone who presented so well could fail us in that wayOften we meet people who initially impress us, and based on this first impression we hold them in high regard. However, as we get to know them a little better, forming a closer relationship, we discover their deficits and the dark sides of their personality. At that point we are disappointed at how someone who presented so well could fail us in that way.

This is what Rabbi Joshua's lesson intends to avoid. For the development of any person it is essential to have spiritual mentors and good friends whom we can trust, confide in and share our lives with. But everyone has weaknesses and deficits that were initially hidden and carefully camouflaged. So as we succeed in forming these important relationships, we also have to learn the art of accepting people's faults and judging them favorably.

Learning to trust someone also means learning how to accept the whole person and see them in a positive way.

Rabbi Michoel Gourarie lectures on a wide range of topics with a special emphasis on Personal Growth and Self Development, including self esteem, communication and relationship building. He is the director of "Bina" in Sydney, Australia.
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sp4rrowh4wk Denver, USA June 7, 2009

Thank you, Rabbi 4 talking about this & giving others a similar opportunity. Few r the people who would mentor me (condescend 2 have me as a student). I would hold such people in high esteem, have great respect 4 their abilities, superior to mine. More people would be my equal in sports, work, or scholarship. Bcause we have commonality, a similarity of spirit, interests & abilities, we could be friends. I'd respect him/her as a friend, but we'd be equals. More or less. We'd even tolerate each others foibles. Still are there a great many others 4 whom I might have no respect at all. Perhaps they look or dress differently from me, my friends & teachers. Prob'ly I just don't know them yet. But isn't it part of my human nature to pass judgement? Immediately?

In any event we are instructed to judge others favorably regardless of appearance, ability, or affiliation. i may make a mentor (place him/her on a pedestal), acquire a friend (on an equal footing) but am instructed not to be harsh with everyone else (i think is beneath me). Reply

Ethics of the Fathers is a tractate of the Mishna that details the Torah's views on ethics and interpersonal relationships. Enjoy insights, audio classes and stories on these fascinating topics.
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