You can imagine the scene. Yesterday, we sat down for dinner, and one of my children got up from the table after one minute. I immediately started to reproach him, “Sit down! We’re eating. It drives me crazy that you can’t sit still for even a minute!”

“I just wanted to get a cup of water.”

I felt embarrassed for automatically jumping on him. He justHow many times do I jump to conclusions? wanted a cup of water so that he could eat his meal. I started to think, “How many times do I jump to conclusions without giving the other person even a chance to show me or explain to me what they are really doing? How many times do I jump to conclusions when time would have showed me the opposite was taking place?”

A lot.

Like the time two children were playing a card game. I left the room. When I came back, the cards were all over the floor and they had left. I reprimanded them, “Why didn’t you clean up after you played?”

“We did, but then the toddler came, took the cards and threw them on the floor.”

The child who comes to you crying, and you jump on the older sibling, thinking they did something when they didn’t.

The invitation that got lost in the mail, when you had assumed you weren’t invited.

The friend who didn’t show up at your party because they mixed up the date, and you thought they didn’t want to come.

We jump to conclusions, and unfortunately, we react by getting upset or angry when there is no reason for it.

Most of the time, we have good excuses and past experiences to back us up. Like the fact that my child never sits for more than a minute, so why should this time be any different? But it was and often is. If we would only give ourselves a bit more time before we respond, we would see that the situation is not as it appears.

Throughout the year, we have fast days that our sages instituted after the destruction of the Holy Temple to awaken us and stir our hearts to repentance. Days to reflect upon our actions and reactions. One of them is the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz.

What originally happened on this day? The nation of Israel had just received the Torah. We were on an incredibly high spiritual level. Moses, our leader, went back up Mount Sinai, for another 40 days to learn from G‑d and to receive the Tablets.

Moses told the nation when he was going to return, but there was confusion as to the exact time. Satan came to convince the people that Moses had died (Shabbat 89a), creating confusion and doubt.

The nation was dependent onIf only they had waited ... Moses. A minority panicked and created chaos with the excuse that they would not be able to connect to G‑d without Moses. They jumped to conclusions, instead of saying, “Wait a minute, let’s just see what happens. Let’s give it a bit more time.”

They worshipped a golden calf. If only they had waited, they would have seen that it had been a trick to entice them to get upset and to sin. Since then, this day has been marked throughout Jewish history as a day of calamity.

How can we now help to turn this day of tragedy into a day of joy? Maybe, in part, by just giving things more time. By waiting, instead of automatically reacting. By judging favorably, instead of negatively. And by not jumping to conclusions right off the bat.