Do Not Judge

Moses spoke to God, saying: “Let God, Source of the breath of all flesh, appoint someone over the community…” (Numbers 27:15)

A few weeks ago, we read in Torah when Moses learned that he will die before the Israelites enter the Promised Land. In this week’s reading, God instructs Moses to go up Mt. Abarim and see the land; soon after, Moses will die.

Moses’ response to God, when asking the Holy One to appoint a successor to lead the Israelites, is to acknowledge God as the Source of everyone. This is a reminder that we are all were created by God, even though we appear differently to one another. We have different characteristics, values, appearances, and qualities. Because God gave each of us life, we understand that God values each of us. Stop and think about that; it is a powerful recognition of your worth!

Because each of us is created by God and therefore equal before the Holy One, who are we to judge, evaluate, and criticize one another? Pirke Avot (Sayings of the Ancestors) teaches us, “Do not judge others until you are in the other’s place.”

Our mitzvah of the week is: do not judge. For many of us, this will be a difficult mitzvah! Be conscious of your critical analysis of friends and family, and how often you are tempted to judge their behavior, clothes, mannerisms, political ideologies, opinions – you name it, we tend to judge it! This week, struggle to accept one another’s differences without judgement! See how your conversations improve! Notice how your relationships benefit.

May you have a week of blessings and a Shabbat of peace.

Rabbi Debbie Israel