The Jew-Diciary System
By Dovi Scheiner

In the sixth Mishna of the initial chapter of Pirkei Avos, Yehoshua ben Perachaya guides us to judge every person favorably, "dan es kol adam líkaf zíchus." More than the mere rationalization of sinful action, Yehoshua ben Perachaya is actually advising us to judge a sinner as being meritorious. Still, where it is one thing to seek to justify sinful deeds executed by your fellow, it is quite another altogether to identify the sinner himself as an individual who is worthy and estimable, for what zíchus could there possibly be attributed to a personís corruption?

To appreciate this idea you must ponder the concept of the gravity of your sin as the greatness of your soul, the extent of your detriment as your ultimate compliment, the Chassidic approach of recognizing that the higher the soul the harder it may fall. Hashem only requests according to your strength, so if Hashem is asking a lot then that must mean youíve got the power!

In accordance with this Chassidic attitude the tables begin to turn and we suddenly perceive the deviant individual as one possessing a great merit, the zíchus of having a soul powerful enough to wrestle him away from his unhealthy lifestyle!

So the next time you encounter your fellow man sinning, bear this in mind and try to perceive not a sinful Jew stumbling but a soulful Yid struggling! Do your best to gaze past those obvious actions jaded like the Galus night, towards a Pintele Yid, a true expression of G-dliness, alive and burning bright!

Ultimately, such unconditional love will help to spur the sinner to a spiritual awakening, with a fatigued soul rousing to the prospect of a new day dawning, a day renewed and imbued with energies once repressed newly expressed!

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos vol. 27, Parshas Emor.)

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