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Judge Favourably

Written by Ben

The Torah states regarding the gathering of gold to make the Golden Calf: “And Aharon (Moses’ brother and the Cohen Gadol, High Priest) said to them, ‘Remove the golden earrings which are on the ears of your wives, sons and daughters, and bring them to me.’ ” (Exodus 32:2)

How is it possible that Aharon would help make an idol? The commentator, Daas Zkainim, explains that Aharon’s intentions were righteous. This is what he said to himself: “Now that Moshe has not returned, if I will appoint Caleb or Nachson as the leader in Moshe’s absence, when Moshe returns they will not be eager to give up their position of leadership. This will cause a major quarrel. If I do not appoint anyone as leader, they will choose a leader themselves and thiswill also cause a major quarrel. If I will assume leadership until Moshe returns, perhaps he will feel when he comes back that I tried to usurp his position. Therefore, until Moshe returns I will keep them busy with talk about making a meaningless golden calf. The women will be reluctant to give up their jewelry and therefore I will be able to stall for time.”

This is an incredible lesson on judging people favorably! Next time you see someone doing something absolutely inexplicably despicable, before condemning him for his behavior, ask yourself, “What positive motivations and intentions could he possibly have had?” Maybe if you were to know his true motivations, you’d realize that he meant nothing wrong and even tried to prevent something negative from happening. Remember the mishna in pirkei avos (2:5) Do not judge your fellow until you are in his place… Gut Shabbos

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