Chessed Ve-Emet / Being Real and Being Nice
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רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר כָּל הָעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה לִשְׁמָהּ, זוֹכֶה לִדְבָרִים הַרְבֵּה ... נִקְרָא רֵעַ, אָהוּב, אוֹהֵב אֶת הַמָּקוֹם, אוֹהֵב אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת, מְשַׂמֵּחַ אֶת הַמָּקוֹם, מְשַׂמֵּחַ אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת. וּמַלְבַּשְׁתּוֹ עֲנָוָה וְיִרְאָה, וּמַכְשַׁרְתּוֹ לִהְיוֹת צַדִּיק וְחָסִיד וְיָשָׁר וְנֶאֱמָן, וּמְרַחַקְתּוֹ מִן הַחֵטְא, וּמְקָרַבְתּוֹ לִידֵי זְכוּת, וְנֶהֱנִין מִמֶּנּוּ עֵצָה וְתוּשִׁיָּה בִּינָה וּגְבוּרָה ...וּמְגַלִּין לוֹ רָזֵי תוֹרָה, וְנַעֲשֶׂה כְמַעְיָן הַמִּתְגַּבֵּר וּכְנָהָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ פוֹסֵק, וֶהֱוֵי צָנוּעַ וְאֶרֶךְ רוּחַ, וּמוֹחֵל עַל עֶלְבּוֹנוֹ, וּמְגַדַּלְתּוֹ וּמְרוֹמַמְתּוֹ עַל כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים:

Rabbi Meir said: Whoever occupies himself with the Torah as Torah/Instruction, merits many things ... They are called: beloved friend; loves God; loves people; makes God happy; makes people happy. It invests them with perspective and respect, and prepares them to be fair, kind, honest and trusted ... To them are revealed the secrets of the Torah, and they are made like spring that keeps getting more powerful, like a stream that never ceases. And they become composed, patient and unfazed by insults. And it expands them and lifts them above everything.

(יא) חֶֽסֶד־וֶאֱמֶ֥ת נִפְגָּ֑שׁוּ צֶ֖דֶק וְשָׁל֣וֹם נָשָֽׁקוּ׃ (יב) אֱ֭מֶת מֵאֶ֣רֶץ תִּצְמָ֑ח וְ֝צֶ֗דֶק מִשָּׁמַ֥יִם נִשְׁקָֽף׃

(11) Grace and truth confront; rightness and peace come face-to-face. (12) Truth springs up from ground; while justice looks down from heaven.

(א) וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יי אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר (ב) דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־כָּל־עֲדַ֧ת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֥ אֲלֵהֶ֖ם קְדֹשִׁ֣ים תִּהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י יי אֱלֹקֵיכֶֽם׃ (ג) אִ֣ישׁ אִמּ֤וֹ וְאָבִיו֙ תִּירָ֔אוּ וְאֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַ֖י תִּשְׁמֹ֑רוּ אֲנִ֖י יי אֱלֹקֵיכֶֽם׃ (ד) אַל־תִּפְנוּ֙ אֶל־הָ֣אֱלִילִ֔ים וֵֽאלֹקֵי֙ מַסֵּכָ֔ה לֹ֥א תַעֲשׂ֖וּ לָכֶ֑ם אֲנִ֖י יי אֱלֹקֵיכֶֽם׃ .... (ט) וּֽבְקֻצְרְכֶם֙ אֶת־קְצִ֣יר אַרְצְכֶ֔ם לֹ֧א תְכַלֶּ֛ה פְּאַ֥ת שָׂדְךָ֖ לִקְצֹ֑ר וְלֶ֥קֶט קְצִֽירְךָ֖ לֹ֥א תְלַקֵּֽט׃ (י) וְכַרְמְךָ֙ לֹ֣א תְעוֹלֵ֔ל וּפֶ֥רֶט כַּרְמְךָ֖ לֹ֣א תְלַקֵּ֑ט לֶֽעָנִ֤י וְלַגֵּר֙ תַּעֲזֹ֣ב אֹתָ֔ם אֲנִ֖י יי אֱלֹקֵיכֶֽם׃ (יא) לֹ֖א תִּגְנֹ֑בוּ וְלֹא־תְכַחֲשׁ֥וּ וְלֹֽא־תְשַׁקְּר֖וּ אִ֥ישׁ בַּעֲמִיתֽוֹ׃ (יב) וְלֹֽא־תִשָּׁבְע֥וּ בִשְׁמִ֖י לַשָּׁ֑קֶר וְחִלַּלְתָּ֛ אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם אֱלֹקֶ֖יךָ אֲנִ֥י יי׃ (יג) לֹֽא־תַעֲשֹׁ֥ק אֶת־רֵֽעֲךָ֖ וְלֹ֣א תִגְזֹ֑ל לֹֽא־תָלִ֞ין פְּעֻלַּ֥ת שָׂכִ֛יר אִתְּךָ֖ עַד־בֹּֽקֶר׃ (יד) לֹא־תְקַלֵּ֣ל חֵרֵ֔שׁ וְלִפְנֵ֣י עִוֵּ֔ר לֹ֥א תִתֵּ֖ן מִכְשֹׁ֑ל וְיָרֵ֥אתָ מֵּאֱלֹקֶ֖יךָ אֲנִ֥י יי׃ (טו) לֹא־תַעֲשׂ֥וּ עָ֙וֶל֙ בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֔ט לֹא־תִשָּׂ֣א פְנֵי־דָ֔ל וְלֹ֥א תֶהְדַּ֖ר פְּנֵ֣י גָד֑וֹל בְּצֶ֖דֶק תִּשְׁפֹּ֥ט עֲמִיתֶֽךָ׃ (טז) לֹא־תֵלֵ֤ךְ רָכִיל֙ בְּעַמֶּ֔יךָ לֹ֥א תַעֲמֹ֖ד עַל־דַּ֣ם רֵעֶ֑ךָ אֲנִ֖י יי׃ (יז) לֹֽא־תִשְׂנָ֥א אֶת־אָחִ֖יךָ בִּלְבָבֶ֑ךָ הוֹכֵ֤חַ תּוֹכִ֙יחַ֙ אֶת־עֲמִיתֶ֔ךָ וְלֹא־תִשָּׂ֥א עָלָ֖יו חֵֽטְא׃ (יח) לֹֽא־תִקֹּ֤ם וְלֹֽא־תִטֹּר֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י עַמֶּ֔ךָ וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ אֲנִ֖י יי׃ ...

(1) YHVH spoke to Moses, saying: (2) Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: Be holy, as I, YHVH your God, am holy. (3) Each of you revere your mother and father, and keep My sabbaths: I YHVH am your God. (4) Do not turn to idols or make molten gods for yourselves: I YHVH am your God. .... (9) When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. (10) Do not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; leave them for the poor and the stranger: I YHVH am your God. (11) Do not steal; do not deal deceitfully or falsely with one another. (12) You shall not swear falsely by My name, profaning the name of your God: I am YHVH. (13) Do not defraud your fellow. Do not commit robbery. The wages of a laborer shall not remain with you until morning. (14) You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind, rather revere your God: I am YHVH. (15) You shall not render an unfair decision: do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your kinsman fairly (b'tzedek). (16) Do not carry tales among your people. Do not profit by/stand on the blood of your fellow: I am YHVH. (17) You will not hate your kinsfolk in your heart; Reprove, reprove! your kinsman, but/and incur no guilt because of them. (18) Take no vengeance nor bear a grudge against your people; ve-Ahavta Love your fellow, as yourself: I am YHVH. ...

A CLOSE READING OF LEV 19

There is only one way to avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing and be nothing- Aristotle

(כו) וַיַּכֵּ֣ר יְהוּדָ֗ה וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ צָֽדְקָ֣ה מִמֶּ֔נִּי כִּֽי־עַל־כֵּ֥ן לֹא־נְתַתִּ֖יהָ לְשֵׁלָ֣ה בְנִ֑י וְלֹֽא־יָסַ֥ף ע֖וֹד לְדַעְתָּֽה׃

(26) Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more in the right than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he was not intimate with her again.

וידוע שגמילות הטוב כולל שני ענינים האחד מהם - לגמול טוב מי שאין חוק עליך כלל והשני - להיטיב למי שראוי לטובה יותר ממה שהוא ראוי.

Loving-kindness is practised in two ways: first, we show kindness to those who have no claim whatever upon us; secondly, we are kind to those to whom it is due, in a greater measure than is due to them.

ת"ר (ויקרא יט, טו) בצדק תשפוט עמיתך שלא יהא אחד יושב ואחד עומד אחד מדבר כל צרכו ואחד אומר לו קצר דבריך ד"א בצדק תשפוט עמיתך הוי דן את חבירך לכף זכות תני רב יוסף בצדק תשפוט עמיתך עם שאתך בתורה ובמצות השתדל לדונו יפה

The Sages taught: The verse states: “But in righteousness shall you judge your colleague” (Leviticus 19:15), from which it is derived: [The court must ensure] that there will not be a situation where one litigant is sitting and one litigant is standing, or a situation where one litigant says everything that he needs to say to present his case and one litigant, the judge says to him: Curtail your statement. Alternatively, it is derived from the verse: “But in righteousness shall you judge your colleague,” that you should judge another favorably, [and seek to find justification for his actions, even if when interpreted differently his actions could be judged unfavorably.] Rav Yosef teaches that from the verse: “But in righteousness shall you judge your colleague [amitekha],” it is derived: With regard to one who is with you [im she’itekha] in observance of Torah and in fulfillment of mitzvot, try to judge him favorably.

(ו) יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן פְּרַחְיָה וְנִתַּאי הָאַרְבֵּלִי קִבְּלוּ מֵהֶם. יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן פְּרַחְיָה אוֹמֵר, עֲשֵׂה לְךָ רַב, וּקְנֵה לְךָ חָבֵר, וֶהֱוֵי דָן אֶת כָּל הָאָדָם לְכַף זְכוּת:

(6) Joshua ben Perahiah and Nittai the Arbelite received [the oral tradition] from them. Joshua ben Perahiah used to say: appoint for thyself a teacher, and acquire for thyself a companion and judge all men with the scale weighted in his favor.

והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות. על כל שתשמע עליו אמור שנתכוון לטובה עד שתדע בבירור שאינו כן שאם אתה תדין כן ידונו אותך מן השמים לזכות כמו שמפורש בפ' מפנין:

(1) ...And judge every person as meritorious. On everything that you hear about a person, say that they intended for good, until you know with certainty that it is not so. If you judge thus, they will judge you from heaven as meritorious, as is explained in the 18th chapter of Masechet Shabbat ("Perek Mefanin").

תנו רבנן הדן חבירו לכף זכות דנין אותו לזכות ומעשה באדם אחד שירד מגליל העליון ונשכר אצל בעל הבית אחד בדרום שלש שנים ערב יום הכפורים אמר לו תן לי שכרי ואלך ואזון את אשתי ובני אמר לו אין לי מעות אמר לו תן לי פירות אמר לו אין לי תן לי קרקע אין לי תן לי בהמה אין לי תן לי כרים וכסתות אין לי הפשיל כליו לאחוריו והלך לביתו בפחי נפש לאחר הרגל נטל בעל הבית שכרו בידו ועמו משוי שלשה חמורים אחד של מאכל ואחד של משתה ואחד של מיני מגדים והלך לו לביתו אחר שאכלו ושתו נתן לו שכרו אמר לו בשעה שאמרת לי תן לי שכרי ואמרתי אין לי מעות במה חשדתני אמרתי שמא פרקמטיא בזול נזדמנה לך ולקחת בהן ובשעה שאמרת לי תן לי בהמה ואמרתי אין לי בהמה במה חשדתני אמרתי שמא מושכרת ביד אחרים בשעה שאמרת לי תן לי קרקע ואמרתי לך אין לי קרקע במה חשדתני אמרתי שמא מוחכרת ביד אחרים היא ובשעה שאמרתי לך אין לי פירות במה חשדתני אמרתי שמא אינן מעושרות ובשעה שאמרתי לך אין לי כרים וכסתות במה חשדתני אמרתי שמא הקדיש כל נכסיו לשמים אמר ליה העבודה כך היה הדרתי כל נכסי בשביל הורקנוס בני שלא עסק בתורה וכשבאתי אצל חבירי בדרום התירו לי כל נדרי ואתה כשם שדנתני לזכות המקום ידין אותך לזכות
The Sages taught in a baraita: One who judges another favorably is himself judged favorably. And there was an incident involving a certain person who descended from the Upper Galilee and was hired to work for a certain homeowner in the South for three years.On the eve of the Day of Atonement, he said to the homeowner: Give me my wages, and I will go and feed my wife and children. The homeowner said to him: I have no money. He said to him: In that case, give me my wages in the form of produce. He said to him: I have none. The worker said to him: Give me my wages in the form of land. The homeowner said to him: I have none. The worker said to him: Give me my wages in the form of animals. He said to him: I have none. The worker said to him: Give me cushions and blankets. He said to him: I have none. The worker slung his tools over his shoulder behind him and went to his home in anguish. After the festival of Sukkot, the homeowner took the worker’s wages in his hand, along with a burden that required three donkeys, one laden with food, one laden with drink, and one laden with types of sweets, and went to the worker’s home. After they ate and drank, the homeowner gave him his wages. The homeowner said to him: When you said to me: Give me my wages, and I said: I have no money, of what did you suspect me? Why did you not suspect me of trying to avoid paying you? The worker answered, I said: Perhaps the opportunity to purchase merchandise [perakmatya] inexpensively presented itself, and you purchased it with the money that you owed me, and therefore you had no money available. The homeowner asked: And when you said to me: Give me animals, and I said: I have no animals, of what did you suspect me? The worker answered: I said: Perhaps the animals are hired to others. The homeowner asked: When you said to me: Give me land, and I said: I have no land, of what did you suspect me? The worker answered: I said: Perhaps the land is leased to others, and you cannot take the land from the lessees. The homeowner asked: And when you said to me: Give me produce, and I said: I have no produce, of what did you suspect me? The worker answered: I said: Perhaps they are not tithed, and that was why you could not give them to me. The homeowner asked: And when I said: I have no cushions or blankets, of what did you suspect me? The worker answered: I said: Perhaps he consecrated all his property to Heaven and therefore has nothing available at present. The homeowner said to him: I swear by the Temple service that it was so. I had no money available at the time because I vowed and consecrated all my property on account of Hyrcanus, my son, who did not engage in Torah study. The homeowner sought to avoid leaving an inheritance for his son. And when I came to my fellow residents in the South, the Sages of that generation, they dissolved all my vows. At that point, the homeowner had immediately gone to pay his worker. Now the homeowner said: And you, just as you judged favorably, so may God judge you favorably.

(ב) והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות. ענינו כשיהיה אדם שלא תדע בו אם צדיק הוא אם רשע ותראהו שיעשה מעשה או יאמר דבר שאם תפרשהו על דרך אחת יהיה טוב ואם תפרשהו על דרך אחרת יהיה רע קח אותו על הטוב ולא תחשוב בו רע אבל אם יהיה האדם נודע שהוא צדיק מפורסם ובפעולות הטובות ונראה לו פועל שכל עניניו מורים שהוא פועל רע ואין אדם יכול להכריעו לטוב אלא בדוחק גדול ואפשר רחוק הוא ראוי שתקח אותו שהוא טוב אחר שיש שום צד אפשרות להיותו טוב ואין מותר לך לחשדו ועל זה אמרו כל החושד בכשרים לוקה בגופו וכן כשיהיה רשע ויתפרסמו מעשיו ואחר כן ראינוהו שיעשה מעשה שכל ראיותיו מורות שהוא טוב ויש בו צד אפשרות רחוק לרע ראוי להשמר ממנו ושלא תאמן בו שהוא טוב אחר שיש בו אפשרות לרע ועל זה נאמר (גם) כי יחנן קולו אל תאמן בו וגו' וכשיהי' בלתי ידוע והמעשה בלתי מכריע לא' משני הקצוות צריך בדרך החסידות שתדין לכף זכות איזה קצה שיהיה משני הקצוות:

(2) "and judge every person as meritorious:" Its subject is when there is a person whom you do not about him if he is righteous or if he is wicked and you see him doing an act or saying something and if you interpret it one way it will be good and if you interpret in another way it will be bad - [in this case,] take it to the good and do not think bad about it. But if the man is known to be famously righteous and of good deeds; and an action of his is seen that all of its aspects indicate that it is a bad deed and a person can only determine it to be good with great stretching and a distant possibility, it is fit that you take it that it is good, since there is some aspect of a possibility that it is good. And it is not permissible for you to suspect him; and about this did they say (Shabbat 97a), "The body of anyone who suspects proper ones will be struck." And so [too] when it is an evildoer and his deeds are famous, and afterwords we see him that he does a deed, all of the indications about which are that it is good but there is an aspect of a distant possibility that it is bad; it is fit to guard oneself from him and not to believe that it is good, since there is a possibility for the bad. And about this is it stated (Proverbs 26:25), (Also) "Though he be fair-spoken do not trust him, etc." But when he is not known and the deed is indeterminate towards one of the two extremes; according to the ways of piety, one must judge a person as meritorious towards whichever extreme of the two extremes [would be the case].

והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות. זה מדבר עם אדם שאין יודעין בו אם הוא צדיק ואם הוא רשע. ואם מכירין אותו והוא איש בינוני פעמים עושה רע ופעמים עושה טוב ואם יעשה דבר שיש לדונו לכף חובה ויש לדונו לזכות בשיקול או אפי' (לידי) כפי הנראה נוטה לכף חובה יותר. אם משום צד ענין יכול לדונו לזכות יש לו לומר לטובה נתכוון. אבל אין הדברים בצדיק גמור ולא ברשע גמור. כי הצדיק אפי' במעשה שכלו רע ונוטה לכף חובה מכל עבר ידינהו לטובה לאמר כי שגגה היתה שיצאה מלפני השליט והנה ניחם והביט ובקש מחילה. וכמו שאמרו חז"ל (ברכות יט.) אם ראית תלמיד חכם שעבר עבירה בלילה אל תהרהר אחריו ביום שמא עשה תשובה שמא ס"ד אלא אימא ודאי עשה תשובה. פי' שמא ס"ד כיון שהוא ת"ח ועד עתה לא אירע דבר קלקלה בידו על כל פנים מיד עשה תשובה. הנה לך כי אין לדון לכוף חובה הצדיק גמור לעולם וממנו לא הוצרך לומר והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות. גם מן הרשע הגמור לא אמר. אפי' מעשהו כלו טוב ואין נראה לחוש עליו משום צד עון יש לאדם לדונו לכף חובה ולומר לפנים עשה ואין תוכו כברו. וכמו שנאמ' (משלי כ"ו כ"ה) כי יחנן קולו אל תאמן בו כי שבע תועבות בלבו. וכך כתב רמב"ם ז"ל. ועל ענין זה אמר שלמה בחכמתו (משלי כ"א י"א) משכיל צדיק לבית רשע מסלף רשעים לרע. ר"ל בני אדם חושבים כי הצדיקים מפני שאינם יודעין לעשות רע אינם מכירים דרכי רשע כי לא יבינו העושים אותו. ואין הדבר כן כי הצדיק משכיל לבית רשע ויודע ומכיר ומשגיח רוע מעלליו יותר משאר בני אדם שיודעין ולא יתנו אותו על לבם. מסלף רשעים לרע הצדיק כשרואה מעשה רשעים הנראים בדרך טוב מסלף אותו ומטהו לדינו לאמר פעל און כי לא נתכוון למצוה אך לשום עצמו בחזקת הטובים:
"and judge every person as meritorious": This is speaking about a person about whom we do not know if he is righteous or if he is evil; or if we know that he is a moderate person, sometimes doing evil and sometimes doing good. And if he does something that can make us judge him unfavorably and [also] judge him favorably in our understanding - or even if, (towards) according to what appears, it leans more towards the side of guilt - if he can judge him favorably from one aspect of the matter, he should say, "His intentions were good." But these words are not [applicable] to the completely righteous or the completely evil. As with the righteous person, even with an action that is completely evil and leans toward guilt in every aspect, we should judge him favorably and say, "'It was a mistake that came out from the hand of the ruler,' and behold he regretted and observed [it] and [already] requested forgiveness." And it is like the sages, may their memory be blessed, said (Berakhot 19a), "If you see a Torah scholar who sinned at night, do not ruminate about him during the day, lest he has repented. 'Lest' comes into your mind? But rather, I will say he certainly repented." The explanation of "'Lest' comes into your mind?" is that since he is a Torah scholar and up until now, no corrupt thing has come to his hand; he certainly repented right away. You behold [from here that] one should never judge the perfectly righteous person unfavorably. And about him there is no reason to say, "judge every person as meritorious." And he also did not speak about the completely evil person. Even if his actions are completely good and it is not evident to be concerned about him regarding an angle of iniquity, a person should judge him unfavorably and say, "He did it on the surface 'and his inside is not like his outside.'" And it is like it is stated (Proverbs 26:25), "Though he be fair-spoken do not trust him, for seven abominations are in his heart." And so [too] wrote Rambam, may his memory be blessed. And about this Shlomo stated in his wisdom (Proverbs 21:12), "The righteous one observes the house of the wicked man; he subverts the wicked to the bad." He meant to say, people think that because the righteous do not know how to do evil, [hence] they do not recognize they ways of the evil - as they do not understand those that do it. And the matter is not like this, as 'the righteous one observes the house of the wicked,' and knows and recognizes and monitors the evil of his ways more than other people who know [about it], but don't pay attention to it. "He subverts the wicked to the bad" - when the righteous person sees the action of the evildoers which appear to be in a good path, he subverts it and pushes it towards his judgment to say that he has done wrong - since he did not intend [to do] a commandment, but rather to place himself among those assumed to be good.

כל מי שאפשר למחות לאנשי ביתו ולא מיחה נתפס על אנשי ביתו באנשי עירו נתפס על אנשי עירו בכל העולם כולו נתפס על כל העולם כולו

Anyone who had the capability to protest the members of his household and did not protest, he himself is apprehended for the members of his household. [If he is in a position to protest] the people of his town, he is apprehended for the people of his town. The whole world, he is apprehended for the whole world.

מנין לרואה בחבירו דבר מגונה שחייב להוכיחו שנאמר (ויקרא יט, יז) הוכח תוכיח הוכיחו ולא קבל מנין שיחזור ויוכיחנו תלמוד לומר תוכיח מכל מקום ...א"ר טרפון (תמיהני) אני אם יש בדור הזה שמקבל תוכחה אם אמר לו טול קיסם מבין שיניך אמר לו טול קורה מבין עיניך אמר רבי אלעזר בן עזריה תמיהני אם יש בדור הזה שיודע להוכיח ואמר רבי יוחנן בן נורי מעיד אני עלי שמים וארץ שהרבה פעמים לקה עקיבא על ידי שהייתי קובל עליו לפני רבן (שמעון ברבי) וכל שכן שהוספתי בו אהבה לקיים מה שנאמר (משלי ט, ח) אל תוכח לץ פן ישנאך הוכח לחכם ויאהבך

From where do we know that if a man sees something unseemly in his neighbor, he is obliged to rebuke him? Because it is said: Thou shalt surely rebuke him. If he rebuked him and he did not accept it, from where do we know that he must rebuke him again? It says "Surely Rebuke," meaning in all ways...

Rabbi Tarfon said: I wonder if there is anyone in this generation who accepts rebuke, for if one says to him (Tarfon) Remove the mote (small substance/piece of material) from between your eyes, he would answer: Remove the beam from between your eyes!

Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said: I wonder if there is one in this generation who knows how to reprove! Rabbi Yochanan said, I call heaven and earth as my witness that because of me Akiva was punished, because I used to complain about him before Rabban Gamliel, and all the more so Akiva showered me with love. This proves true the quote from Proverbs 9:8: Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee. Reprove a wise man, and he will love thee

Matthew 7:1-5 New International Version (NIV)

7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Luke 6:37-42 New International Version (NIV)

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

כשם שמצוה על אדם לומר דבר הנשמע כך מצוה על אדם שלא לומר דבר שאינו נשמע
just as people are commanded to say what will be listened to, they are commanded not to say what will not be listened to.

(ז) הָרוֹאֶה חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁחָטָא אוֹ שֶׁהָלַךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ לֹא טוֹבָה מִצְוָה לְהַחֲזִירוֹ לַמּוּטָב וּלְהוֹדִיעוֹ שֶׁהוּא חוֹטֵא עַל עַצְמוֹ בְּמַעֲשָׂיו הָרָעִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט-יז) "הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ אֶת עֲמִיתֶךָ". הַמּוֹכִיחַ אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ. בֵּין בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁבֵּינוֹ לְבֵינוֹ. בֵּין בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁבֵּינוֹ לְבֵין הַמָּקוֹם. צָרִיךְ לְהוֹכִיחוֹ בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין עַצְמוֹ. וִידַבֵּר לוֹ בְּנַחַת וּבְלָשׁוֹן רַכָּה וְיוֹדִיעוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֶלָּא לְטוֹבָתוֹ לַהֲבִיאוֹ לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. אִם קִבֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ מוּטָב וְאִם לָאו יוֹכִיחֶנּוּ פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה וּשְׁלִישִׁית. וְכֵן תָּמִיד חַיָּב אָדָם לְהוֹכִיחוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּכֵּהוּ הַחוֹטֵא וְיֹאמַר לוֹ אֵינִי שׁוֹמֵעַ. וְכָל שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר בְּיָדוֹ לִמְחוֹת וְאֵינוֹ מוֹחֶה הוּא נִתְפָּשׂ בַּעֲוֹן אֵלּוּ כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לִמְחוֹת בָּהֶם:

(7) One who sees his colleague sin or follow a path that is not good, it is a mitzvah to warn him for his own good and inform him that he is sinning against himself by his wicked deeds, as it says, "You shall surely rebuke your kinsman (Leviticus 19:17)." One who rebukes his colleague, whether over matters that are between him and his colleague or matters between his colleague and God, one needs to rebuke him privately and speak to him quietly and patiently and inform him that you are not speaking to him except for his good and for the sake of his entering the world to come. If he accepts the rebuke, it is good. If he does not, rebuke him a second time and a third time. Thus a person is always obligated to rebuke until he (the rebuked) strikes him and says "I will not listen." Every one that has the opportunity to rebuke and does not rebuke, he is responsible for that sin, because he had the opportunity to rebuke him.

דַּע, כִּי צָרִיךְ לָדוּן אֶת כָּל אָדָם לְכַף זְכוּת, וַאֲפִלּוּ מִי שֶׁהוּא רָשָׁע גָּמוּר, צָרִיךְ לְחַפֵּשׂ וְלִמְצֹא בּוֹ אֵיזֶה מְעַט טוֹב, שֶׁבְּאוֹתוֹ הַמְּעַט אֵינוֹ רָשָׁע, וְעַל יְדֵי זֶה שֶׁמּוֹצֵא בּוֹ מְעַט טוֹב, וְדָן אוֹתוֹ לְכַף זְכוּת, עַל־יְדֵי־זֶה מַעֲלֶה אוֹתוֹ בֶּאֱמֶת לְכַף זְכוּת, וְיוּכַל לַהֲשִׁיבוֹ בִּתְשׁוּבָה.
Know, a person must judge everyone favorably (Avot 1:6). Even someone who is completely wicked, it is necessary to search and find in him some modicum of good; that in that little bit he is not wicked. And by finding in him a modicum of good and judging him favorably, one genuinely elevates him to the scale of merit and can bring him to repent.

Rabbi Dovid Castle [To Live among Friends] notes (page 790) If a teacher was caught child molesting, you should not give him the benefit of the doubt and decide that he probably will not do it anymore. That would be at the expense of others. Similarly if someone has a history of violent behavior or mental illness, when it comes to shidduchim, you may not hide such information and give him the benefit of the doubt about his future behavior. If someone is suspected of swindling people you should not give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest to someone else to go into business with him. We should not over-emphasize our obligation not to speak lashon hara in situations where we are obliged to speak.

ר' יהודה ליב, המוכיח מפולנאה

המוכיח צריך קודם כל לבדוק את עצמו
אם אין לו טינא שבלב, רוגז, או הקפדה
כלפי האיש שהוא עומד להוכיחו. רק
אם ברי לך שאינך שונא את אחיך
בלבבך, רשאי אתה להוכיחו.

Rabbi Yehudah Lieb, the “Rebuker of Polonia,” Hasidic commentary on Leviticus 19:17

One who wishes to rebuke must first of all check whether s/he has some hidden complaint, anger or compulsion regarding the one whom s/he is about to rebuke. Only after it is clear to you that you do not hate your brother in your heart are you permitted to rebuke.

רבי יוסי בר חנינא דאמר כל אהבה שאין עמה תוכחה אינה אהבה, אמר ריש לקיש תוכחה מביאה לידי שלום

Bereshit Rabbah 54:3

Rabbi Yosi ben Chanina said: “A love without reproof is no love.” Resh Lakish said: “Reproof leads to peace; a peace where there has been no reproof is no peace.”

[ח] ומנין שאם אתה יודע לו עדות שאין אתה רשאי לשתוק עליו? תלמוד לומר "לא תעמוד על דם רעך". ומנין אם ראית טובע בנהר או לסטים באים עליו או חיה רעה באה עליו, חייב אתה להצילו בנפשו? תלמוד לומר "לא תעמוד על דם רעך". ומנין לרודף אחר חבירו להורגו, ואחר הזכור, ואחר נערה המאורסה חייב אתה להצילו בנפשו? תלמוד לומר "לא תעמוד על דם רעך". "ולא תשנא את אחיך" – יכול לא תקללנו, לא תכנו, ולא תסטרנו? תלמוד לומר "בלבבך" – לא אמרתי כי אם בשנאה שבלב. ומנין שאם הוכחתו ארבעה וחמשה פעמים חזור והוכיח? תלמוד לומר "הוכח תוכיח". יכול אפילו אתה מוכיחו ופניו משתנות? תלמוד לומר "ולא תשא עליו חטא".
8) And whence is it derived that if you can testify on someone's behalf, you are not permitted to remain silent? From "You shall not stand by the blood of your neighbor." And whence is it derived that if you see someone drowning in the river or being waylaid by robbers or attacked by a wild beast, that you must rescue him? From "You shall not stand by the blood of your neighbor." And whence is it derived that (if you see) a man pursuing another to kill him or to sodomize him, or after a betrothed maiden, that you must rescue the pursued by (taking) the life of the pursuer? From "You shall not stand by the blood of your neighbor." (Vayikra 19:17) "You shall not hate your brother in your heart. Reprove shall you reprove your neighbor, but do not bear sin because of him.") "You shall not hate your brother": I might think (that this means) that he should not curse him or strike him or slap him; it is, therefore, written "in your heart." Scripture speaks only of hatred in the heart. And whence is it derived that if he reproved him four or five times (and he did not take heed), he should keep on doing so? From "Reprove shall you reprove." I might think that he must do so even if his face changes color (in shame); it is, therefore, written "but do not bear sin because of him."
1:6