(א) משֶׁה קִבֵּל תּוֹרָה מִסִּינַי, וּמְסָרָהּ לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ, וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ לִזְקֵנִים, וּזְקֵנִים לִנְבִיאִים, וּנְבִיאִים מְסָרוּהָ לְאַנְשֵׁי כְנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה. הֵם אָמְרוּ שְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים, הֱווּ מְתוּנִים בַּדִּין, וְהַעֲמִידוּ תַלְמִידִים הַרְבֵּה, וַעֲשׂוּ סְיָג לַתּוֹרָה:
(1) Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Yehoshua, and Yehoshua to the Elders, and the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets transmitted it to the Men of the Great Assembly. They said three things: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples and make a fence for the Torah.
(ב) הוו מתונים בדין. שיאחרו לחתוך הדין ולא יפסיקוהו מהרה עד שיבינוהו שאפשר שיתגלו להם עניינים שלא היו נגלים בתחלת המחשבה:
(2) Be deliberate in judgment: That they should delay in reaching the verdict and not determine it quickly before they [fully] understand it. As it is possible that new matters will be revealed to their eyes that were not revealed at the beginning of [their] thought.
1. The term מתונים (be cautious) is closely associated with the word מתנה (gift). The inference is that if a judge wishes to avoid the temptation of bribery, let him think in terms of granting his decision as a gift to the litigants.
2. מתונים is also phonetically close to נתונים (to be placed). Here the inference is that the judges are required to be deliberate because it is very possible that they will find themselves in a position where instead of judging others they, themselves will be judged. Every jurist knows that he would like to be judged with exactitude and patience.
הִלֵּל אוֹמֵר, אַל תִּפְרֹשׁ מִן הַצִּבּוּר, וְאַל תַּאֲמִין בְּעַצְמְךָ עַד יוֹם מוֹתְךָ, וְאַל תָּדִין אֶת חֲבֵרְךָ עַד שֶׁתַּגִּיעַ לִמְקוֹמוֹ, וְאַל תֹּאמַר דָּבָר שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לִשְׁמֹעַ, שֶׁסּוֹפוֹ לְהִשָּׁמַע. וְאַל תֹּאמַר לִכְשֶׁאִפָּנֶה אֶשְׁנֶה, שֶׁמָּא לֹא תִפָּנֶה:
Hillel says: Do not separate yourself from the community. Do not believe in yourself until the day of your death. Do not judge your fellow until you come to his place. Do not say something that cannot be heard, for in the end it will be heard. Do not say, "When I will be available I will study [Torah]," lest you never become available.
(טו) ה' אֱלֹהִים, לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָיוּ לוֹ כּוֹסוֹת רֵיקִים, אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אִם אֲנִי נוֹתֵן לְתוֹכָן חַמִּין, הֵם מִתְבַּקְּעִין. צוֹנֵן, הֵם מַקְרִיסִין, וּמֶה עָשָׂה הַמֶּלֶךְ עֵרַב חֲמִין בְּצוֹנֵן וְנָתַן בָּהֶם וְעָמָדוּ. כָּךְ אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אִם בּוֹרֵא אֲנִי אֶת הָעוֹלָם בְּמִדַּת הָרַחֲמִים, הֲוֵי חֶטְיָיה סַגִּיאִין. בְּמִדַּת הַדִּין, הָאֵיךְ הָעוֹלָם יָכוֹל לַעֲמֹד. אֶלָּא הֲרֵי אֲנִי בּוֹרֵא אוֹתוֹ בְּמִדַּת הַדִּין וּבְמִדַּת הָרַחֲמִים, וְהַלְּוַאי יַעֲמֹד.
God is imbued with both compassion and judgment. To what is this like? A king who had thin glasses. The king said "if I put hot water in them, then they will expand and break, and if I put cold water in them, they will contract and shatter. What did the king do? He mixed hot water with the cold water and put them in the glasses. So too did God create humankind with both the attributes of compassion and judgment. With the attribute of compassion alone, no one would be concerned with the consequences of their actions. With the attribute of judgment alone, it would shatter from the harshness of justice. So when god created the world, he did so with both judgment and compassion, and it stands firm.
(יח) רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, עַל שְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים הָעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד, עַל הַדִּין וְעַל הָאֱמֶת וְעַל הַשָּׁלוֹם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (זכריה ח) אֱמֶת וּמִשְׁפַּט שָׁלוֹם שִׁפְטוּ בְּשַׁעֲרֵיכֶם:
(18) Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says, "On three things the world stands: on judgment, on truth and on peace, as it is said (Zachariah 8:16), 'Judge truth and the justice of peace in your gates.'"
(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) Yehoshua ben Perachiah and Nitai of Arbel received from them. Yehoshua ben Perachia says, "Make for yourself a mentor, acquire for yourself a friend and judge every person according to their own merit."
(ג) וֶהֱוֵי דָן אֶת כָּל הָאָדָם לְכַף זְכוּת. כְּשֶׁהַדָּבָר בְּכַף מֹאזְנַיִם וְאֵין לוֹ הֶכְרֵעַ לְכָאן וּלְכָאן, כְּגוֹן אָדָם שֶׁאֵין אָנוּ יוֹדְעִים מִמַּעֲשָׂיו אִם צַדִּיק אִם רָשָׁע וְעָשָׂה מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לְדוּנוֹ לִזְכוּת וְאֶפְשָׁר לְדוּנוֹ לְחוֹבָה, מִדַּת חֲסִידוּת הִיא לְדוּנוֹ לְכַף זְכוּת. אֲבָל אָדָם שֶׁהֻחְזַק בְּרָשָׁע, מֻתָּר לְדוּנוֹ לְחוֹבָה, שֶׁלֹּא אָמְרוּ אֶלָּא הַחוֹשֵׁד בִּכְשֵׁרִים לוֹקֶה בְּגוּפוֹ (שבת צז.), מִכְּלָל שֶׁהַחוֹשֵׁד בִּרְשָׁעִים אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה:
(3) "and judge every person as meritorious": when the matter is hanging in the balance and there is no way to decide it in this way or that way. For example, a man from whose actions we do not know if he is righteous or wicked, who preforms an act that is possible to judge favorably and possible to judge unfavorably, it is pious to judge him favorably. But it is permissible to judge a man who is established to be evil unfavorably. As they only stated (Shabbat 97), “one who suspects righteous people is afflicted on his body” - [and so] it is implied [from this] that one who suspects evildoers is not afflicted.
I think we are innately suspicious of this kind of rapid cognition. We live in a world that assumes that the quality of a decision is directly related to the time and effort that went into making it. When doctors are faced with a difficult diagnosis, they order more tests, and when we are uncertain about what we hear, we ask for a second opinion. And what do we tell our children? Haste makes waste. Look before you leap. Stop and think. Don’t judge a book by its cover. We believe that we are always better off gathering as much information as possible and spending as much time as possible in deliberation. We really only trust conscious decision making. But there are moments, particularly in times of stress, when haste does not make waste, when our snap judgments and first impressions can offer a much better means of making sense of the world. The first task of Blink is to convince you of a simple fact: decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately.
Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (p. 14). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
One of the questions that I’ve been asked over and over again since Blink came out is, When should we trust our instincts, and when should we consciously think things through? Well, here is a partial answer. On straightforward choices, deliberate analysis is best. When questions of analysis and personal choice start to get complicated—when we have to juggle many different variables—then our unconscious thought processes may be superior. Now, I realize that this is exactly contrary to conventional wisdom. We typically regard our snap judgment as best on immediate trivial questions. Is that person attractive? Do I want that candy bar? But . . . maybe that big computer in our brain that handles our unconscious is at its best when it has to juggle many competing variables.
Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (p. 245). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
“When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature.” –– Sigmund Freud
When confronted with a problem— choosing a chess move or deciding whether to invest in a stock— the machinery of intuitive thought does the best it can. If the individual has relevant expertise, she will recognize the situation, and the intuitive solution that comes to her mind is likely to be correct. This is what happens when a chess master looks at a complex position: the few moves that immediately occur to him are all strong. When the question is difficult and a skilled solution is not available, intuition still has a shot: an answer may come to mind quickly— but it is not an answer to the original question. The question that the executive faced (should I invest in Ford stock?) was difficult, but the answer to an easier and related question (do I like Ford cars?) came readily to his mind and determined his choice. This is the essence of intuitive heuristics: when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.
The spontaneous search for an intuitive solution sometimes fails— neither an expert solution nor a heuristic answer comes to mind. In such cases we often find ourselves switching to a slower, more deliberate and effortful form of thinking. This is the slow thinking of the title. Fast thinking includes both variants of intuitive thought— the expert and the heuristic— as well as the entirely automatic mental activities of perception and memory, the operations that enable you to know there is a lamp on your desk or retrieve the name of the capital of Russia.
Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, Fast and Slow (pp. 12-13). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.