The Men of the Great Assembly had three sayings:
Be deliberate in judging;
Educate many students;
Make a fence around the Torah.
Discussion Guide [1:1a].
Can you identify some examples of relativism in the news or entertainment media, where people say
or imply that it is wrong to make moral judgments?
is a sense in which being . judgmental. is bad, even according to the sages (see here Mishnah 1:6).
How would you distinguish when it is proper to judge another person, and when you should refrain from judging?
What feelings about another person might tempt you to judge their actions too hastily and too negatively?
What feelings might make you reluctant to judge negatively, when you should make a judgment, and act on it?
of the last time you made a critical judgment of another person. family, friends, teachers, classmates, coworkers.
Did you take care to find out the facts and to understand their point of view before judging? [Avoid mentioning names.]
What were the consequences?
Identify in recent news some of the judgments being made on public issues or personalities.
Do these judgments follow the principle of deliberating carefully before judgment?
What are the public consequences of judging too hastily or without care?
Those who are decisive and compassionate, God helps.
This saying, adapted from the earliest commentary on Avot, Avot DeRabbi Natan [Ch. 8] gives the other side: decisions also
need to be made in a timely way for effective action. If you weigh options endlessly, you will never decide.
The solution? In important cases ask yourself: "How much time do I have to make this decision?"
Have you ever delayed a decision too long? What caused you to delay?