Wisdom of Joshua ben Perahiah and Nittai the Arbelite

- ל ו ו -

Judge all men with the scale weighted in their favor.

“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 their favor.”

Tractate of Avot 1:6

We all need a wise mentor to show us the way—friends on whom we can rely and with whom we can share our feelings. Moreover, we need to weigh every consideration when passing judgment on others and try to make our judgment as favorable as possible. By building bridges that connect us to God and His creations, we can become more optimistic and see the good in everything. 

Sociability is finding purpose and joy by connecting to others, in the context of family and community.

“Nittai the Arbelite used to say: Keep a distance from an evil neighbor, do not become attached to the wicked, and do not abandon faith in [divine] retribution.”

Tractate of Avot 1:7

We must limit our interactions with destructive people, as they can affect our lives negatively, and we should avoid evil individuals altogether. We should not be misled by the successes of evil people. The righteous will inevitably, ultimately prevail. When we are at our lowest, we must remember that every crisis is the basis for revelation and an opportunity to improve and grow.

Mental strengths are the inner resources providing us with the strength necessary to face obstacles and challenges.