Sefardi Beit Sefer

Since it is customary this time of year during the Omer counting period to publicly expound the teachings of Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) as was indeed the custom of Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l, let us discuss some ideas mentioned in Pirkei Avot.

Pirkei Avot states (Chapter 1, Mishnah 6): “Yehoshua ben Perachya says, ‘Establish a rabbi for yourself, acquire a friend for yourself, and judge every person favorably.’” Rabbeinu Ovadia of Bartenura explains that when the matter can be seen equally from a positive and a negative point of view and there is no tangible evidence against the individual either way, one should judge him favorably and give him the benefit of the doubt and not suspect the individual baselessly of wrongdoing, as the Torah states, “With righteousness shall you judge your fellow,” and our Sages (Shevuot 30a) explain that this means that one must judge…

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