ED: The following is a excerpt from the story, “Rabbis Share Sneak Previews of Holy Days Messages” which ran in our Rosh Hashanah Sept. 7 issue.
Rabbi Nicole Guzik
Treacher Collins syndrome is a rare disease affecting 1 in 50,000 people. It is the syndrome associated with the main character of Auggie in the book and movie “Wonder.” The story is a constant battle in Auggie’s heart: Why do so many people have such a tough time seeing him as an ordinary human being? But what astounds me isn’t the rarity of Auggie’s craniofacial condition. It’s the frequency of the human condition to judge someone else. Think about the judgments we make about each other daily. I’ll name some, so you don’t have to:
Look at that woman. She lost so much weight. Or: Look how much she gained. Did you see their car? They must not have a care in the world. I heard about their relationship. He cheated, she cheated, so much drama. Oh, their children. You won’t believe what I heard … so I’ll tell you.
We spend so much time judging and breaking down others. Perhaps the exercise of focusing on someone else’s flaws helps mask our own — the splinters of our souls we are unwilling to see. On Rosh Hashanah, God reminds us: Only the Holy One of Being has the power to judge others, to inspect and dissect our deeds. We alone hold the power to judge and change ourselves.