In Avos 1:6 it says …והוי דן את כל האדם why כל האדם and not כל אדם? Are we being told to judge the “entire” person favorably or “each” person favorably?

  • If it would mean “the entire person” then how would you translate ״והוה שפל רוח בפני כל האדם״?
    – שלום
    May 30 at 19:24
  • @שלום I have בפני כל אדם
    – shmosel
    May 31 at 3:27
  • @shmosel, true there are different versions, see Siddur Tehillas Hashem, and Likutei Sichos Chelek 3
    – שלום
    May 31 at 4:11

2 Answers 2


See Hon Ashir (הון עשיר) who says:

והוי דן את כל האדם. הידוע, שהוא בנוני, כמ"ש הר"ב. והיינו דלא קתני אדם סתם, בלא הא:

Meaning: It is known that this is an average person כמ"ש הר"ב. That is why it does not say "Adam" without the "Heh".


First many have it as plain kol-Adam without the Hei:
https://www.sefaria.org/search?q=והוי דן את כל אדם

In particular, Likutei Moharan #282 aka "Azamra" which is an entire Torah (lesson) on that, has it without the Hei, just Kol Adam, and even in a repetition, "ladun et-hakol lekaf zekhut...' omitting the Adam entirely [like it's not even essential]. And the pshat there is your latter, which should result in the former. That is, by judging any and each person favorably, then through that "m'at tov," any littlest good point that you can and should find in him, then he is literally transformed and tantamount to no more a [entirely] Resha, wicked, as it says, "w'od m'at w'ein Rasha" - "just a little (some good point you should find in him) and this makes him no more a Rasha," and by thus elevating him to the scale of merit he should/will return in Teshuvah [becoming entirely different] beh"y NaNach.

זֶה בְּחִינַת (תהילים ל״ז:י׳): וְעוֹד מְעַט וְאֵין רָשָׁע וְהִתְבּוֹנַנְתָּ עַל מְקוֹמוֹ וְאֵינֶנּוּ; הַיְנוּ שֶׁהַפָּסוּק מַזְהִיר לָדוּן אֶת הַכֹּל לְכַף זְכוּת, וְאַף־עַל־פִּי שֶׁאַתָּה רוֹאֶה שֶׁהוּא רָשָׁע גָּמוּר, אַף־עַל־פִּי־כֵן צָרִיךְ אַתָּה לְחַפֵּשׂ וּלְבַקֵּשׁ לִמְצֹא בּוֹ מְעַט טוֹב, שֶׁשָּׁם אֵינוֹ רָשָׁע. וְזֶהוּ: וְעוֹד מְעַט וְאֵין רָשָׁע ..

This is the aspect of “In yet a little bit the wicked man is not; you will reflect upon his place and he will not be there” (Psalms 37:10). That is, Scripture warns to judge everyone favorably. Even if you see that he is completely wicked, you must search and seek the little bit of good in him, wherein he is not wicked. This is: In yet a little bit the wicked man is not ...

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