Rav Michael Munk zt"l, quoted Bava Basra (16b) in his sefer The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, page 178, which states the following:

Many people see very clearly when observing the faults of others, but when it comes to their own faults, their vision is blurred.

I looked in Bava Basra 16b, but was unable to find the quote there.

Does anyone know where this quote can be found?

  • Do you have a hebrew quote? There are a few lines that come to mind, so anything more specific would help.
    – user6591
    Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 19:33

3 Answers 3


I think the real answer is that he meant 15b.

ויהי בימי שפוט השופטים. דור ששופט את שופטיו. אמר לו טול קיסם מבין עיניך. אומר לו טול קורה מבין עיניך. אמר לו כספך היה לסיגים. אמר לו סבאך מהול במים.

And it was in the days of the judges judging. The generation was judging the judges. The judge would say remove a twig from between your eyes, the person would respond take the beam out from between yours! The judge would say you are using counterfeit money. The person would respond your wine is not pure.

All of this means that the judges were behaving worse than the citizens. The seffer you quote apparently believes they didn't realize it was actually worse.


Mishna Negaim 2:5

כל הנגעים אדם רואה חוץ מנגעי עצמו

also in Ran Nedarim 8b seventh wide line

  • I know that is an oft quoted source, but I think it is tongue and cheek. According to the Tif'eres Yisra'el (ibid., Yachin s.v. מנגעי עצמו), it is a g'zeiras hakasuv from והובא אל הכהן (Vayikra 14:2). See also Sanhedrin 34b: ומקיש נגעים לריבים מה ריבים שלא בקרובים אף נגעים שלא בקרובים.
    – Fred
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 23:36

אין אדם רואה חוב אצל עצמו. כתובות קה ע׳ב. This is in a few other places in ש׳ס too.

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