Confessions: Ya’atznu Ra
We have given evil counsel. We have abused the trust of others by giving bad advice. (Artscroll Vidui) Tov – good – is expansive, as is the Source of all good, God. Ra – evil – is limited and restrictive.
When we give ‘advice” that is exact instructions for the supplicant, rather than helping the person reach his own decision, we are not offering ‘eitza’ – counsel. We are limiting the questioner to one opinion.
When we project our experiences onto someone else, and believe that we know exactly what the other is experiencing, rather than empathizing, we are limiting our ‘eitza’, which is Ya’atznu Ra.
Guide someone through his decision process. Allow him to reach his own decision.
Listen carefully to someone who requests counsel. We must put ourselves in his shoes and not respond based only on our experiences.