My father says, “treat everyone as they were a revered Rabbi… but watch them as if they are a crook.”
In yesterday’s daf yomi, Nidda 61, there is a weird discussion about the possibility of listening to Lashon Hora. The Talmud talks about listening to lashon hora and heeding the warnings about the individual person. The Talmud then launches into a weird discussion from a pasuk in Devarim “Moshe feared Og the King of Bashan.” Why would Moshe fear him? In Genesis, Og did a good deed by telling Avrohom about Lot being captured and he had merit from that deed. Tosfos is more critical and explains that he really wanted to get rid of Avrohom and take Sara. Strange. What does this have to do with Lashon Hora.
The Shikker Dovid would like to learn a lesson. Treat all with kindness, with respect, even with as much love as you can muster. But never be fooled as to their true nature. Therefore, accord respect to all, as if they were a big Rabbi, but watch all like a crook. Thanks Dad for a valuable lesson.