Know... before whom you are destined to give
a judgment and accounting.
Ethics of the Fathers, 3:1
Said Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov: When a person comes before
the supernal court to account for his sojourn on earth, he
is first asked to voice his opinion on another life. What
do you think, he is asked, about one who has done
so and so? After he offers his verdict, it is demonstrated
to him how these deeds and circumstances parallel those of
his own life. Ultimately, it is the person himself who passes
judgment on his own failings and achievements.
This explains the peculiar wording of the above passage of
the Ethics, before whom you are destined to give a judgment
and accounting. Is not the verdict handed down after
the cross-examination of the defendant? So should not the
judgment follow the accounting? And
why are you destined to give judgment as opposed
to being judged? But no judgment is ever passed on a person
from above. Only after he has himself ruled on any given deed
does the heavenly court make him account for a matching episode
in his own life.
The same idea is also implicit in another passage in our
chapter of the Ethics: Retribution is extracted from
a person, with his knowledge and without his knowledge. As a person knowingly expresses his opinion on a certain matter,
he is unwittingly passing judgment on himself.
What we have here is a most profound insight into the specialty
of the human soul. In all of creation, nothing is loftier
than the spark of G-dliness
that is the soul of man. This is reflected in the fact that
man has been given the power of choicea power he shares
only with the Creator Himself.
Free choice allows him to stumble and err, but it is also
what makes his potential for good infinitely greater than
G-ds more spiritual creations. So even when a soul comes
to stand in judgment, implying that there are perhaps faults
and failings in its past performance, no judge, be it the
loftiest and most spiritual of heavenly beings, has any jurisdiction
over its fate. The only power on earth or heaven that can
judge man is man himself.
This is an excerpt from "Beyond the Letter of the
Law" by Yanki Tauber published by The Meaningful Life
 Cf. Nathans admonishment of King David, Samuel
 Ethics of the Fathers, 3:16
 See 2nd chapter of Tanya