Bilaam raised his eyes (Bamidbar 24:2)
There have unfortunately been many tragedies within the past few years within the Jewish community. I was recently listening to a lecture about one of the tragedies and the people who passed away. While listening, it occurred to me: the speaker was saying how the individuals who passed away were great people. Then, I thought about the Jews who have passed away during the past few years in tragedies and after they passed, how everyone said all of these people were great. Those who were killed in France were great. Those who were murdered in Har Nof were great. The family who passed away from the hot plate fire were great. And the many others… All of them were righteous people.
In Pirkei Avos (5:22) it states that the three traits of the disciples of Avraham are a good eye, a humble spirit, and an undemanding soul. The traits of the disciples of the wicked Bilaam are an evil eye, an arrogant spirit, and a greedy soul. Bilaam is always looking to see the bad in everyone. Avraham is always looking to see the good in everyone.
When someone passes away, we see the good in him. The test is to see this when the person is alive.
This past week, something happened which could negatively affect someone I am very close to. I began blaming a specific person for what had occurred. After some time, though, I realized that I misunderstood the events. The person was not doing something evil. Unfortunately, I did not look at the person in a positive light. This was wrong of me. When we look at someone with a negative eye, we follow the ways of the wicked.
Why is it that everyone who has passed away from a tragedy in the past few years was a righteous person? Because every person is righteous. There are many great things about everyone. If we focus on the positive instead of the negative, we will see this and we will also live much better lives.
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