Sunday, February 24, 2008
Two Stories of Seeing the World Through the Eyes of Heaven
Ashreini she'yesh li Rebbe kazeh. I feel fortunate to have the rebbe that I do. He has such a unique take on things that simply reveals that he does not see the world with the same eyes that you or I have. We see the world through the eye of the "I." However, Tzadikim look at the world with "himildike oigen," the eyes of Shamayim, Heaven. I'll give two examples.
When people hear of or see a Chareidi or frum person doing something wrong, the first reaction that virtually everyone has is, "What a hypocrit! This guy pretends to be so religious/frum for the outside world, but it's just a show. He's a faker. Really, inside he's a thief/pervert/whatever."
My rebbe often asks, "Why is it that people only call someone a 'hyprocrit' for being a religious hyprocrit. You never hear people seeing someone doing an aveira and saying, 'Hey, who do you think you are doing such an aveira?! You're such a tzadik! A Tzadik like you shouldn't be such a hyprocit by doing that aveira!'"
I have come across a couple of instances of frum people doing dishonest things recently and this perspective is a great one for how to see those kinds of things. It helps me see that frum people who do bad things are basically good people ("Haneshama shenasata bi, tehora hi," "[Hashem], the soul that you placed within me is pure"), but that they had a weak moment in their area of ta'ava. Can I say that I am any better than them in my area of ta'ava?
Another instance of my rebbe seeing the world with a different level of vision than "regular" people:
He told over that he was speaking with a bachur, a young man, who was distressed over the things he, himself, was doing. He came to speak to my rebbe and the young man told my rebbe, "I hate myself. I really hate myself." My rebbe responded, "That's impossible. You can't." the bachur answered, "No rebbe, you don't know. I really hate myself." At this point, if the young man was speaking to me, I wouldn't know what to say. I would probably have just wallowed in misery with him. However, my rebbe responded, "It's impossible. You cannot possibly hate someone that you've never even met."
"You may hate the person that you think you are. You may hate the person that your rebbeim or parents have told you that you are. You may have believed them. But you are a neshama tehora, a pure neshoma."
Ashreinu u'ma tov chelkeinu, fortunate are we and how good our portion who merit to learn how to see the world (or rather, see through the world) from great Tzadikim!
(Picture of Hourglass Nebula courtesy of spacetoday.org)
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