Author: Gidon Ariel

Published Date: July 06, 2019

Beautiful Spiritual Art by Michelle Katz

This week’s music

It’s that time of year again. The summer months. That means we are starting to prepare for The High Holidays. The month of Tammuz is upon us and before you know it, the 9th of Av, the month of Ellul and suddenly it is Rosh Hahsannah. What better time then now to do some serious personal fixing?

According to the Ari Hakadosh, each month has its specific aspect of our being than can get personal attention for fixing and healing. The month of Tammuz is the time to fix my eyes. What am I seeing? What am I looking at? Many teachers stress that in the summer months it is critical to direct one’s sight only on holiness. I guess that would fall under the category of, “sur mera,” turn away from bad. That verse in “Tehilim,” Psalms, has a second initiative.“Sur mera, va’aseh tov,” and do good (Psalms 34.15). What is the best way that I can fix my eyes to do good? Well if I am taking about sight then I guess it all depends on how I look at situations which I am confronted with in my life. I can look at someone’s behavior and see all of their faults. On the other hand, following the “Mishnah” in “Pirkei Avot,” Ethics of our Fathers, …. and judge all men ,or as the Maharal understands, the entire man for the side of merit (Avot 1.6). When I look at someone, as Rebbe Nachman teaches, I must seek out his, “nekudah tovah,” the good element inside of him/her (Lekutei Maharan 282).

I need to train my eyes, adapt myself to only see the good everywhere. Yes, I can be very smart and observant and see everyone’s faults that they need to fix. What good does that bring to the world? How does a young student feel when you seem to constantly criticize him/her? How does your spouse feel when he/she expects that the next comment you make will be a full critique of all of their behavior?

Ahhh, but how supportive and strengthening is it when someone gives you a compliment that you didn’t expect? When someone notices good things about you that no one else ever seems to see. That’s how I need to fix my eyes this summer.

In Moshe David Hakohen’s book of Reb Shlomo Carlebach’s teachings, “L’ma’an Achai V’re’ai,” we learn about seeing with eyes of Moshiach. How do I look at the future?

״God himself looks at Eretz Yisrael, The Holy Land, with eyes of Messiah. When you love someone you are always looking at them with your eyes. You are not looking to see how they appear because you know how they look. But you look with eyes of Moshiach. Eyes of prophecy tell me information about you. With eyes of Moshaich I don’t see something which I didn’t see before, but rather, I am just looking at you. This is the way God looks at Israel. He does not want to see how it looks, he simply can’t stop looking.״

Then there are eyes where you can see what no one else can. Those are the eyes that we used to look at our spouses. We don’t see what’s on the outside, but we see an inside that no one else can know or see.

Tomorrow, 3 Tammuz, we will note the Yarzheit of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Shneerson, the 7th Chabad Rebbe. When in the 1960’s all of the Jews of America looked at their people with eyes that said don’t get in the way, find a way to fit in. Be a good American. The Rebbe looked out with eyes to see the Jews all over the world with a yearning to be blessed to bring every single one closer to Hashem and each other.

May we all be blessed to work on our eyes this summer, see only good and prepare for a wonderful new year, a new decade which will bring with it the “Geulah Shlaima.”

Shabbat Shalom,

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