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Seeing the Positive in Those Closest To Us

Be'halot'cha (Numbers 8-12 )

by Rabbi Ron Jawary

"And Miriam spoke against Moses, her brother" (Numbers, 12:1).

One of the things even great people can forget is that they have to constantly be on guard against the tendency to see the negative in others. Ironically, it seems that those closest to us are often the ones most harshly subjected to our negativity.

The Torah is teaching us that we need to bend over backwards whenever and wherever possible in order to avoid making assumptions about others. When we are negative, we are essentially disconnecting ourselves from the Divine, who looked at the world He created and saw that it was "very good."

A person can choose to live in a world where they think they are the only good and deserving person around, or they can bend over backwards and try to see the world through the eyes of God. There is no room for negativity in God's world; the positive in such a world can be overwhelming and all-encompassing, leaving no room for anything else. That's one of the reasons why there is a specific mitzvah to remember the episode of Miriam every day - it is so easy to forget how good our loved ones really are.

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