Monday, 05 November 2018

Looking Up

by Yechida (See all authors)

Looking Up

Dear friends,

I found a book of shiurim given by a woman called Nechoma Greisman z'l who passed away at the age of 39.

A beautiful book.

At the end, she explains small parts of the Hayom Yom which was the calendar of the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rav Yosef Yitzchak) and this was the entry for 24 Cheshvon:

“In material matters, one should look at someone whose situation is lower than one’s own, and thank Hashem for His kindness. In spiritual matters, one should look at someone who is above his own level, and plead with Hashem to give him the proper understanding in order to learn from that person, and the power and strength to rise higher."

She explains this in a wonderful way:

The things we absorb in childhood unfortunately continue with us, unless we make efforts to change them. One thing that is universal among children, is that they compare themselves to other children, and are always jealous of what others have that they don’t. You're always looking at what somebody else has that you want. First, it’s a doll, then it’s a dress, then it’s a husband, then it’s a baby carriage, then it’s a vacation.

The only difference between men and woman is the type of toy.

Our world is divided into two realms-physical and spiritual. Hayom Yom tells us that in each of these worlds we have to look in different directions. As far as gashmius, the material world, is concerned, we have to look down. Not ”Who has more dresses than us, or who has a nicer dress” but “Who has LESS than us?" We can train ourselves to look at things this way. Instead of what I don’t have, look at all the people who don’t even have what I have. Boruch Hashem, that I got to where I am - and that simple change of direction makes all the difference in one's life and one's peace of mind.

In spiritual things, the natural tendency of a person is to look down at other people and think of himself as superior. That’s the nature of people. We’re built to be arrogant. So Chassidus comes along and says ”You may be right; you may be kind, but there are many people better than you. And instead of going around in life patting yourself on the back, take a look UP, at all the people that achieved MORE than you. There are people who have worked on themselves harder than you and who has achieved more than you in spiritual matters."

The idea of Ahavas Yisroel is to see how another Jew is superior to you, not the opposite. When you see a person, Hashem showed you that person because there is something you can learn from them.

Who in this world can’t be a role model?

It could be this person isn’t smarter than me, but look at how much tolerance she has for other people, or patience for others?

Everybody has some superior quality, and if you spend your life THAT way, looking for the way which another person is superior to you, you will progress spiritually.