Kindness hacka from Shelach Lecha
A WW2 concentration camp inmate witnessed the following scenario.
A new arrival had smuggled in a siddur, and was bartering fifteen minutes rental of the siddur in exchange for one-fourth of a day’s meagre rations. The Jews were in a terrible state, starving, but still willingly made the exchange.
The inmate was shocked at the behaviour of the new arrival.
After the war Rabbi Eliezer Silver went to visit him. ‘So they tell me you are angry with G-d?’
The survivor replied, ‘Not with G-d, but with one of his servants’ and told him what he had witnessed.
Rabbi Silver smiled. ‘You look only at the man who took something? Why don’t you instead look at the men who gave something?!
The episode of the spies speaking negatively about the Land of Israel in this weeks Parsha, is placed next to the section of Miriam speaking against her brother Moshe. Rashi explains that the spies witnessed Miriam’s punishment, but they did not learn a lesson.
But what lesson should they have learned, Miriam spoke against humans, but the spies against a land?
R’Ordman explains beautifully, that one must acquire the attribute of always seeing the good in everything.
Someone who finds fault with ‘things’ (meals, accommodation etc) will also find fault in people!
This is the lesson that the spies should have learnt.
To see the beauty in the Land of Israel.
A negative eye leads to negative speech.
Choose to focus on the the starving people, willing to give up their food to get closer to G-d.
Zoom in on virtues, and positive speech will follow!
(Adapted from Love your neighbour by Zelig Pliskin)
Lilui nishmas Tzvi ben Shimon Halevi