Sacred Time Sivan #5
Seeing No Evil
Some versions of the Sefer Yetzirah say the sense associated with the month of Sivan is sight.
Rebbe Nachman, z”l, reveals that looking at others with a jaundiced eye “stops the heart.” The judgmental person forgets that everyone has a mission in this world, a spiritual task that can only by fulfilled by each person in exactly his own way. In order to carry out our own mission, we need to remember every day that there is a world to come–that this world is not all there is–but the person who sees others in a negative light is unable to do so. It is as if his heart is spiritually dead. By failing to see the unique contribution offered by another, one curtails his own ability to make his personal unique contribution.
But even one who generally has a generous eye toward others must be vigilant. Just like it can be difficult to correctly make out something at a distance, it is all too easy to let our imagination carry us away into misjudging the motives of people with whom we normally get along. We might fall into a mistaken belief that someone has it in for us. Or perhaps we judge them to be misguided, that they are far from the truth. But it is all too possible that our eyes, our judgments, are mistaking us…just like a person who cannot make out the details of that which stands at a distance from him.
Even when our judgments about others are illusions generated by our imaginations, they can still do great damage; they can be the cause of resentment and conflict. We avoid such misuse of our inner sight by refraining from speaking or listening to slander about others. We need to be very vigilant guarding ourselves from mistakenly misreading our friend’s actions or motivation. This is one of the aspects of spiritual work particular suited to the month of Sivan.
As the Baal Shem Tov, z”l, explains, by turning our mind’s eye toward examining our own faults, we come to find that the flaws of others occupy us less!