dealing with ego

Recently on A Simple Jew, there was an article about dealing with relatives who unknowingly trample on our Torah sensitivities.

I commented there, suggesting he learn more Hassiduth, and mentioned the points below:
  1. According to the Baal Shem Tov, when we judge someone else, we are really only judging ourselves, so it is important always to judge someone l'chaf zchut, because in that way you are actually ensuring a merciful judgement on yourself, literally. He doesn't say this in hypothetical, he says that the reason this person doing this act was put in front of you is to expose a particular part of yourself, and HaShem never judges someone until they have judged themselves first. (in a manner I described above) (My wife pointed out that this is just an expansion on the expression which Chazal use that kol ha'posel, b'mumo posel.)
  2. Rebbe Nachman says that finding the good points in someone else, even in the worst r'shaim of Bnei Yisrael, will bring them over to the side of goodness and actually MAKE them good. By finding whatever good there is to be found in them, you are actually bringing that good out to dominate the bad that is readily apparent in them.
  3. Tzeddakah teaches us that we have a mitzwah to help our family before we help other Jews. From which we can learn we are put with the family we have for a reason--to help them and to be helped by them. It's a very big tikkun to work on your family relationships and not avoid them.
  4. For me it also helps if I remember that most of the Neshamoth around today are recycling to complete one or two more mitzvoth, and so their actions/observance may not be indicative at all of their level or what they are here to do. Really all of this is judgement is only for HaShem, all we have is to accept and show loving kindness.
I'd like to point out though, that all of these same difficult experiences can happen with strangers, with close family, with religious Jews, or even with non-Jews. This is the work of our lives, to become small and humble before HaShem's wisdom which is beyond our mortal understanding. We have to look at things that trouble and infruriate us and say to God, I don't understand, but I know it is for the good. This is the work of bitul and humility. It's the deepest level and also the safest for us to work on. (Assuming we remember never ever to be depressed.)


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