In these three words Rabbi Mordechai Groner shares with us a series of pass words that will take us past the barriers that stand between us and the good kvittel that will give us yet another year to effect a gut rehab that will transform our total essence.
By means of Look, Judge, and See we are able to leverage Hashem’s system of midda keneg midda (measure for measure) in our favor to such an extent that our actions in this regard are actually co-extensive with the first draft of our judgment.
Everything else we do during the Yemei HaDin, be it Tefillah, Teshuva or Tzedakah is for the purpose of getting that first draft signed in indelible ink.
Look, says Rabbi Groner, at everyone with an ayin tov. In the way we look at yenem that’s how Hashem will look at us. And as far as Hashem is concerned, you can take it to the bank. But we’re a different story.
You have four kids in shidduchim and your neighbor’s girls are always engaged before their twentieth birthday. You may be able to effortlessly flash a sincere smile but you can’t fake your ayin tov, or rather the lack thereof. When put to a test it doesn’t come easy but that’s the only way to merit Hashem flashing an ayin tov in your direction. If not for your Yetzer Hora stirring the pot what would your ayin tov be worth anyway?
Rabbi Groner also admonishes us to judge everyone favorably, and if that’s not a ticket just waiting to get punched by Hashem for a good year then what is? But the devil’s in the details because everyone means everyone, not just tzaddikim and other people of which you happen to approve.
And favorably means in a case where unfavorably is at least as likely to be the correct assessment of the situation on the ground. But it’s much more than that because we’re not speaking in a halachic context as to when we are required to judge others favorably. To have Hashem judge us favorably in all circumstances no matter how rough the edges, we have to judge everyone favorably even in the most unfavorable circumstances.
Rabbi Groner also lets us hear that we have to see the good in people.
And this one doesn’t come easy either because the default position of most of humanity is to notice in others the aberrations of the norm as defined by us. Seeing the good in others requires us to penetrate layers of what we shouldn’t be looking at just to get to that upon which we should be casting our gaze.
As we said in GuardYourSpeak: The One Thing, There’s someone in your shul that shows up late every morning about two minutes before Borchu, and he doesn’t come rushing in either. And it just so happens that you’re the first one there. You don’t know him that well but you do know that there’s nothing doing in his house that would slow him up in the morning.
What we see here is most definitely not what we get because we’re talking here about our inability to see past our self imposed delineation of reality.
In contexts such as these, when there is a clear distinction in our favor between our avoda and that of our friend, it never occurs to us that for all we know maybe coming late to shul is the one thing he does wrong whereas coming early is the one thing we do right.
Seeing the good in people means if the good is not readily apparent then keep looking until you find it because it’s surely there. And as far as your field of vision is concerned, nothing else exists.
And if we do it right, then Hashem will look for our good until He finds it, and as far as His field of vision is concerned nothing else will exist.