When we have unity, we’ll have everything
The whole story of what happened at Mount Sinai, and what will happen when we are redeemed, and what is happening all the time with all the bounty that Hashem is constantly sending down to the world, came to teach us something vitally important:
All these things depend on unity, on Am Yisrael encamping next to the mountain ‘as one man with one heart’.
And unity, achdut, depends on us having a good eye.
Judging our fellow Jew favorably brings bounty down to the world
Rebbe Nachman tells us in Lesson 282 of Likutey Moharan that when we look at our fellow Jew with a good eye: “By way of doing this, we truly raise them up to the side of merit, and then they can return in teshuva.”
Earlier, we learned that judging other Jews favorably brings bounty down to the world, and hastens the geula, the redemption. Now, Rebbe Nachman is teaching us that we aren’t the only ones who benefit from having a good eye: the person we judge favorably is also going to benefit, spiritually.
Even if the person who we’re judging favorably has no idea what we’re doing, or what we’re talking about here, this still works. But the question is, how? How does this work?
The story of Rabbi Meir’s Torah
In order to understand what’s really going on, we need to return to the Gemara, to Tractate Hagiga, where the story is told of one of the Sages of that time, Rabba Bar Shilah. One day, Rabba Bar Shilah met Eliyahu HaNavi, and he asked him:
“What’s going on right now, in Heaven? What is Hashem doing right now?”
Eliyahu HaNavi replied:
“Right now, Hashem is giving over divrei Torah, words of Torah, from the Sages. He’s giving over Torah from Rabbi Eliezer, and from Rabbi Shimon, and the others, too. But, Hashem isn’t giving over any Torah in the name of Rabbi Meir [Baal HaNess].”
When he heard this, Rabba Bar Shilah was amazed, and he asked:
“Why isn’t Hashem not saying over words of Torah in the name of Rabbi Meir?! After all, he was also a huge tzaddik and Sage!”
Eliyahu HaNavi replied:
“Because Rabbi Meir continued to learn Torah from Elisha ben Abuya, even after he’d become a heretic and went off the derech (true path).”
Why did Rabbi Meir continue to learn Torah from Elisha ben Abuya? Because he had formerly been an extremely wise person, and Rabbi Meir knew that there was still things that could be learnt from him. So Rabba Bar Shilah said to Eliyahu:
‘Eat the seeds and throw away the peel’
“I don’t understand! It was known that Rabbi Meir was a great Sage and tzaddik, and that he knew how to clarify and classify the words of Torah he was learning from Elisha Ben Abuya. “Rabbi Meir said: If you find a pomegranate, eat the seeds and throw away the peel.” He took whatever was good from him, and he know how to throw away the waste matter.”
After he said this, Eliyahu HaNavi told him:
“Now that you judged Rabbi Meir favorably, Hashem is giving over divrei Torah in his name, too.”
The amazing thing is that many tens of years had passed between Rabbi Meir and Rabba Bar Shilah. So are we saying that God didn’t know to judge Rabbi Meir favorably throughout this whole time? After all, God knows everything!
We judge the world together with God
This is where we learn an enormous secret. Hashem is telling us:
“You are judging the world, and deciding on how things will turn out, together with Me.”
Now that God has actually created the world, there are certain things that He can’t do without us. This Gemara is teaching us that when we judge favorably ‘below’, Hashem immediately starts judging favorably ‘above’, too.
And if there is no-one judging favorably below, then there is no favorably judgment above.
Rebbe Nachman tells us that when we see a single Jew, and we judge him favorably, and we look at him with a good eye, at the precise moment that we do that, they start to judge him favorably above, too.