First of all, if you hadn't yet heard the sad story, apparently some Breslovers on their way home from Meron where they had observed the sacred minhag of cutting two three-year-old boys' hair, somehow the father lost control of the steering and a terrible accident occurred, taking the lives of four from that family. May they rest in peace.
Sitting in a doctor's office yesterday, I witnessed something very unfortunate which led to today's blog. An elderly orthodox man sat and waited his turn. An acquaintance of his came in also to see the doctor and the chatting began. No sooner did he open his mouth then I realized what a biter person he was. He began complaining about Meron, about the Chabbadnikim having their own Moshiach, he decided that Breslovers also have their own Moshiach (I have heard that mistake claimed in the past, don't know where they come up with these things) and even, sadly enough about the poor family.
"What did they have to travel by car? You don't go by car... Those Breslovers..."
At first I was understandably angry with this man. What right did he have to judge other Jews? To speak Lashon hara about klal Yisrael and especially about the dead - which is also a serious transgression in the Torah?
Now I am merely sad for him. What a terrible life one must have to be so bitter and judgmental. I think of myself and my own family, our daily joys in each other, in life, in Hashem, singing a lot, laughing at the cute things the toddler comes up with every day, visiintg with precious neighbors and discussing Hashem and religous topics at every possible chance. All I can feel is sorry for that man. And yet, don't we all do it to some extent? Most of us think that those that are left of us and our ways are "not enough or wrong" and those that are right of us are "extremeists"? (As i once read in Rebbetzin Heller's column in Hamodia)
We are so quick to judge others, may Hashem forgive us. When I once asked Binyamin, how should we feel about seeing Jews transgressing, immodeslty dressed women, etc., i.e. should we judge them harsly and be upset with them (a question my neighbor asked me to ask), Binyamin replied, "You don't judge or be upset with them. You cry for them and daven (pray) for them with all your heart."
In other words, let's not judge. Of course we have our opinions of 'everyone and everything', but we don't know what that perosn has been through in his life, how much he has advanced and where he is going. And as Rebbe Nachman taught, the way to bring a person to teshuva is to always look for the good point/s in him and that will cause the person to at least start having 'hirhurei teshuva' (pondering thoughts of teshuva).
When I first did teshuva, married and wore a beautiful long wig and short skirts, Hashem yerachem, I convinced myself it was okay because others did it. But I was still learning and growing. Today I wear only tichels, wide long clothes and a shawl, B"H. So remember that when you see another in such a position, remember they can still grow, if you and others find their good points and pray earnestly, out of love for them.
"There is no despair at all in the world." Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
Ein Ye-ush klal ba-olam