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Working on Tov Ayin

Question:

Hi, I was wondering how a person can develop an ayin tov. Perhaps you have some ideas? I think that developing that middah would really help me and other too, but I am not sure how.
Thanks

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

The idea of ayin tova is the opposite of tzarus ayin. Tzarus ayin is that the person’s “eye” or “mind’s eye” cannot accept that another person has good. He wants it all or himself, and what others have bothers him. Tov ayin is the capability for a person to want that others should have good, health wealth, and that others should be fortunate.

We can develop tovas ayin, by first of all realizing in our head that what others have does not take away from myself in any way. Hashem gives each person their portion, and just because someone else has, doesn’t mean that I will have less. Hashem has more than enough for everyone, and each person gets according to the portion that Hashem wants him to have.

A practical way to develop this feeling. We all have such feeling for our children. We don’t feel bad when our child get a new bike, or if our married child would buy a new house. We aren’t going to feel jealous over their new car, because we want them to have good things. We have to now extend these feelings to others, from our children to our siblings, then to our neighbors, the person who we sit next to in shul etc. until we slowly develop a capability to want another person to have good.

Another suggestion is to practice having an ayin tova. I once heard from R’ Binyonim Finkel shlit”a the mashgiach of the Mirrer Yeshiva, talk about his father R Aryeh Finkel zt”l. He said that when he was a child and his father saw that someone was building, and making an addition to his home, he would stop and exclaim, “ah! I am happy for this person! Now he will have some more room in his home, and things will be easier for him! If only this could happen to others too! He made a point of saying this in front of his children, to teach them tovas ayin. We can use this as a lesson, that we can also practice acquiring tovas ayin, be saying the same thing when we see someone else’s fortune.

I hope that you will find this helpful.

Hatzlocha

 

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