Objective Positivity

Shmuel Halpern
2 min readJun 4, 2021
Photo by Shalece Elynne on Unsplash

Manners are the lubricant oil of an organization.” (Peter F. Drucker, management theorist and teacher).

However, some people seem to ignore Drucker’s advice, and yet do exceptionally well. They’re manners may be less than smooth, but they have something else, something no less important, and that is ‘heart’.

Heart-felt, human interactions will change our interpersonal world for the better.

But the benefits of the pure heart go much further. We significantly upgrade our clarity of thought and decision-making apparatuses by ridding ourselves of envy, jealousy, and anger.

In the daily choices of life, as in major life decisions, we struggle with information overload. Sure, we can make a nice list of pros and cons, but is life ever that simple?

With purity of heart, we can hear the whisper of our inner self. We can begin to differentiate our own voice from the cacophony of external voices that threaten to overwhelm us.

Finally, through the gift of silence, we can see the issues for what they truly are. We now see the forest and the trees, without forgetting which is which.

In this week’s parshah, the spies return from the land of Canaan with conflicting reports. What Yehoshua and Calev saw as good, their colleagues saw as bad.

“I’m a realist, not a pessimist,” is a common refrain.

The Zohar disagrees.

The Zohar teaches us that the spies were concerned that they wouldn’t maintain their positions of leadership upon entry to the land of Canaan.

This ulterior motive, a lack of purity of the heart, led them astray and corrupted their objectivity. It’s positivity, not negativity, that is the truly objective way of looking at the world.

Hashem is good and all that He does is good.

Rabbi Yeshaya Halevi Horwowitz writes that in the world fundamentally changed with the shattering of the first luchos (tablets). No longer would goodness and light be openly manifest all the time; now, it would be heavily concealed.

There are two ways to break through the darkness. One is through exile and suffering. “There’s nothing more whole than a broken heart.” The other way is gratitude.

Instead of breaking through with a hammer, we can break through with the laser-clear vision of positivity.

The spies were right; they wouldn’t maintain their leadership because, in the second luchos era, leadership is all about objective positivity.