"Bila'am raised his eyes, and saw the Israelites dwelling (each one) amongst his tribe..." (Bamidbar, 24:2)
Rashi tells us that by "raising his eyes," Bila'am intended to cast an evil eye upon the Israelites. "Dwelling amongst his tribe" means that he saw that the opening of each one's tent did not face another's, so that they wouldn't peek in on their neighbors.
The "evil eye" of Bila'am is explained by the Divrei Yisrael, who cites Rebbe Yechezkel of Kuzmir's explanation of the Commandment of not coveting (desiring that which belongs to another). After all, what has the one who covets taken from the other person?
Rebbe Yechezkel explains that everything in this world has a spiritual "root" which is its life-source. Just as someone can steal - take away from another - an object in the physical sense, the same can be done in a spiritual way. This occurs when a person, in his heart, desires and lusts for something which is not his. In doing so, he takes away the spiritual life-force of the object. This is a sin which is even worse than stealing - for he removes the spiritual life-force, not just its physical aspect. One often finds that the desired object does not last - physically - too long afterwards, or at least it loses the charm it once had. This, says the Divrei Yisrael, is the meaning of the "evil eye".
Returning to our verse, Rebbe Shmuel Eliahu of Zvolin explains that when Bila'am saw that the openings of the tents didn't face one another, that Klal Yisrael guarded their eyes, the evil eye he wished to cast upon them could cause no harm. He goes on to tell us that this is because if one guards himself for Hashem's sake in a certain realm, no one can harm him in that sphere. A person must be on guard as to how he views others - not to see the evil in them, but only their goodness.
Tzaddikim with their ruach hakodesh (holy inspiration) were able to see everything in others, as clear as day. Nevertheless, they did not look at the evil in them, except to enable them to correct their deficiencies. Never did they view the evil in others in order to disparage them.
May Hashem help us to see the good in every Jew.

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