EXOD10 You should feel another person's suffering as if it were your own. … the Talmud Sotah 11a states that Pharaoh held a council with three people before he reached a decision to persecute the Israelites: Bilaam, Eyov (Job), and Yisro. Bilaam, who advised Pharaoh to persecute them, was subsequently killed by the Israelites. Eyov, who remain silent, was punished with great suffering. Yisro, who fled, merited that his descendants were members of the Sanhedrin (highest rabbinical tribunal). At first glance it seems difficult to understand why Eyov was punished. Since Pharaoh was antagonistic toward the Children of Israel, even if Eyov would have spoken on their behalf, nothing would have been accomplished. The proof is that Yisro was rewarded for running away in protest. Had it been within Yisro's power to influence Pharaoh, his response would not have merited reward. The Brisker Rav, Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik, offered a classic explanation. True, Eyov knew that speaking out would not change Pharaoh's mind, but he should have protested nonetheless, as Yisro did by fleeing. When something hurts, a person screams (ven es tut vey, shreit men). If a person remains silent, it shows that he does not feel pain. Eyov was taught this lesson. He would suffer, and although shouting would not help, he would realize that when one suffers, one cries out. Previously, he should have felt the suffering of others; now he would feel his own. ... Rav Simcha Zissel wrote that frequently when people hear that someone is recuperating from an illness, they are happy and no longer feel for his pain and suffering. This is not proper. As long as another person still feels even slight pain, we must feel for his suffering, just as if the person himself feels the pain until he is entirely healed. We must work on acquiring the sensitivity as it does not come naturally. Chochmah Umussar, vol.1, p.11 This is the Chazon Ish's advice on how to acquire the attribute of feeling another's suffering:" For someone to be able to feel the suffering of others he must first train himself to do everything he can to help them and to save them from suffering. These actions will affect the emotions. Also, he should pray for the welfare of others even if at first he does not actually feel their anguish." Kovetz Igros Chazon Ish, vol. 1, 123.
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