G‑d then summoned Moses to the entrance to the Tabernacle. G‑d spoke to him from a pillar of cloud that appeared over the Tabernacle’s entrance, informing him that He was going to dictate a poem to him that he should teach the Jewish people. The purpose of the poem was to inspire the Jewish people to remain loyal to G‑d throughout any misfortunes that might befall them as a result of their misdeeds.
Interpreting Evil
הֲלֹא עַל כִּי אֵין אֱלֹקַי בְּקִרְבִּי מְצָאוּנִי הָרָעוֹת הָאֵלֶּה: (דברים לא:יז)
[G‑d told Moses that the Jews would say during their misfortunes,] “Is it not because our G‑d is no longer among us that these evils have befallen us?” Deuteronomy 31:17

We are naturally disposed to overlook our own faults – or, if we do acknowledge them, to rationalize them. This verse teaches us that in order to show us our own faults, G‑d shows them to us in other people. “Because my G‑d is not within me,” i.e., “because I am not spiritually mature enough to be sensitive to my own shortcomings” – “this evil has befallen me,” i.e., “I have been forced to see my own evil reflected in my fellow Jew.”

Therefore, rather than focusing on others’ faults, we should try to focus on their virtues and excuse their shortcomings. Not only should we focus on others’ virtues in our own minds; we should praise them for their virtues, and praise them to other people. In this way, we foster mutual love and respect.

Just we are encouraged to inspire those around us to love G‑d, so are we encouraged to inspire those around us to love every Jew, for loving our fellow Jew leads us to love G‑d.1