This week we read how Noah planted a vineyard, made wine, got drunk and uncovered himself in his tent. His son, Ham, “saw his nakedness,” and told his brothers Shem and Japheth. Walking backwards, they covered their father, “and they did not see their father’s nakedness.”

What was the difference between Ham and his brothers? What lesson can we take from Shem and Japheth?

When a friend has a downfall, when he has a moral failing, what do you see?

Some are like Ham; all they see is the “nakedness,” the negative. All their friend’s positivity is lost to them; they can only see him for his failing.

To this person, the Baal Shem Tov says, if you see a negative trait in a friend, it is because you have that very same negative trait, and you must correct it within yourself.

Others are like Shem and Japheth. They see their friend as the good person he always was. They don’t see their friend’s “nakedness”; they refuse to define him by his failing. His actions may need to be corrected, but the person is good.

Because he sees his friend as good, he is in position to help his friend correct his ways.

Seeing good in people is a positive trait. Seeing the positive in people uplifts them and uplifts you.

We all need friends to keep us going and to strengthen our moral selves. Be a good friend. Be an uplifting friend. Uplift a friend, and you will positively affect his circle of influence.

Together, we will uplift the world!