Why do we make the Petichat Eliyahu connection every day? It is to open ourselves to others. An opening in our heart means that when we see in someone else something that we do not have, something that we desire, our open heart can help us to receive that which we need.
In the prayer Yehi Ratzon it says “save me from chaver ra’ah (an evil friend).” However, the concept of an evil friend seems contradictory. How can someone be a friend and also be evil? Think of the Twelve Spies, were they evil people? No, they were spiritually elevated, righteous people. But what happened? The Zohar explains that they became closed to others when they began thinking about their own positions and not the greater good.
From this we learn the importance of being open hearted even when push comes to shove. There will always be someone that has something we do not have. This is our opportunity to open ourselves to them and not become envious or jealous—not become a chaver ra’ah. We cannot be a friend only on the surface. Open hearted to others allows us to read and sense others, as well as to be happy with what we have and be happy for what others have.
In the portion of Shlach Lecha, why does God tell Moses to send spies to spy out the land of Israel; why put a stumbling block in front of a blind person? The Zohar explains that in this way Moses would know if that person would be the right leader. He had to test the consciousness of the spies, who were the leaders of each of the twelve tribes. Moses needed to see if these spies would come back with a report of the Tree of Life—with the consciousness of being open hearted to a friend who has something they do not have. This is what puts us to the test and is really what constitutes a true friend.
The Zohar explains that although the Twelve Spies were Tzadikim (righteous souls) and friends they still believed that if they entered the land of Israel they would be out of a job, they did not think further than that. They did not think that entering the land of Israel would mean Mashiach (Messiah) and therefore they would not need a job anyway.
When the spies returned, ten of the leaders said that the land was good but that they could not fight the natives because they were giants. Two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, disagreed and said, “God is with us, we can do it,” and for that the children of Israel wanted to kill them. If someone has a different opinion than yours are you going to kill them? Why did the community side with the ten negative spies? Why did they not connect to the miracles that they had already experienced, that were already manifested?
We need to open our hearts and not be an evil friend. The Zohar explains that only with an open heart can we really love someone. We need to work on this idea because we are so asleep and we do not have an open heart. The problem of the ten spies and the children of Israel was that they did not have an open heart, which is why God said to Moses, “let us get rid of them.” If we have an open heart we can get rid of any form of chaos, of Satan.