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Thought for the Day: Finding Grace in Everyone's Eyes

Near the end of our morning brachos, we ask: "Please allow us today and every day to find grace, kindness, and mercy in Your Eyes and in the eyes' of all who see us."  One may ask, once we have found favor in HaShem's Eyes (so to speak), why do we need to worry about everyone else?  After all, if you go into a king's court, you need to worry about what the king thinks and not the rabbble.

Perhaps we may answer from the answer Hillel gave to the ger asking to be taught the Torah while standing on one foot (Shabbos 31a).  Hillel told him, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend."  Rashi brings two explanations of friend: (1) it really means HaShem, (2) it really means your fellow human, because most of the mitzvos are in the bein adam l'chaveiro (interpersonal) category.

Of course we need to find favor in HaShem's Eyes, but part of that (most, according to Rashi) depends on properly fulfilling our obligations to other people.  On the other hand, we are not "stam" interested in what others think of us; we are only interested in so far as it is what HaShem wants.  In other words: "Please allow us today and every day to find grace, kindness, and mercy in Your Eyes by living according to Your Will.  May be also see the favor in other peoples' eyes so that we will know we are being successful."


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