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Thought for the Day: Giving good kindnesses

"haGomel Chasadim Tovim l'Amo Yisrael" -- who bestows good kindnesses on His nation Yisrael.  One may ask, what kindness is not good?  I saw an explanation in the name of R' Eliyahu Lopian, ztz'l, that kindnesses may be bestowed in two different ways.  There is, of course, kindness given simply out of the good nature of the giver.  The receiver in that case is just the lucky beneficiary of the giver's kindness.  On the other hand, there are kindnesses given because the receiver in some sense is "owed" the kindness.  The way a parent prepares breakfast for his child exemplifies this.  The latter is a true chesed tov, as it leaves the receiver with no feelings of shame.  We praise HaShem each morning for doing so much chasadim for us each and every day (each and every moment of each and every day) and all the time in a way that allows us to feel that we deserve it all.

On that idea, we may make the following kal v'chomer: If HaShem (who owes nothing to any of us) gives everything to us as if we deserve it, shouldn't we (who have multiple obligations to every Jew *and* an obligation to emulate HaShem's ways) all the more so bestow are kindnesses with a feeling of gratitude that the other Jew is giving me the opportunity to fulfill my obligations?

(It goes without saying, of course, that when we are the beneficiary, we should feel and express the gratitude of someone who isn't owed anything; not like a spoiled/entitled brat.)


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