Cheshvan 8
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Cheshvan 8

From on high may they plead merit for them (our hosts) and for us ... and may we find favor and understanding in the eyes of God and man (Grace After Meals).

We all wish to be liked and appreciated. What is the best road to popularity?

Some people are "people pleasers." They do things for others to earn their favor and affection. While it is certainly commendable to do things for others, "buying" their affection should not be the motivation. Furthermore, there are times when we are not able to fulfill a particular request that someone may make of us. If we force ourselves because we are afraid that our refusal may result in losing the other person's friendship, we may resent what we do. This process is counterproductive; doing acts of kindness should not result in resentment.

All we need to be liked and appreciated is to have a sincere attitude of caring for others. A benevolent attitude will translate itself into benevolent deeds. This "intangible" will be felt by other people, even when we are unable to do anything for them.

In the above prayer, we ask God to bless our hosts and to consider them meritorious. Showing this benevolent attitude is sufficient for us to find favor in the eyes of both God and others.

Today I shall...

try to cultivate feelings of sincere concern for others, and pray for their well-being just as I pray for my own.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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