Latest update: May 23rd, 2013
There was nothing Hashem had to gain by protecting the cattle and the slaves of the Egyptians. The only motivation was generosity, goodness, and a pure concern for others. Seeing this warmed even the callous heart of Pharaoh. He understood he was dealing with something outside of the realm of normal human interests. He saw Hashem.
This also helps us understand one of the great ironies of life.
The selfish person is focused on his needs and wants. The generous person is concerned about the welfare of others – even at the cost of his own needs. We would assume the selfish person would be happy. After all, he is singly focused on what’s good for him. But the generous person has the good of others on his mind – surely he can’t be as happy. He has to worry about the good of others.
Yet just the opposite is true. The more a person is focused on others’ needs, the happier he is. The more he focuses on his own needs and wants, the unhappier he will be.
When man develops the trait of giving, he achieves inner peace, balance, and harmony. When he ignores it, he suffers. His sense of self becomes fragmented. One part of him is demanding, “What’s in it for me?” and the other side is crying out, “What have I done for others?” The more a person develops the nature of giving, the more he becomes like Hashem.
This why kindliness is so basic to being a Torah-observant Jew, to being as much like Hashem as is humanly possible. While it takes focus and attention to bring out the higher part of our personality, it is ingrained in our soul and so it comes naturally to us.
About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of TheShmuz.com. The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at www.TheShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.
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