Kindness In Disguise
By judging others favorably and responding to them with kindness, we add holiness to the world.
It is difficult to follow Joshua ben Parachyah's admonition to judge everyone favorably (Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Forebears) 1:6), but Levi Yitzchak reminds us that we can't always be sure of another person's motives. We may think that someone is treating us badly, when in fact, they are trying to protect us from something worse. In assuming the best of others and reacting kindly ourselves, we have the opportunity to add holiness to the world, just as we do by increasing the number of Hanukkah lights each night.
May this portion and the holiday of Hanukkah remind us to bring more light and more kindness to those around us!
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