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Pirkei Avos: Since When Are Popular People Necessarily Tzadikim?

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Pirkei Avos: Since When Are Popular People Necessarily Tzadikim?
Provided by Revach L'Neshama (www.revach.net)

Revach L'Neshama

The mishna says (3:13) whoever his fellow man is pleased with him, Hashem is also pleased with him. Does Hashem need people to tell Him who is really good? Moreover it isn't the externalities of a person that make him a tzaddik. There is more to this than meets the eye and the real battle won and lost in ones heart and mind far from the critical eyes of ones neighbor. Only Hashem can know the real intentions of a person.

The Yalkut Yehuda says that sometimes people do not serve Hashem for Hashem's sake but rather for selfish purposes. They love themselves and they want the fringe benefits that come along with being a good Jew. They may want Olam Haba or kavod from their peers. Self centered people are usually not beloved by those around them. Selfless people are genuinely admired and respected. Therefore says the mishna, the litmus test of the intentions of one's Avodas Hashem is to see what the people around him think. If they like him then his service to Hashem must indeed come from a pure heart and he is certainly beloved in Shamayim.

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