SHOW GRACE AND YOU WILL BE SHOWN GRACE
One efficient way to connect to Hashem is by emulating Hashem’s attribute of Grace. It’s written that just as he’s merciful, you should be merciful and just as he shows Grace to people, so too you should show Grace.
But what does it mean to show Grace?
The Midrash says that Hashem told Moshe Rabenu “I will be merciful to whomever I choose to be merciful and I will give grace to whomever I will give grace”, meaning; even if one is not worthy, he can receive Hashem’s grace.
To show grace means simply to find within someone Favor and show him a positive attitude, even though he’s not worthy of it. How would this apply?
Let’s give an example.
Let’s say there’s a child whom you want to teach to behave at the table. Yet, since he’s not behaving, he’s not worthy of being shown Grace. If there was no Grace in the world, one would immediately punish the child, but Baruch Hashem, we know better than to judge a child by the strict letter of the law!
The right translation of Hen (Grace) can also be Beauty or goodness.
Sometimes, Hashem is showing us His grace even though we are not worthy. In the same way, we have to show Grace with other people even though they are not worthy of it. It is very close to the idea of Judging people favorably.
In fact, one can say that Grace can only be shown to one who’s not worthy of it! This is because if we are kind and benefit one who’s worthy of it, then that’s Chessed (Lovingkindness), and not grace.
But, how exactly are you going to give somebody the benefit of the doubt?
There is a big Kabbalistic secret in finding merits in people. Find out below how to implement the attributes of Hashem into your life!
THE BENEFIT OF GIVING PEOPLE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
What does it mean to show grace to others even though they’re not worthy of it?
Let’s give it another Parable. There’s a true story that tells that there once was a child who had a problem of stealing. He couldn’t control it and so, his parents went to a big Rabbi, who was very wise in education. His name is Rabbi Jacobsson.
Rabbi Jacobson decided that the best way for this child to get over his lust for stealing would be to make him a gabbai of tzedaka (one in charge of collecting funds)! Talk about an absurd notion!
In any case, he put him in charge of the charity box of his Beit Knesset (Synagogue). That would sound peculiar because the child is obviously not worthy of such merit!
How can you find enough favor to put him in such a position trusting that he will guard all that money?
Sure enough, at the end of the day, the Rabbi counts the money when this child was not there and finds out that there was some money missing. But right now, that doesn’t matter to him and he keeps the child going on with his work without saying anything.
All the time the Rabbi tells this child: “You know why I chose you to be the Gabai? Because you are such a responsible and honest boy!”
He keeps telling the child he has such a good character.
Over time, this child became more and more embarrassed because this Rabbi is praising him for things that aren’t true. One time, the child was looking down at the ground while speaking to the Rabbi and he answered: “Rabbi maybe you are making a mistake in the way that you judging me. Maybe you think that I’m worth more than I actually am.”
The Rabbi tells him: “I have no doubt in my mind. I know that that you really are an honest guy and you are doing everything the right way.” When the Rabbi gives him a big hug, suddenly this child starts to cry and that’s when he stops stealing altogether!
What do we learn from this story?
The first thing that comes to mind is that when you take someone who’s not worthy and treat him as if he’s worthy, in a certain way you’re forcing him to push himself over his limits to get to the position that he will be worthy!
Certainly this doesn’t always work in every situation. One needs tremendous help from Heaven so that everything will work the way that we want it to work.
Another real story is that there once was a lady who hired a house cleaner. This lady that the cleaner does not clean correctly and that shes a lazy worker.
So when she first came, the house owner told her “I heard that you’re not an efficient worker and quite lazy. However, I believe that you are a very good person that works extremely well and I’m sure that that we will get along well together”.
This cleaning lady pushed herself over her limits to make sure that the house owner will be happy because she put her trust in her.
The bottom line is that in showing grace can be done as a kind of psychology trick, though it should always be used to guide people in the proper path and it is a very powerful way of emulating Hashem.
YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE HASHEM WANTS YOU TO BE
Someone once said “The secret to being in the right place at the right time is knowing that you already are”. A very powerful phrase indeed.
For example, am I worthy to be here in the Yeshiva to teach Kabbalah?
The answer is “no”. I know myself and I’m saying no, but Hashem is putting me in this position!
Therefore, I’m pushing myself to learn, to teach and to do all of what I do because Hashem is putting me in this position. So I’m trying my best to do whatever it takes to please Hashem and to appreciate his grace. There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with Grace and the same thing goes when it comes to dealing with other people.
Understand that whatever your position is in your life, whatever it is that you’re dealing with, you must try your best to fulfill your purpose. And in trying to fulfill the goal of each and every situation, Hashem gives us more grace even though we’re not worthy! And so, with that, we are pushing ourselves to be greater than he wants us to be. The point is to always go higher and higher.
This principle works in every way you can think of, including education, business, marriage and all other relationships. If we apply this concept in a way where we are emulating Hashem and go in His ways then we end up getting much more than we’d be gaining without it!
But that’s not all: In addition to all of the benefits mentioned, in the end we are truly helping ourselves and other people to rise and to do more good and to take more responsibility. This is, after all, an aspect of the Sefirah of Keter which is pure Grace (but that’s a discussion for another time).
MEDITATION ON THE ATTRIBUTE OF GRACEFULNESS
We’re now going to focus on this aspect of finding Grace within ourselves and for others. This is a very powerful meditation exercise which will bring you a lot of Light.
So let’s get comfortable in a chair.
Close your eyes, breathe and relax as if you have no hurries.
Don’t let any the noise from outside disturb you. Make the decision in your mind that all of the noises that you hear from outside are God just allowing us to go more deeper and become more elevated.
We start by relaxing and giving the order to all of your muscles and all of your bones to relax and to calm down. Feel them letting go of control.
Continue breathing and imagine you are bringing a beautiful light that will dissolve all of the tension and all of the anxiety.
Let it all melt down.
Again, let go of everything that needs to be released. There’s nothing holding you down here.
Start to be aware of the sensations of the physical body, specifically, the places that you feel tension, those that are hot, those that are cold and everything in between.
Now we move our consciousness inside the emotional body to become aware of all of the emotions that are active within us. Don’t try to think about this rationally with words, just put your attention on it.
Try to let go of any negative emotion.
Also, try to hold and strengthen any positive emotion. We all have both of them inside of us.
Keep breathing and bringing the light that contains all of the character traits and all of the attributes Of Hashem. Remember not to over-analyze, or force yourself.
All of Hashem’s attributes are shining straight towards you. From all of them, we want to connect specifically to the attribute of Grace. Contemplate for a while how Hashem is giving you Grace and how much you are finding favor in Hashem’s eyes. He’s giving you so much to enjoy, and for free, because he lacks nothing.
While you are breathing, try to pull yourself up and up to connect to this attribute of grace. Remember to internalize it, make it part of yourself. You can also think about certain people, like your parents, children or marriage partner.
Contemplate about that person, contemplate how are you sending them Grace.
Channel it, slowly but surely. You are not “just imagining things”, this is actually happening in the spiritual worlds.
Are you giving this person credit and grace, above & beyond what they deserve? Don’t worry, you can always give more.
Elevate the light that you’re bringing with your breathing, let it surround and penetrate the image of this person that you have in your heart and your mind.
Give him physical, emotional and spiritual strength. And if you want you can add words of Prayer to the One who spoke the world into being. Remember he is an infinite source of blessing, surely he can provide all our needs.
What’s in your heart now?
Pray to Hashem to help you to be who he wants you to be and to connect with what others are doing now at this time of the year specifically. See the good in everything and connect to it.
Now, connect to the attribute of grace and apply this attribute as giving credit to people around you.
Even though they might not be worthy, do it as a way to connect Hashem, because that’s what He does.
This is also the place and time to be grateful and to thank Hashem for everything, the revealed good and what doesn’t look like good.
Slowly, slowly you coming down coming back. Again, no hurries.
See how your emotional state changed with the meditation, feel the sensations of the body, slowly slowly bring the movement back to your body.
Open your eyes when you are ready and face a new reality.
When this article was written:
I want to say that I had the merit to be at the Kotel today and I prayed for all of the people, specifically the people that are helping and supporting us in many different ways that they should have success and blessings. God willing we should have even more good news for everyone over creation.
Blessings and success to all,
R’ Yaakov Shepherd