The gemara says הרבה שלוחים למקום – Hashem has many messengers. עושה מלאכיו רוחות – He makes the winds His messengers (Tehillim 104:4). So if the wind knocks your hat off your head it’s Hakadosh Baruch Hu who did it. He knocked your hat off your head.
Germs are His agents. The boss in the factory is His agent. Your wife is sometimes an agent of Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
When Dovid Hamelech was insulted bitterly by Shimi ben Geira – Shimi ben Geira said to Dovid Hamelech צא צא איש הדמים – “Get out of here you bloody fellow.” He said that to Dovid Hamelech. So Dovid’s soldiers wanted to execute him because he was insulting the king. So Dovid said “Don’t touch him.” Dovid said ה’ אמר לו קלל – Hashem told him to curse me.
So הרבה שלוחים למקום. And if we’ll understand it that way it means Hakadosh Baruch Hu is doing everything. And the same is in the opposite. If somebody honors you, if somebody greets you cordially and you feel warm inside, you know what you should do? Turn around, see that nobody is looking and say מודים אנחנו לך – “I thank You Hashem.”
That’s what even the good goyim used to do in the olden days. That’s why it was ossur to greet a goy on his holiday. The Gemara says if you greet a goy on his holiday so he’ll go to his church and thank his idol. Isn’t that a queer thing? If you greet a goy on his holiday, he’ll go to his church and he’ll thank his idol that a Jew honored him. That’s why it’s ossur to greet him because לפני עור לא תתן מכשול; you’re making him worship his idol.
So why shouldn’t we learn from good goyim? So if somebody honors a Jew, he doesn’t have to go to the shul but at least in the street he can say מודים אנחנו לך – “I thank You Hashem this man honored me.”
And that’s how we should be. So if somebody is angry at you, it’s Hashem that’s angry. If somebody is praising you, Hashem is praising you.
Of course this has to be taken with a little salt. Even if you buy the best meat in the store, if you eat it without salt it wouldn’t have any taste. So this advice requires a lot of salt; but just how to apply the salt we don’t have time right now to discuss that.
TAPE # 279 (August 1979)