Section: Daas Torah   Category: Pearls Of Wisdom
Rav Meir Chadash - Kavod, Giving Your Friend a Poison Pill?

Kavod, we know, is something to run away from. Kavod corrupts, the quest for kavod destroys everything. So how is it that not only are we permitted to give others kavod, but we are encouraged and even demanded to do so? What about Lifnei Iveir, is there a pill more poison than kavod?

Rav Meir Chadash the Chevron Mashgiach and Talmid of the Alter of Slabodka explains with a Mashal (not exact but this is the gist of it). A poor fellow approaches a wealthy member of the community and asks him for a loan to start a business. The rich man tells him that he'd love to help, but before doing so he needs to ask some questions. What will you use the money for? How can I be sure you won't use it for the wrong purpose? How will your business grow from it? After hearing his answers and being satisfied with them, the rich man writes him a check for the amount he requested.

Six months later the rich man calls the poor man and asks him how business is, and if he ready to repay the loan. "Baruch Hashem business is great and I have the funds to pay back the loan as agreed", replies the borrowers. "However" he adds, "before writing you a check I have a few questions to ask you. What will you do with the money..."

This is almost laughable! When you give someone something out of the generosity of your heart you can ask all the questions you want. But when you give something to someone that you owe him and it belongs to him, you don't ask any questions.

Kavod is not a treat you give your friend based on the generous spirit in your heart. You owe everyone Kavod! Everyone is a Tzelem Elokim and the Kavod is theirs. So when you pay your dues, don't be so brazen to start asking too many questions. Give it to them with a smile and move on!