Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Popularity: Cause or Effect?


"Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa was wont to say: If people are pleased with a certain person, that is a sign that Gd is pleased with that person, too."
(Pirkei Avot 3:10)

Is Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa saying that Gd is happy with a person who is pleasant to others? Or is he saying that popularity with others is a sign of Divine favor? (We can find classic sources to support each idea.)

Have a great day,


  1. Without any classic sources at hand, it sounds more to me as if Rabbi Chanina is saying that result of a person following the laws of Hashem is, on balance, that people are pleased with that person. And, if people are pleased with that person, it's a sign that the person is doing the will of Hashem. Naturally, Heaven is pleased when a person does the will of Hashem.

  2. Interesting - but then why would R' Chanina ben Dosa have placed the emphasis on Divine satisfaction, rather than on the fact that the person is fulfilling Divine laws?