Midot Hayom: Day 33: Hod in Hod
Rabbi Meir says: What does the verse mean when it says concerning Aaron, “and turned many away from iniquity”? When Aaron walked along the road and met an evil man, hegreeted him. Later, if that man wished to commit a transgression he would say to himself: “Woe is me! How will I face Aaron afterwards? I’ll be ashamed, for he greeted me.” As a result, he will not transgress. Avot of Rabbi Nathan 12:3
Aaron’s greeting must have been more than a simple hello for the person to fear meeting Aaron again after a transgression. Aaron, the Cohen, would greet the person and immediately connect with the best in the person. The man would experience Aaron’s insight into his better essence and would understand that the great Cohen would see far deeper than the surface. The greeting from Aaron was an opportunity to connect with the Cohen and with himself. That experience was enough to make him hesitate before sinning.
We are usually satisfied when we say a quick, “Hello, how are you?” without waiting for a real response other than a “Thank God”. The challenge of this day is to greet as Aaron did, by seeing all that is good in the person we are greeting. We should transform the greeting into a moment of connection.
We can do the same thing for ourselves: We can treasure our better moments enough to protect them so that they will cause us to say, “How will I face myself afterwards?” When we first look at ourselves in the morning we should focus on our Hod – our inner glory – the best in us.