Mishlei Tools: Ohr Hachaim haKadosh
The 15th of Tammuz is the Yahrtzeit of the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh: “Find favor and good regard in the eyes of the Lord and man. Direct your trust to God with all your heart, and do not rely on your discernment. Know Him through all your paths, and He will straighten your steps (Proverbs 3:4-6).”
There are some people who are wise in acting in ways that will allow them to find favor and good regard in the eyes of people. They will search for ways to find leniencies in God’s law because they are convinced that they must act in a certain way to find approval in the eyes of others.
There are other people who are wise in acting only in ways that will allow them to find favor and good regard in the eyes of God, even without considering how their actions will be perceived by other people. They willingly ignore finding favor in the eyes of others, as long as they believe they find favor in the eyes of God.
The former will risk going against God because their ‘wisdom’ convinces them that it is simpler to repair a sin against God than to repair a relationship with another person.
The latter group says, “Of course I must act in a nice way, but it is far more important to find favor in the eyes of God!”
King Solomon addresses both groups: “Direct your trust to God with all your heart,” he instructs those focused on human favor and regard; when you choose to be lenient your are trusting your mind and not placing your trust in God. “With all your heart,” means your entire heart must be with God and not even an insignificant section of your heart should be focused on the opinions of others.
“Know Him through all your paths, and He will straighten your steps,” is addressed to those who willfully ignore others as they fulfill what they perceive as God’s Will: The result of one who is truly aware of God is that He will guide your steps so that your actions will not anger or bother others. If your actions for God do not find favor in the eyes of others, He is not guiding each of your steps, which means that you do not “know Him through all your paths!” (Ohr haChaim HaKadosh: Rishon l’Tzion al Nach)