Hakaras HaTov is generally translated as, or equated with, gratitude. Insofar as it literally means "recognizing the good",are there any sources which explicitly include recognizing good that we do not directly or indirectly benefit from under the middah (trait) of Hakaras HaTov?

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    Feb 22, 2013 at 8:49
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1 Answer 1


it means "recognizing the good" because one who receives good from another is "obligated to submit himself before his benefactor", hence "recognize the good" - i.e. do not deny your responsibility. source commentaries in beginning of Gate #3 of chovos halevavos (see there. i forgot the exact one). So according to this, by definition it only applies to one who receives benefit from another. there is no responsibility to submit yourself before someone you did not receive benefit from. this is why many gedolei yisrael refused to benefit from anyone except God

ADDITION: I read in the book HaSod on Rav Elyashiv where it quotes the rav saying that "hakaras hatov is a mida and therefore has no limit". according to that view seems there's room to include hakaras hatov as in your question. that would also explain some puzzling things such as Moshe not striking the Nile in the first plague out of "hakaras hatov"

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