Because the elders preserve Israel and are sought for their wisdom. Rabbi Akiva said:
Why is Israel compared to a bird? Just as a bird can only fly with its wings, so Israel can only survive with the help of its elders. [Ex. R. 5:12]
Rabbi Yehudah said they are owed respect even after they lose their faculties:
Be careful [to respect] an old man who ...
The term awful (aweful is a misspelling) is actually used in both senses only in modern day English. Originally it was restricted to the meaning filling with awe which is the meaning for נורא
Thus, it is not a negative or pejorative meaning.
Oppressing with fear or horror; appalling, terrible.
Inspiring awe; filling with profound ...
There are a few answers but I will say two.
One is- the רטבה on Brachot 35 says that when the פסוק says חן it is the ultimate source of kabala from the eyes meaning when one asks for Finding favor on the eyes one is asking if I found the knowledge in the eyes of the מלאכים.
There is still one problem. There's a rule that the פסוק will also retain its ...