Honorable Mensch-ion

Acts of Lovingkindness

As Rabbi Guzik leads the Nazarian Teen Fellowship Israel trip, I have had the honor of schlepping our children to winter camps, preparing the meals of their choices, renting movies that will entertain them, and thinking of creative activities that will distract each of us equally. When the silence of bedtime arrives, I gather several moments for myself to process not only the day that was but the day that will be.

As Jacob lives out his remaining days, he asks his son Joseph to place his hand under his thigh and “to deal with me kindly and truly.” Rashi teaches that Chesed vemet, a true act of kindness, is an act that is done for another that asks for no favor in returns. When one always thinks to himself “What will I gain from this?” there appears to lack a feeling of love for our fellow human being.

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin writes that we should not look at our daily chores as drudgery, but we should be happy for the opportunity to take care of our home, especially caring for children. As small children learn how to appreciate what their parents do for them, it is a true chesed shel emet.

This week has been filled with answering to the demands of a 6, 4, and 2 year old. But as our Rabbis put it in terms of
chesed and emet, I would not want to have it any other way.

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