Justice and kindness are prominent themes in the Jewish Scriptures. Jeremiah, Micah (6:8) and Moses (Genesis 18:19) all put these concepts at the center of our relationship with God.
Here is a thought.
The basis of our relationship with God is the fact that He created us (Psalm 100:3, Isaiah 42:5, 44:24). So what? Well, if He created us then we belong to him. When I say: “we belong to him” – I mean – everything – our lives our souls, our ability to love – everything. We owe every facet of our existence to the One Creator of all.
The concepts of: “belong” and “owe” only talk to us to the degree that justice is important to us. If justice is not important to us, then we cannot appreciate the idea that we “owe” everything to God and that we “belong” to God. It is only to the degree that we internalize the concept of justice, giving to each what rightfully belongs to them, that we can begin to feel where we stand in relation to God.
God is the Ultimate Giver. He gives and there is no taking on His part – pure kindness. To the degree that we do not love kindness, we are prone to confuse “giver” and “taker”. Every idolater is by definition worshiping a “taker” – a beneficiary of God’s overflowing kindness. This confusion is only possible where kindness is not appreciated. To the degree that we love kindness, to that same degree – and only to that same degree can we love the true God, the ultimate source of all kindness.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
I enjoyed this Rabbi. While in Israel, I sat in a teaching at a recent archeological dig (khirbet qeiyafa) on “tzedekah” (hope i spelled it correctly). I had heard of the word before, but our teacher explained how it “pulls together” the concepts of “justice AND charity”, and the ostracon found at that site addresses the concept of charity, and that the “core” of what God gets at very often, is that often times, we don’t take care of those among us!
Reblogged this on 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources.