This blog was inspired by a conversation I had with my youngest daughter, who in the past few weeks turned 24. She is an amazing young lady, I have said many of times that I love my adult children, having intellectual conversations with them is awesome form a father’s point of view. She has one of those special kind of hearts that others pick up on and adore her for. So, I am dedicating this blog to her.
In our conversation, she was sharing with her mom and I that she had grown up experiencing the journey our family had been on and that she understood the things that her parents had taught her, but now she is taking all of that and trying to find her way in life.
She was explaining to us the different kinds of people she has met and have interactions with. In her eyes everyone was doing exactly what she was doing and trying to live life with the abilities and knowledge that they had at that point. We discussed various religions and lifestyles that people find themselves in. She has a compassion for humanity.
She told us about something that she had done that week. She lives in an apartment in downtown Chattanooga. One day while walking her dog, she came across a homeless man sleeping next to a building. On her way back she stopped and picked up a sandwich and a bottled water for him. She found him still sleeping so she placed everything along with a note telling him that the food was for him. That is the kind of gal she is.
It was during this part of the conversation that led me to sharing more about the Seven Commandments the Creator gave mankind to keep.
I explained the beauty of the Commandments and how they are not a religion but is the lifestyle path the Creator wants all of mankind to follow.
I continued to share with her that when one looks at the raw commandments they may appear dry and harsh since they are listed primarily as prohibitions. Then her story of leaving food for a sleeping homeless man inspired a new thought in my mind. I then told her that the Seven Commandments are “Laws of Kindness” and by her actions she was doing exactly what the Creator wants us to do.
One of the teachings of the Sages of Israel is that the Creator built the world on kindness. One of the translations of Psalms 89 bears this out.
“For I have said, “The World is built on Kindness; the heavens – You establish Your faithfulness in them.”
When we look at the Hebrew of verse three we see that there is another way to translate the first part of the verse .
עוֹלָם, חֶסֶד יִבָּנֶה
This can be literally translated as, “Forever kindness is built”
Lets look at the eternal Seven Commandments from the Creator.
- Prohibition of idolatry
- Prohibition of blasphemy
- Prohibition of murder
- Prohibition of theft
- Prohibition of forbidden sexual relations
- Prohibition of eating meat taken from a live animal
- Establishment of a just legal system
If one will take the time to really study and meditate on these seven laws the obvious conclusion would be that they are “Laws of Kindness”
These Seven Commandments touch three areas in which kindness is to be shown:
- Kindness toward the Creator
- Kindness toward mankind
- Kindness towards the creation
Forever kindness is built
The purpose of each human being is to continue on in the works of kindness – this is our divine service, spirituality and birthright.
Terry W. Hayes
Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash
One thought on “Laws of Kindness”
I do not seek a wife right now. But your daughter has some qualities I look for in a woman (I am 28). To say that the purpose of each human being is to continue on in the works of kindness is wrong in a Torah Law sense. The 7 Commandments do not come down to kindness. The Noahide prohibition of idolatry includes the positive aspect to eliminate idol worship. The following quote shows the violent side of the prohibition of idolatry: “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations that you are dispossessing worshiped their gods…And you shall break apart their altars; you shall smash their pillars; and their asherah trees you shall burn in the fire; their carved images you shall cut down; and you shall obliterate their names (of those idols) from that place” (The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner, Ask Noah International, 2011, p 198, topic 1). Not to blaspheme G-d has more to do with fear than with kindness. A zealot who hears someone blaspheme has permission from G-d to strike down the blasphemer on the spot (the same, p 266, topic 6). And so on and so forth.