I am bouncing off my last blog, but the title and subject was inspired from a live broadcast interview I did with Rabbi Shlomo Nachman of the 1 God 7 Laws Facebook page.
Paraphrasing from my last blog, “Noahide Expression of Faith” – the parts of the Creator’s attributes that we are created from, is what He showed Moses.
“Hashem passed before him and proclaimed: …Compassionate and Gracious, Slow to Anger, and Abundant in Kindness and truth…” Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash
As I also brought out in my last blog, our 7 laws are found within the attributes of the Creator listed in the verse above.
We can wrap all of the attributes up in one word and that is ‘kindness’ each attribute along with each individual law of the 7 laws contain the base element of kindness.
Now before I go on, I do want to touch one subject of kindness that has a negative issue. And that is being kind to the cruel.
There is a saying found in ancient Jewish writings that best says it, “To be kind to the cruel is to be cruel to the kind.
We can find this aspects of this issue in Psalms 145, in it, we find that even the Creator has a limit in whom He shows kindness too, lets look at few passage to see what I am trying saying.
The Eternal is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works.
The Eternal is righteous in all His ways, and gracious in all His works.
The Eternal preserves all them that love Him; but all the wicked will He destroy.
What we learn from this is that not everyone in our path is due our kindness, This also shows us that there are different shades of kindness. There is a heavenly kindness that can go beyond our understanding, for the wicked, destruction is a form of kindness. I do not plan on going into this form of kindness in this blog – just understand that on the average our greatest deed is kindness to another human being.
In one of our weekly Skype meetings, Pesach Sherbow of Torah for the Nations in Tzfat Israel made a comment that really hits the ball home for us Noahides coming out of the world’s realigns, he said something in the realm of, “We do not loose anything coming out of religion, we gain our humanity”.
Over and over again I hear, especially from folks who are somewhat new to the Noahide Laws and life talk about the things they give up when they leave a religion they have been active in for so long. For many the things given up are expressions of their faith and now they feel that they do not have a way to express their new found faith in the Creator.
Again, drawing from my precious blog, we were kidnapped and brought up in a very foreign way, a way not sanctioned by our Creator.
“We do not loose anything coming out of religion, we gain our humanity”.
We sometimes feel like we are thrust out into the world like orphans but in reality we are gaining our God given birthright as the humans He created.
The world we live in offers us so much opportunity to practice and live our humanity.
My personal example: Sometime after accepting upon myself the 7 Laws, I was contacted by a man asking if I was interested in becoming apart of the Bearded Villains. At first I was not so keen on the word ‘villain’ until I learned more about them.
I stepped out on a limb and slowly started becoming involved with these guys. To be honest, it was a step outside of the box I had been in most of my life. At the time the only thing I saw in common with these men was the fact I had a beard. But as I got to know them, I found these guys with beards, tats, piercings and the like a real cool group who was dedicated to their families and one another, with a desire to help out where humanity needed it. I am still in my first year of involvement and I have helped participate in at least 6 different causes, from charities, raising funds for illnesses and tragedies of others.
Where some Noahides struggle with community, I found a community within the community outside my window.
I do not go in preaching the 7 laws, I join other humans in doing the very Noahide thing, sharing kindness to others in what ever way we can. Matter of fact part of our international mission statement is to better humanity through kindness.
When we all come together we joke, cut up, cheer and sometimes sing happy birthday to a fellow brother’s wife – but our communal goal is to do our best in helping the needs of another fellow human the best way we can, using our beards as a common connector.
So yes, in my Noahide faith, so-to-speak, I am a proud Bearded Villain, my local chapter is the Smoky Mountain Bearded Villains and our local motto is, “Villains step up”
So for those who are wondering about the word ‘villain’ in our name – we are villains against the stereotype of roughneck bearded men. We pride in loyalty, respect and kindness.
One of the translations of Psalm 89:3 is that the world is built on kindness.
All this to say simply, Kindness – is humanities’s special mitzvah/deed.
Terry W. Hayes – ben Noach
Photo Credit: Robert Baker on Unsplash
2 thoughts on “Kindness – Humanities’s Special Mitzvah/Deed”
Another beautiful post, ET. It is excellent in pointing the world of community we have, and the way we can make a positive difference without the need to affiliate with some religion. Great article.
There are at least three derivations for the obligation of kindness:
a) as a logical obligation
b) as a positive aspect of the prohibition of murder (there is no greater kindness than saving one who is being pursued for murder)
c) Though kindness is derived from a) and b), it is also considered part of the commandment of Dinim since it is the just way to act towards another person. The purpose of kindness is identical to that of Dinim, to make a functional and orderly world.
Saving a person’s life from a murderer is an aspect of pursuing justice, and therefore it is obligatory for a Gentile to save another person as part of Dinim (in addition to the positive obligation to save a person’s life within the prohibition of murder).
Charity and kindness are the attribute of Abraham. From all of Abraham’s qualities, G-d praised his exceptional kindness.
Kindness is greater than charity, as it can be done for the rich as well as the poor, and can be done both with money as well as bodily effort. Charity is done only for the living, whereas one can do kindness for the dead as well.
The Sages say that one who does not escort a guest as he leaves is as if he has spilled his blood! One should walk the guest through the door and at least 4 cubits beyond the door, and if the guest is a respectable person, the host must escort the guest according to the guest’s honor or need (adapted from the Divine Code Third Edition by Rabbi Moshe Weiner).