עולם חסד יבנה

“The world is built on lovingkindness…” [1]

“Hesed,” G-d’s quality of “lovingkindness,” expresses itself in us — Divine creations that we are — too.  We’re loving beings:
                                                                                                                         
“Love is not a virtue that we must struggle…to acquire. It is inherent in us; it resides in the depths of the human heart, it is knitted into our being. The powers and attributes manifested by G-d are potentially resident in us, who are created in G-d’s image. Love, therefore, is intertwined with the very roots of our being. There is none so mean or so base, that we have not within us a spark of Divine love, which occasion does kindle.”  [2]
                                                                                                                                                                                   No matter what else we feel or express towards another, underneath — we love and are actively loving.  It’s a part of us that never changes; it’s part of what we are.

                                                                                                                                                                                   We needn’t reject or regret any other human reaction or feeling that we have. Let’s accept, respect and learn from them all, yet balance them with a reminder of the perfect loving that’s most natural to us. Doing so opens doors for us: doors of wider possibilities in our reactions to stresses with other people; doors of consciousness. Loving, we know ourselves best.

Choosing to love, and in acts and expressions of love, we call forth Love itself:

“Love…like all other inherent powers, must be consciously cultivated and expressed; efforts must be made to call it into action; otherwise, it will remain in a potential state, finding only rare or inadequate expression.” [3]

Rabbi S.R. Hirsch also understands “Hesed” — lovingkindness — as work in which we each have a part:

“…’Hesed,’ the lovingkindness which G-d desires to make a living reality…[is] an edifice which all coming generations have to build, and to whose eventual completion every age is expected to make its own contribution.” [4]

From where can we draw the love we need for our work of creating a kind, loving world? From the “Divine image” in which we’re created — from the Divine essence of what we are.

The work begins with ourselves.

What within you stands in the way of your loving more?


[1] Ps. 89:3 (translation based on Yale University Press; The Midrash on Psalms)
[2] (based on) Lichtenstein, Rabbi Morris; Jewish Science and Health; p. 128
[3] ibid.  
[4] Hirsch, Rabbi S.R.; The Hirsch [commentary on] Psalms; p. 123