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Forgiving and Kind Love

(3) He should cultivate magnanimity and patience when he hears words and witnesses deeds that are hateful, [and do so] for the blessed Creator’s sake, as it is said, “if I have returned evil unto him that was at peace with Me, yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy…”  (Psalms 7:5).   So also it is said “Say not, I will do so to him, as he hath done unto me”  (Proverbs 24:29).  Our wise men also said, “They who are put to shame and do not put others to shame, hear themselves reviled and do not retort; do everything out of love and rejoice in their own sufferings – concerning them Scripture saith ‘Let them that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might'”  (Judges 5:31, T.B. Gittin 35,B.)  A person with these qualities is called by our sages “one who overcomes his natural temperament.”

(4) He should do good to human beings, speak well of them, judge them favorably, not speak disparagingly of them, even if they do not deserve this forbearance, as it is said, “Curse not the King, not even in thy thought”  (Eccl. 10:20).*  Further it is said, “Thou givest thy mouth to evil…Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slenderest thine own mother’s son” (Psalms 50:19).  In regard to forgiveness of evil speech and deprecation of others, Scripture says “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses” (Numbers 12:1) and then it adds, “Now the man Moses was very meek”… (ibid 12:3), for he forgave them.  Similarly the wise man counsels, “Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken” (Eccl 7:21), and adds “For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself hast cursed others” (ibid 7:22).

*Furstenthal expounds the verse thus: “Even when you are convinced that a man, king of all creatures, has acted wrongly, do not condemn him but judge him favorably.

(R. Bachya Ibn Paquda – Duties of the Heart, Ch. 6)

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To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.

– Arne Garborg


Look at the Good

Love is best expressed by that which you do not do. Hillel the Elder said this when he summed up the entire Torah, “If you do not like something, don’t do it to someone else.”

What is it that you most dislike? You don’t appreciate when someone pries into your faults, underlining each one with a red pen. So if you truly wish to express love to someone else, don’t even look at his faults. Find whatever is good about him and talk about that.

-Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (“Tzemach Tzedek,” 1789-1866)- Derech Mitzvotecha, Mitzvat Ahavat Yisrael


Little Things

It’s impossible to do great things, but it is possible to do little things with great love. – Mother Theresa

 


Light

When He made the world, He made two ways to repair each thing: With harshness or with compassion. With a slap or with a caress. With darkness or with light.

“And G-d looked at the light and saw that it was good.” Darkness and harsh words may be necessary. But He never called them good.

Even if you could correct another person with harsh words, the One Above receives no pleasure from it. When He sees his creatures heal one another with caring and with kindness, that is when He shines His smile upon us.

-From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory.

 


Hugs

Sometimes you don’t know whether to punish a child or hug him. If you punish him when he needed a hug, you’ve made a serious mistake.

But if you hug him when perhaps he should have been punished, you’ve just brought some extra love into the world.

-From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory.

 


One

“All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul.”. – Mahatma Gandhi