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Author Topic: too much kindness?  (Read 2514 times)
Chana2
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« on: December 16, 2007, 10:53:18 PM »

Shem MiShmuel often discusses the idea of chessed, kindness, and din, justice , as two contrasting forces in this world. I feel that nowadays we focus so much on kindness that we forget there's a justice in this world. It's  "in" to be into kindness, but looked down upon when someone opposes something, even if it is truly wrong. We rather turn our heads away than actually voice an opposition. I believe this is something sorely lacking in our society. Any opinions?
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Hally2
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 09:25:52 PM »

Chana,

I think this is really such a touchy subject. We learn about tochacha, rebuking ones fellow Jew, when they are doing  an aveira, sin. But, today's society I think really needs more chessed then gevura. These are times, nebach, of people being  so truly lost that they don't even realize what they are doing as an aviera. But, there does need to be some balance- not everything is fine and we need to see past the mainstream view and stick to our convictions. Maybe its a matter of knowing whats right and wrong and transmitting this to our children- but also being sensitive and trying to draw people in via chessed?
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Marcy
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2007, 12:39:09 PM »

There's a thing from Rav Moshe Soloveichik   I read regarding chesed and gevurah in relation to Pesach. He said that chesed is really the mark of a free people; if someone is able to look at what they have and say- "I have enough, here, take some of what I have." - this is foundation of chessed. Like the people in the concentration camps that shared their food, etc, even though they really didn't have enough. But gevurah, he said, is when one never feels they have enough, and thus the have to guard all their belongings from others.

 I think that you can see that the Israelis are in general a truly a free people; they are always inviting you to their homes, their lives, their chessed overflows. And in other places...even in America, I think you can see the slave mentality, the keeping to one's self in fear.

So it seems its important to have a sense of boundaries, to have an understanding of what it is you have and what to hold on to, but then to be able to open yourself up and transcend. And it seems that many people in the world are still in need of working on that chessed aspect.
Thought.
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Chana2
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2007, 10:19:51 PM »

Hally and Marcy, thanks for your insightful thoughts. I do agree that nowadays we need to deal with others with kindness, chessed, but what I meant was that there are times when something is wrong and we are too afraid to say so. In past generations everyone had strong opinions about the various issues and currents of the times. Now, everything is fine even when things go against the spirit of Torah. Acknowledging what is wrong is important while not becoming a negative person is also extremely important. It's hard to retain the balance of chessed and din in this confusing world.
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Tzippy2
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2007, 05:40:40 PM »

Remaining a positive person who looks at the world with an'ayin tovah', while cultivating the ability to critically analyze something and honestly recognize its flaws is truly a challenge.  I find that people tend to do either one or the other:  either they whitewash everything and say that all people are wonderful, mean well, and are doing the right thing, or they are hyper-critical and don't respect any socety but their own.  Is it possble to keep a balanced perspective ?
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Fraidi1
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2007, 05:47:19 PM »

Marcy, I think that Chana was speaking abut Chessed in attitude as opposed to action.  I don't think we can ever say - you are helping too many people (unless you are hurting others by doing so).  But we may be taking society's non-judgemental attitude to an extreme.
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