Description: Chapter 2 - 03
Chapter 2 – 03
The Gemarah learns this concept from a pasuk:
ישב עולם לפני אלוקים חסד ואמת מן ינצרוהו
The Gemarah explains, when will someone merit to sit eternally before Hashem? When kindness, truth, and sustenance protect them. Meaning, when a wealthy person provides money and food for a poor person, the word ‘man’ means food, it will surround him and protect him.
The term ‘protect’ is used, because the place before Hashem is a very holy place, and one can’t sit there unless he is properly shielded. Hashem’s presence is populated by the Malachim, the Seraphim, any one of which can incinerate the whole world with the breath of their mouth. You have to have great merit not to be affected by the extreme middah of din, judgement which reigns in Heaven.
That is what the pasuk is saying, if you have the attribute of ‘emes’ which refers to the Torah, and you have the attribute of chessed, that will protect you.
The concept here is something the Chafetz Chaim will continue to explain in the coming chapter. We are far from perfect, and even the things we do right are far from perfect. The mitzvos we do are unfortunately often done without full adherence to the laws of that mitzvah. Even if we do get it right, there’s a whole portion of doing the mitzvah which takes place in our heart – what kind of machshavah we are having? Are we doing this for our own sake or for Hashem’s? Are we happy to do this mitzvah or frustrated and forced? All these things are bright and clear in the world-to-come. Even our mitzvos which will accompany us in the presence of Hashem have the potential to bring middas hadin upon us, in a world where perfection is demanded – in the world of angels.
This is why we need the protection of certain mitzvos – Torah and Gemillas Chassadim. These mitzvos protect us because of the nature of Hashem’s hanhagah – when we protect others, when we bring Hashem’s presence down to this world, it protects and envelopes us, and shields us from the power of middas hadin. That is the concept of Chesed and Emes – the literal food we gave to poor people will protect us.
Chazal explain another pasuk in a similar vein:
ואשים דברי בפיך ובצל ידי כסיתיך
I put My words in your mouth – refers to the zchus of Torah, and in the shade of My hands I will protect you – refers to the zchus of gemilas chasadim. Meaning, that through the gemilas chesed that we do with our hands to help others, Hashem will use His hands to protect us.
We can now understand how much we need to love and pursue this mitzvah of chessed. If we love doing chessed, any opportunity that presents itself to us, we will treat it like a unique opportunity, a metziah! We will then do it in it’s entirety, with a whole heart, and the person we are involved with won’t be embarrassed to accept the kindness from us, and then Hashem will truly bless us! If we love this middah, we will also convince others to join in and become involved in performing kindness.
We now begin the third chapter in Ahavas Chesed.