Lit. Kindness It is said in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) that the world stands on three things: Torah (learning), Avodah (worship), and Gemilut Hasidim (acts of kindness). sh’b’Tiferet – Love of Compassion
Colliding words of softness and strength. Not the skeletal structure of the self, but the muscle that aches, the skin that is susceptible to warmth and play. The complexity of complexion and content. The solar plexus where we feel the burn of our own losses and fears. Where we just can’t help ourselves, and where we help ourselves the most.
Not our measurable stature, nor even the mechanics of how we humans stand up. Not how, but why. The uniquely mentshlikh purpose we can serve if we are willing to shed our shells and sheathes. The store of beauty from which we give and the jumbled stash of what we receive.
The most alluring feature of those we love. The most vulnerable place in who we are. What we reach for with a sob of contentment, because it is the recognition we have been due all along. What we grandly offer, because it is the blessing we are proud to bestow.
This is where we A writ of divorce. Traditionally, only a man can grant his wife a get. Liberal Jews have amended this tradition, making divorce more egalitarian. lost, stumble, tumble, and laugh. The chamber of sweetness open to the skies. We are guests, we are hosts, we are sovereigns and stowaways.
Blessed be this point of intersection, where we care and are cared. For and about.
Image by D’vorah Horn from her set of Omer Practice Cards (2016).