Human compassion has boundaries; G-d’s knows none. * Emulating divine benevolence: our path to redemption. * On Tanya for 5 Elul.
In a world with limits, how can we emulate limitless love? The fact is that there's a vast difference between G-d's infinite kindness and man's limited benevolence, as we learn in today's Tanya: “All of Israel are compassionate and practice kindly deeds…” Yet there is a ceiling to mortal compassion. In stark contrast, G-d, as the Ein Sof or "the Infinite One", and His attributes are without end or measure.
Although we are imperfect and have our own shortcomings, we should still seek G-d’s boundless compassion, beyond what we might conventionally "deserve". Even in our imperfection, it's our emulation of G-d's boundless kindness - especially beyond our obligatory duties - that will pave our way to redemption.
In the classic text, the Talmud (Sanhedrin 97a), it's mentioned that “[Mashiach] the son of David will not come [until the pocket will be empty of even the smallest coin].” This implies a world where charity and kindness surpass material considerations, where our actions transcend mere obligations, reflecting a true and deep sense of altruism.
Moreover, Chassidic teachings emphasize that the essence of a Jew is intrinsically good (Tanya, Chapter 2). While humans are naturally limited in their capacities, our soul aspires to connect and emulate the Divine. By pushing ourselves to act with greater kindness, even beyond our means or obligations, we align more with our spiritual essence and the Divine attributes.
Imagine a world where an individual, despite facing personal challenges and limited resources, goes out of their way to help a stranger. Not out of obligation, but out of genuine compassion and an aspiration to be more G-d-like in their actions.
While the holy texts paint a profound picture of limitless love and benevolence, its message isn't confined to yesteryears. The wisdom resonates loudly even today. In a modern world characterized by transactions and quantifiable returns, the idea of boundless kindness might seem beyond our reach. Yet, it's this very act, the choice to go beyond one's limit in acts of love and charity, that elevates us, bringing us closer to redemption and the imminent arrival of Moshiach.
We may not be perfect, but our actions, rooted in genuine benevolence, can bridge the finite with the infinite. As we move forward, let's remind ourselves to act with boundless kindness, not because it's asked of us, but because it's the very fabric of our soul.