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God in the World – Chesed and Din

Written by Aron F

The sages point out that the Torah, in the first depiction of creation, creates the world using the name Elokim representing his attribute of strict justice. Yet they also point out that in the second depiction of the creation story the Torah uses the name HaShem, which correlates with his aspect of loving-kindness, along with the name Elokim. Rashi points out that G-d first thought to create the world with strict justice, but realizing that the world couldn’t exist in such a way decided to create the world as a balance between strict justice and loving-kindness. This balance between G-d’s attributes has existed throughout creation and can be seen in the world today although today it is quite unstable.

Reb Moshe Feinstein

(the remembrance of a Tzadik should be for us a blessing) commented that American was a country of kindness. We see that today. America is founded on the basis of tolerance and opportunity. The American government gives grants and scholarships to underprivileged. America attempts to save people around the world and is involved with all sorts of international activities. Every person has a vote;, and people enjoy many rights. America is the symbol of kindness and tolerance. Yet in America, there is so much kindness that it has begun to corrupt society. The wave of free love leads to adultery and promiscuity. There is little notion of modesty in America. The media promotes open sexuality and vanity. The physical body has been put on the pedestal, while the sacredness of an individual’s mind and heart has taken the back seat. Internet addictions are rampant. Marriage is becoming obsolete. Obesity is an epidemic. G-d is taboo, all the more so any sense of a fear of G-d and an attachment to a universal morality. People have no boundaries and values have plummeted. American society needs more discipline and justice. The population is in dire need for stringency in the media, self-limitations in the public and private forum, boundaries that limit indulgence, and in turn, open the gates for appreciation and thankfulness. On the other hand, Muslim society, while it lacks the kindness, preserves many things through its strict justice. For example, Islamic society has a very strong connection to their value system. While it may be skewed in a certain sense, it is a connection to universal morality. People desire to do the right thing, or at least they pretend to. Modesty exists among the people. There is shame in immorality. G-d is encouraged and holy people are praised. Large Muslim Arab families, cousins, aunts, grandparents etc., all live together under one roof.

Values are preserved. Yet in certain Islamic spheres, the values are taken to such an extent that they become perverted. There is no toleration in the Arab world to such a degree that among themselves they are warring about religious doctrine. When someone commits minor thefts, the punishment is a severed hand.

For promiscuity the punishment is death by the brother for the sake of the family’s honor.

In the world today, either accept the authority of their religious doctrine or perish. There is no tolerance or acceptance—the Islamic way or no way. This is strict justice perverted.

While the religious Jewish world also totters between strict justice and loving-kindness it is our job to find our balance, then, with the help of HaShem, bring our straying people into that balance, and lastly unify and balance the world. This is the job of the Jewish people and our ultimate goal.

May HaShem help us to achieve this goal by us to balance and influence our own spheres, and thus with G-d’s help opening the gates to impact not only the immediate world around us, but also the entire world.

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