Saturday, April 11, 2015

Chesed b'Gevurah

Loving-kindness in discipline in restraint. This was a challenging thing for me to begin to write about, so naturally I took to Facebook for inspiration. I saw a post from Amichai Lau-Lavie entitled "Why I Wore My Father's Medal Today." It sparked my interest and I initially that it would just be a nice article to read in procrastination of this post. Of course, I was wrong. I will not tell you much of the article because you should check it out, however, I will share that it brought to my mind the idea of responsibility. I feel that responsibility is a part of the intersection of chesed and gevurah, an intersectionality if you will. As a part of our attempt to show chesed in our gevurah we should feel a responsibility toward others in our lives.

What does this responsibility mean though? What are we responsible for? To whom are we responsible?

The answer is this. We are responsible to each other and for each other. I think back to the beginning of the Torah, when G-d approached Cain and asks where is Abel. Cain replies, in a snarky manner I might add, how the hell should I know, I'm not responsible for him. (Please accept my poetic paraphrasing.) After this G-d cursed Cain, from that point forward Cain and all his descendants would bear the Mark of Cain. To me this is a pretty clear sign that we do share a responsibility for and to each other. Therefore it us on us to share each others stories, to care for one another. We must remember others and respect them. We all will process things differently and it may not always resonate with us. However we still have to responsibility to listen, to respect, and to share.

You know what they say, sharing is caring. It's true! It's just as much our responsibility to share as it is our responsibility to care. We should care about the fact that there are still people in the world who live in fear of their life because of who they are and who they love. There are people who suffer from the hands of oppressors because of their gender identity or gender expression. There are still people who die in this world because of their color of their skin or the G-d they worship. I don't say this just because I am a gay, Jewish person of color. I say this because I am a human and human should care about humans. With that I leave you with this song.

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