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The Tabernacle Times
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January 2018 ......................... Tevet - Shevat 5778 ......................... Volume 1 Issue 1

Gemilut Chasadim

Angela Kunkel
by
Angela Kunkel

 


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  As Shimon the Just (a remnant of the Great Assembly) declared in the opening lines of Pirkei Avot (1:2) ‘On three things does the (continued) existence of the world depend: Torah (study), avodah (initially the temple service, later prayer), and gemilut chasadim (literally, “the giving or acts of lovingkindness).

Gemilut chasadim is used to describe everything from the work done by synagogue committees (that visit the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and bury the dead) to service projects designed for high school students to lessons on how to treat a homeless person you pass on the street. Gemilut chasadim is a fundamental social value, a mitzvah that an individual completes without the anticipation of receiving something in return. There is no xed measure of gemilut chasadim, which is why the rabbinic teachers articulate the importance of doing it all the time.
  The Talmud states that gemilut chasadim is superior to tzedakah (charity) in three respects: “Charity can be given only with one’s money”, “Charity can be given only to the poor”, and “Charity can be given only to the living”. Gemilut chasadim is given by personal service and money, it can be given to the rich and poor, and it can be for the living and the dead. In fact the ultimate example of gemilut chasadim is giving honor
to the dead (such as attending the funeral or burial), since there is no chance that
the deceased will ever return the favor. The reward for service of an act of kindness remains in the world to come.

Happy Hanukkah

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Inside This Month's Issue:

Germilut Chasadim Torah Overview Tabernacle TV
• Home/Most Recent Videos |
• Teachings for Jew & Gentile|
• Shabbat Praise & Worship

• Torah Portions/Studies |
• Music Selections |
• Beit Midrash
• Ariel Yahudah Dancers |
• Plays and Drama
Kosher Korner Coming Events
Torah Portions Be One in a Million
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