with Added Mystical Intentions"
Part 1: "Preface"
and edited from
Tomer (the Palm Tree of) Devorah
Rabbi Moshe Cordevero (the 'Ramak')
by Rabbi Moshe Miller
How should a person train himself in the attribute of
chesed (kindness)? The main way to enter into the secret of chesed
is to love G-d so absolutely that one will never forsake His service
for any reason; for, compared with the love of G-d, blessed be He, no
other love has any worth. Therefore, he should first attend to the requirements
of his divine service; then, the remainder of his time may be used for
This love should be fixed firmly in his heart, whether
he receives good from the Holy One, Blessed Be He, or suffering and
chastisement -- both should be considered expressions of G-d's love
for him. As the verse states, "Faithful are the wounds inflicted
by a loving friend..." (Proverbs 27:6). Furthermore, it is written,"...and
with all your might" (Deut. 6:5), which our sages interpret as
meaning, "With whatever measure He metes out to you" (Berachot
9:5), thereby including all attributes in the attribute of chesed.
Thus, although the secret of divine conduct, which stems from the attribute
of malchut (sovereignty), may be expressed as severity, it is
connected to chesed.
Such was the habit of Nachum Ish Gamzu, who would always
say, "This, too, is for the good!" He always sought to connect
everything to the side of chesed, which is called "good",
so he would say that even what appeared to be on the left, bound to
the side of gevura (severity), was in reality only for good,
bound to chesed. This way, he would concentrate on the goodness
of the attribute of malchut, concealing its severity. This is
a great method of constantly binding oneself to chesed.
" When a person does kindness in this world, he should
intend to reinstate its parallel supernal quality..."
The Tikunim states: "Who is a pious, kindhearted
person? One who does kindness (chesed) to his Creator!"
This is because when a person does kindness in this world, he should
intend to reinstate its parallel supernal quality - this is called "doing
kindness to his Creator".
Therefore, it is necessary to know the types of deeds
practiced among men, all of which a person must fulfill towards his
Creator if he wants to acquire the attribute of chesed. For this
reason, it is stated that he following are acts of kindness:
Rabbi Moshe-Leib Miller, a guest teacher at Ascent
when he lived in Israel, was born in South Africa and received his yeshiva education
in Israel and America. He is a prolific author and translator, with some twenty
books to his name on a wide variety of topics, including a new, authoritative,
annotated translation of the Zohar. He currently lives in Chicago.