The Chesed of a Jew-Doing Chesed even when you are not appreciated for it

The difference between the Chesed of a Jew and Bnei Yishmael:[1]

There exist different forms of Chesed. A Jew’s Chesed derives from the world of Atzilus, which is the world of Bittul, nullification of ego. The form of Chesed a Jew should emulate is one that gives to another without any preconditions of gain in return. Not gain of fame, honor, or even recognition. Even if the giving of this Chesed may damage the person, and cause some negative reaction towards him, he is nevertheless to continue with this giving, as it derives from his Bittul, self-nullification. Bnei Yishmael however derive from Chesed of Tohu, which is the world of Yeishus. Naturally, their Chesed contains ulterior motifs to gain fame or honor, and show off their great wealth. Thus, while both a Jew and Bnei Yishmael may engage in Chesed towards others, there is a natural difference between the motivating factors.

Ø  Life Lesson: At times in life we feel unappreciated and at times even scorned and taken advantaged of after doing a Chesed to another. Whether it be a guest who overpassed their boundaries of stay, or acted rude and unappreciative; or it be a person who we helped monetarily and they do not recognize the help; or it be a free service we provide for others out of Chesed, and people take advantage and complain; or a child who complains about dinner after the mother worked so hard on it. In all these cases, one may naturally feel that he no longer wants to continue this Chesed. From the above we learn that the Chesed of a Jew must come purely out of Bittul, self-nullification, without any desire of gain, and we should continue giving Chesed even if we feel people are unappreciative. While those people certainly are showing bad character and lack basics in Hakaras Hatov, that should not result in us stopping our Chesed.


[1] Likkutei Torah Eikev p. 18a

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