These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

True Righteousness

Posted on November 2, 2010 by Spirit Wolf

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When once asked by a potential convert to explain the essence of Torah in a mere heartbeat, Hillel recited these famous words: “What is hateful to you do not do unto others. That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary. Now go and study.” We would do well to remember this today:

“True Righteousness”

Those who delight in pain
Have no place in this world.
The world of the pious, of the righteous,
This should not transcend that
Of the caring…or it means nothing.
A pious man, well-dressed, well-spoken,
Yet cruel in deed is not truly pious.
The external is important, the internal is essential.

Kindness and compassion towards a fellow human,
Refraining from harsh words,
Sharing love, not pain,
These are the ways of a tzaddik.
True righteousness is in the little things.

It is easy to play a part, to
Promenade for strangers and the many.
It is much harder to masquerade
Before a friend.
With piety comes responsibility, never the right
To bestow hurt,
To wound so deep
The soul of one who cares.
That is not piety,
That is not religion,
But only a broken shard of human weakness
That flies as an arrow
Straight to the heart.