The Hebrew word “chesed” does not have a precise English equivalent, but is probably closest to loving-kindness. In the Jewish tradition, chesed is associated with love, giving, altruism and spreading forth.
When G-d created man, He made him a giver and a taker. The power of giving is one of the traits of the Creator, who does good and gives without receiving anything in exchange. Thus He made man, as it is written, ‘In the image of G-d He made man,’ for he is able to have mercy, do good, and give.
Rav Dessler explains in his book Michtav Meliyahu, that love is rooted in giving (chapter 4). We love those which we give to, according to Rav Dessler (chapter 5), not necessarily those who give to us. A healthy relationship involves mutual giving and a healthy loving and lasting marriage is based on giving (chapter 6). He used to tell young couples at their wedding, “Take care, precious ones, that you always strive to give one another satisfaction just like you feel right now. Know, that the moment you start to make demands from one another, marital bliss will be beyond you.”
Educating your children or grandchildren to do chesed is a worthy undertaking. The book, Sefer Hanetina is a Hebrew translation of The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving.
This book is truly a gift for young readers aged 6-11, inspiring, teaching and engaging them to give back to the world. It is a unique, fun and interactive book that helps children think about their wishes and dreams for the world and the power of their actions to make those dreams come true. The book combines colorful illustrations and entertaining narrative with fun learning activities-making the children the author of their story and creating a ‘scrapbook’ of their journey into compassion and giving.
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