Machshava Rabbi David Shamsi (Parashat Chukat)

The Ways of Hashem

One of the 613 Mitzvoth in the Torah is walking in the ways of Hashem; as the Talmud explains:  “Just as He is merciful, so too, you be merciful; just as he is gracious, so too, you be gracious”.  However, the ramifications of this Mitzvah are much broader than the few examples mentioned in the Talmud.  For example, Rav Yosef Soloveitchik, points out that just as Hashem is absolutely unique, so too, each of us needs to develop and express our unique strengths in the world – to be an individual.   However, there is another quality of Hashem that is particularly important for us to emulate.

As the Ramchal elaborates in his philosophical treatise, Derech Hashem, Hashem is inherently, independently good.   He and His goodness are not dependent on anything else in the world.  So too, we need to follow suit.  No matter which side of the bed we happen to wake-up on, whether we’re feeling glad or gloom, our goodness needs to be independent.  It needs to come from with and not ebb and flow with how anyone treats us or what anyone says.  May we all merit emulating Hashem in all His many and varied ways.

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