- Written by Simi Hibbert
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Whenever we see an act of חסד, we find that the recipient is usually in desperate need for what he needs. When someone approaches a גמ"ח for a loan, it’s because he is in desperate need for money. The גמ"ח are then able to assist and help the needy. When a חולה is lying in bed, he is feeling depressed and low, and wants visitors to brighten up his life. When we go and visit a חולה we give them the חיזוק they need. This is the general pattern with all חסד, where the person receiving the חסד is someone who is usually unhappy or miserable and is in need for immediate help. Even when we go to a tape גמ"ח to borrow a tape, it is always the recipient who is in need of something. However, with הכנסת אורחים it is totally irrelevant who the guests are. Someone who lives a very simple lifestyle can still invite a neighbour for a meal, even if they life a much more affluent life. The מפרשים tell us that the three Arabs were more than happy just to pass by and find somewhere else to eat. They didn’t need what was being given to them. When someone brings another person into his home, it is the בעל הבית who is gaining!
When national disasters occur, suddenly all the גוים ‘empty’ their pockets! Why? Because the אומות העולם believe that the ultimate חסד is to help the needy. However, the תורה shows us that the ultimate חסד is when we can give something to someone who doesn’t even need the help. Of course we still do all the amazing different ,חסדים but we realise, that as much as we are giving to those who need our help, ultimately we do חסד to improve our own מידות. We do חסד to emulate the ways of ה', and to try to be better people, irrelevant of who the recipient is. גוט שבת