We have spent the past few weeks focusing on the middah of Chessed. We learned that doing acts of kindness is the best way to emulate our Creator, because Hashem does acts of kindness all day long, as it says, “Chessed Keil Kol Hayom.”1
We then explored how if we want to emulate Hashem in the deepest way, we must strive to be “true givers” who yearn to give and help other people, without expecting payback. Furthermore, just as Hashem created this world just so that He could give us pleasure, we, too, should seek out opportunities to give to other people even if it’s just a small boost in their day.
Indeed, the Shelah HaKadosh2 says we should never let a day go by without doing an act of kindness.
Does this sound like a tall order?
It’s actually pretty easy, because Hashem treasures even the smallest acts of kindness.
For example, Chazal3 praise Boaz for simply giving Rus some tiny roasted kernels to eat. The Sifsei Chaim4 writes that Chazal chose to highlight this seemingly insignificant act of kindness to teach us that no chessed is ever too small. Chessed is not measured by the size of the act; rather, it is measured by how much you care about the other person and treat them with the respect they deserve.
We are reminded of this concept every morning in davening, when we say: “Eilu D’varim She’ain Lahem Shiur – These are the things that have no measure…” and we include gemilus chassadim (acts of kindness) in that list. Chessed has no measure. There is no upper limit to the amount of chessed you can do, and there is no lower limit, either. Chessed has no minimum. Every tiny act of chessed has tremendous value.
Not only is chessed so easy to do, but the Pele Yo’eitz5 adds that every time we help another person, we are fulfilling the mitzvah d’oraisah of V’Ohavta Li’Rei’acha Kamocha, loving our fellow Jews. Whether you open the door for someone, give somone a big smile, or simply pass the salt… there are so many easy ways to fulfill this mitzvah all day long!
Over the course of the next month, as we move on to learn about a different middah, let’s practice keeping our eyes out for opportunities to do chessed – no matter how small they may seem.
Sources:  Tehillim 52:3  Shelah HaKadosh Vol. II. Pesachim Gemilus Chassadim pg. 27;  Vayikra Rabbah 25:39;  Sifsei Chaim: Middos V’Avodas Hashem, Vol. 1 pg. 314;  Pele Yo’eitz on Chessed
Do 1 act of kindness each day, no matter how small it may seem.
- Give someone your full attention while listening to them
- Compliment someone or offer words of praise
- Say a sincere thank you, or tell someone how much you appreciate what they did for you
- Hold the door or elevator open for someone behind you
- Daven for something you know your friend needs
- Say extra tehillim in the zchus of helping someone in need
- Give tzedaka
- Call someone who needs chizuk (words of encouragement)
- Say “Good morning!” with enthusiasm or a big smile
- Try to think of a shidduch for a single boy or girl you know
- Make a phone call to network on behalf of a single boy or girl you know
- Give directions to someone who is lost
- Explain a difficult concept to someone who is confused
- Pay the toll for the driver behind you
- Make a visit or phone call to check in on a lonely or sick person
- Volunteer for an organization that helps people in need