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Heresy in G‑d’s Name

Heresy in G‑d’s Name


They asked the Baal Shem Tov, “The Talmud tells us that for everything G‑d forbade, He provided us something permissible of the same sort. If so, what did He permit that corresponds to the sin of heresy?”

The Baal Shem Tov replied, “Acts of kindness.”

Because when you see a person suffering, you don’t say, “G‑d runs the universe. G‑d will take care. G‑d knows what is best.” You do everything in your power to relieve that suffering as though there is no G‑d. You become a heretic in G‑d’s name.

By Tzvi Freeman
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Subscribe and get your dose daily. Or order Rabbi Freeman’s book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.
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danda Wylie , TX July 3, 2014

I would not call "doing everything in your power to relieve suffering" a heresy against G-d's name. This is showing love as we are taught in the Torah to love. G-d uses people and things to do His will. Reply

Anonymous ny, ny May 18, 2011

Alternatively, you know Gd wants you to save the person, so you save the person.
Posted By Anonymous, NY, NY"

If someone follows Torah, but denies he/she follows Torah -- that is still a problem. Reply

joseph leeds, UK May 17, 2011

Heresy this is a tough one. if a doctor stops to help someone is he a heretic or is he using the knowledge that G-d helped him to attain in order to help others. there is a paradox here which needs careful thought. A fine line exists between being kind and helpful to that of being non humane to other around you in the hope that all will be well. G-d did bring us up to be ignorant of matters and we should act with this knowledge. Reply

Anonymous Cape Coral, USAS May 16, 2011

You & I Man did not create/form himself. Then who did? Do kindness and caring mean that a person must believe in G-d? Given that everything is G-d, including us, the importtant lesson here is the doing of good, without expecting a reward for doing the right thing. Whether a person conciously believes in G-d or not, we as Jews know that Hashem gives us choice. It is not for us to sit in judgement, that is the domain of the supreme judge of the universe! Reply

Anonymous London May 16, 2011

Heretic If someone is suffering, say, from illness, or a fall, or some would say "karmic" suffering - does this mean a doctor (who may be an agnostic) who administers relief is classified as a heretic? I don't think so. Heretic would mean going against the religious doctorines of the time - not acceptable if someone is suffering and needs help from a friend. Reply

Thomas Karp New Haven, Ct. May 16, 2011

I love it. I adore this. I really do. This is the kind of thing that makes me love Judaism.

What is more holy before G-d: Those who invoke a belief in G-d, but turn their backs (or worse) on suffering, or-

the heretics who do relief the suffering of their fellow man?

Rather than reduce everything to being bound to 'chukim' (senseless or incomprehensible) before G-d, it reintroduces a mindfulness to our relationship with G-d.

This sort of thing is the true 'yetzer hatov' side of the Jewish covenant, and then of being Jewish. Reply

Anonymous NY, NY May 16, 2011

Heresy Alternatively, you know Gd wants you to save the person, so you save the person. Reply

Yaffa S. Philadelphia, PA August 6, 2009

responce to Hadassah Thank you so much for responding to my comment.
However, I feel as though you still just reitterated the daily dose and it still bothers me to refer to our acts of kindness as heretical! I have learned in my years in Jewsih day school taht we learn to do acts of kindness becasue of emulating G-d! So to say that our acts of kindness are heretical seems counterintuitive. Reply

Steve Malta August 6, 2009

I'd like to make a comment on heresy

When man (or woman) puts his faith, trust or hope in 'other gods', he or she will by default, live a heretical life.

If he (or she) tries to approach G_d, being unclean (spiritually) he or she will feel as if he is using the name of G_d in vain. This is how people destroy themselves.

When however, a person is living a life totally trusting in G_d, then The Name for him (or her) becomes as sweet as honey and the Creator's ineffable wonder is made known as gently as the morning dew. This is how miracles happen.

G_d is the G_d of Moshe Rabbeinu. All holy, set-apart, all powerful and loving. Reply

Rivka Glasgow, UK via August 5, 2009

yes it is yaffa
but a positive type.
if you trust in G-d totally then you'd say that what is happening is OKAY.
but we don't; we fight bad things, and that is saying that something in God's world is something we disagree with.
we are disagreeing with God - its heretical. Reply

cecilia August 5, 2009

I've often wondered about that I was watching this woman the other day, attack each problem as though it was only she who could solve her problems and those around her.

I wondered how her lack of faith brought so much good to others as many state at home mothers are empowered to support their children.

She is also horribly anxious about everything. I told her G-d is kind and he provides when you need it. Though I can attest this is true in my life and I have even in many instances demonstrated how this is so, still I wonder why she is able to do so much for others in a real way than me.

I guess, it really is both. To know that there is G-d and to act like there isn't, for though G-d is heaven, we humans are an expression of G-d on earth.

Thank you Reply

David LAX, CA August 5, 2009

To Yaffa In no way you become heretical but the opposite you are doing a mitzvah therefore you are connecting to G-d. This is an internal lesson of Torah that states how even in an heretical person that denys G-d you can find something good and channel that energy of heresy and transform it in a mitzvah. An heretic doesn't believe that G-d runs this world and denies him, some confused people also go to the extreme of leaving all in G-d's hands so they just pray or give words of comfort instead of giving money to the hungry or dresing the naked, they just tell them G-d will help don't worry but stems from ego because I don't like to get involved is too much head ache etc... but here the main point is that even the energy of heresy can be tranformed and elevated in something positive. I also recommend you in other subject to watch a video in youtube look for: Indestructible Jewish Spirit. Reply

Hadassah Vista, NY August 5, 2009

You have to understand it in that way: if you are strictly non "heretical", you would see someone suffering, and would tell that sufferer: Believe that G‑d runs the universe. G‑d will take care. G_d knows what is best - and you would leave it to G_d to relieve or not that suffering.

But you don't do that: you perform acts of kindness, and you make your best efforts to relieve the suffering, don't you? Stricly sensu, it is like not believing that G‑d runs the universe. G‑d will take care. G_d knows what is best. So that's why G_d created "heresy" so that to allow your act of kindness. Reply

Yaffa S Philadelphia, PA August 5, 2009

wiat a it seems that according to this, doing acts of kindness, or chesed, is HERETICAL???? Can someone clarify this daily dose. Reply