Dear Readers,

This past week, a friend shared with me that an acquaintance had unexpectedly reached out to her son and did a special favor for him. Throughout his teenage years, my friend has always had a testy relationship with that particular child. Nevertheless, when she heard about the sweet gesture, done so unpredictably by this acquaintance, she felt extremely grateful to him for befriending her son and showing him that warmth.

Now, every time she mentions this individual in any of our conversations, it is with a special tenderness, admiration and genuine respect—all because of one small act, done for her son.

My friend is no exception. I am sure most parents feel that way. Indeed, the way to a mother’s heart is through being kind to her child.

When someone does something positive for my children, I feel extremely grateful. You may have angered me in the past or I may feel resentful towards you for whatever misdeed, but if you do a favor for one of my children, that will erase it all. Conversely, you and I can be best of friends, but if you act unkindly toward my child, consider the friendship over!

I was thinking about this, and it occurred to me that this is not only true with human parents, but also with our Creator. Treat G‑d’s children compassionately, and He’ll forgive and overlook your own misdeeds. But malign His children—act nastily or condescendingly towards them—and you will have hurt the very core of your relationship with G‑d.

So when you think you are “standing up for G‑d” by judging His children, think again. G‑d doesn’t need us to serve as His judge and jury. Instead, He wants us to feel and spread kindness, compassion and empathy for all His children, even those who sometimes “test” Him.

We are now in the period of the “Three Weeks,” mourning the destruction of the Temple, which was caused due to baseless hatred. Now is the perfect time for us to focus on love.

Let’s extend ourselves and act especially kind to G‑d’s children . . . and we will have found the secret path to G‑d’s “heart.”

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW