As we turn to the last chapter in the Torah, it is worth taking a look back to the very beginning.

Rabbi Simlai in the Talmud explains that the Torah in fact begins with God doing an act of kindness by clothing Adam and Eve. It then also ends with one: God burying Moses.

We can understand this to mean that the entire Torah is characterized by chesed, kindness. This sets forth a utopian vision, that our lives should also be characterized by this beautiful trait. Care and compassion should permeate life, from beginning to end.

The importance of this trait specifically is perhaps because a master of this trait will be a master of many others. For example, selflessness, empathy, patience, and even an appreciation for what one has in life. Furthermore, when one makes giving their priority, they resemble God, the ultimate Giver, and this forms the building blocks for a relationship with Him.

As we close off another year of learning the transformative messages of the weekly Torah portions, let’s hold this one close, as we embark once again on the journey through a fresh new cycle.

To start our years with kindness, to finish them with kindness, and more importantly, to allow this trait continuously to flow throughout.

Shabbat Shalom and Chazak Chazak Vnitchazek!