Mr. Puri is caught off-guard by a visit from his local police. He walks to his gate feeling alarmed and says, "I am Karan Puri, I live alone and I am a senior citizen.”
And what happens next leaves him amazed.
While maintaining distancing, the police hand him a birthday cake and hat and start singing to him. Mr. Puri can’t believe his eyes and joins them in song.
In 1535, when Miles Coverdale was working on the first ever translation of the Hebrew Bible into English, he struggled to find a word which conveyed the meaning of ‘chesed’.
Realizing the distinctive nature of this concept, he coined a new term, ‘loving-kindness’.
How does adding love elevate an act of kindness?
Chesed isn’t just about giving, but it is about giving with a spirit of generosity and love while not necessarily expecting anything in return.
Jewish tradition is filled with profiles of people who embody chesed and who can inspire us to do more ourselves.
Each person expresses chesed in a different way.
Abraham invites in the stranger; Ruth follows her mother-in-law to an unfamiliar land; Boaz goes above and beyond.
Jack Kerouac once wrote in a letter to his first wife and lifelong friend, “Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”
But yet, somehow it is hard to prioritize acts of chesed. In a social experiment conducted by Soul Pancake, they invited 5 people to perform five acts of loving-kindness in one day to test how their happiness increases. The acts start towards strangers and move towards people they know.
Watch the video below to see what happens when you actually take the time to perform daily acts of chesed.