Chumash (Vayechi) and Yehoshua (Perek 2) by Shlermie

In Vayechi, Yaakov speaks to Yosef about the importance of Yaakov being buried in Israel and not in Egypt.  In Yehoshua (Perek 2), per Yehoshua’s request, two Jews are spying on the land of Jericho and a woman, Rahab, is sheltering these two Jews from the soldiers of the King of Jericho who is aware that the two spies are within their land.  In return for her actions, Rahab wants her family to be saved when the Jews attack her land.  The acts of both Yosef and the two spies are referred to not just as acts of chesed but as acts of chesed v’emes.

Much like the word mitzva, chesed is frequently seen colloquially.  i.e. A mitzva is a good deed, chesed is a kind act.  In actuality, chesed is an act of loving kindness.  By even the metrics of the most sensitive amongst us, this is a relatively elevated act.  None the less, we see that sometimes chesed is not enough.  A wife gives birth and, while she is in the hospital, daily, the community goes to the wife’s house and gives the husband a wonderful dinner for the family.  And, even after the wife returns home, a wonderful hot meal every night.  Undeniably, what the community is doing is an act of chesed.  Until, years later, the husband is sick and is confined to a hospital.  The community offers the wife emotional support and, again, chesed.  Chesed, but not chesed v’emes.  The wife works full-time.  The husband works from home and does the cooking for the family.  The wife needs the emotional support when she gave birth and the meals when the husband is in the hospital.  Though an act of chesed has good intent, an act of chesed v’emes requires more.   


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