Kenneth Cohen

All Merciful

The Orchot Tzaddikim is a fantastic book that teaches how to properly look at life. It also explains so much about human nature, and how to refine our character. It is my favorite book among those that teach discipline and faith.

One of the important points of the Orchot Tzaddikim is that there are certain principles that need going over, numerous times. One such concept applies to the mercifulness of the Al-mighty.

He writes that we must be aware that G-d is perfect in every possible way. He is not lacking in anything, and there is no flaw in him whatsoever.

Therefore, among His attributes, He is known as the G-d of mercy. What this means is that He is perfect in mercy and compassion. It is not possible for any human being to surpass him in mercy.

Sometimes we forget this basic point of belief. People foolishly make comments about G-d being cruel and unfeeling. This might be because of difficulties one might be going through, and the blame is placed on a G-d that does not care.

This cannot be true if we have faith that He is perfection and that it is impossible for anyone to be more merciful than Him. This is where faith needs to override these feelings of blame and frustration. If we understood that despite the challenges that we are faced with, everything is for our ultimate good, it would help to get through these difficulties. Chassidic Jews learn to embrace the difficulties and see them as a sign that something very good is on the way. It is not easy coping with life. But it becomes easier if we trust that G-d is perfect in mercy. It may take some time to recognize it, but if we look hard enough, we will eventually see it.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at