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Tehillim Tools: Elul: What God Loves

“He loves what is righteous and just; the kindness of God fills the earth (Psalms 33:5).” One could reason that God made it clear in Genesis 18:19, that, “to observe the way of God, to do charity and justice,” is not only adequate, but result in on becoming beloved of God, and that Isaiah 1:17 promises reduction in response to charity and justice; so why stress the concept of “Yashar,” as in the previous verse, “For the word of God is Yashar; His every deed is faithful.” Why stress a lifestyle exceeding the norms spelled out in the Torah?


King David replies that it is true that God loves charity and justice. Nonetheless, since since His personal examples demonstrate that He conducts Himself in excess of these requirements, those who wish to emulate Him and become truly close to Him, or advised to do so. The entire universe would not be able to continue to exist, were it not for the loving kindness, a yardstick far beyond the mere requirements of charity and justice. Since the righteous are those whose merit keeps the universe going, it would be even better if they were all to act beyond the requirements of the law (Rabbi Moshe Alshich, Romemot El).

As we enter the month of Elul, the month of intense love between God and Israel, we must focus our efforts on expressing our love for God by dressing our attention to the things that He loves. God loves what is righteous and just; therefore we must act with righteousness and justice as an expression of our love for God.

It is an excellent practice to recite this verse each morning of the month of Elul to remind ourselves to express the intense love of this month through righteousness and justice, and to go beyond the mere requirements of charity and justice and emulate our Creator.

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