A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘respect’

Gentleness ~

1145704domestic-cat-silver-tortoiseshell-kitten-with-silver-dwarf-lop-eared-rabbit-2Kittens and bunnies evoke sensations of cuddliness and gentleness for all who see them, now, if they are feral, that won’t be the case, but if they have been handled gently from birth, they will snuggle with whatever human holds them, generally. Paul, the “Apostle” counts gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit, and I would agree with him on the list, though I see that list as incomplete.

Gentleness, however, is seldom, if ever discussed because, for many, that sort of gentleness goes hand in hand with fear. {Mess with that kitten too much and find another little lesson in the weapons G-d gives the gentle.} Yet, most of the time, when I think of the gentleness of Spirit, I think of the Gentle Giant, the Bear, because gentleness is so much a part of her rearing of her cubs, but don’t mess with her, or the claws will tear you to ribbons.

So, having discussed momentarily that gentleness is not necessarily weakness, let’s look at what gentleness is. It isn’t always cuddly, but it is always respectful of space and of need. When you see true gentleness you see that the intent is not to overwhelm, but to allow a creature, whethergb_photogallery1_05 human or other, to feel safe, perhaps even taken care of in an unlimiting fashion. Security, then, is part of gentleness.

when you think of rabbits, you think of gentleness of spirit, in that it is difficult to even perceive of a rabbit being aggressive. Even when a gentle person needs to address something with you they will probably sit down in your presence and await your attention, perhaps “ahemming” in order to draw you toward them, but they are often discreet, no matter the instance. Hence the term Gentleman or Gentlewoman. So discretion is a part of gentleness. In fact, a person you think of as a gentle person is one you usually cannot envision being aggressive in any form.

vfp101_quiet_watersQuietness is also a part of gentleness. One seldom associates gentleness with a rock ‘n’  roll musician for just that reason. This does no mean that such a person may not be gentle off stage, but such would come as a surprise to even an observant person. In fact, because of the imagery of the 23rd Psalm, we think of quiet or still water in association with the Holy One. The vision many of past generations have had of Y’shua has been of a quiet, gentle holy man, softly speaking his truths to those who were willing to listen in little hillside groups, though you have to ask how the 10,000 he fed could have heard him if he was that softly spoken no matter what.

There is yet another thing quite easily associated with gentleness. That would be “rest”, as in the restful slumber of one who is healing from illness or wounds. One thinks of nurses in this role, as it is their job to carry out the healing physicians orders and keep the patient quiet and rested so body and mind can heal.

So gentleness then includes discretion,








yes, one can say with little reservation that gentleness of spirit is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Cults ~

“…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion;
and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect;
but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer. A humorous quotation, but one that is uncomfortably close to reality.

This is so true of how we perceive one another’s religious views, sad to say. I come to this subject because I have seen recently the slinging of that word at such long term religious groups as the Hasidim.This group of believers has been with us for generations, they do not proselytize, and do not fit any of my own criteria for “cult”.

That word has come to have so many meanings that are derogatory that using it is as bad as using any other four letter word. Originally it’s meaning fit any religious group any where, but it has come to be associated with whatever group was out of favor at the time. It is so disrespectful of another’s sacred space to call their spiritual affiliation a cult, and we should not do that to one another. The above gentleman is Matisyahu, a rapper musician whose sound is both pleasant and unique, he sings of the glory of Hashem as much as I can understand the lyrics, and I do believe I could become a fan, he also happens to be Hasidim.

At Religious Tolerance, a website I rely on for objective information when it comes to those faiths unknown to me, speaks of cults, it’s where I got the above quote. I like what they have to say. If we cannot come to the understanding that there is only one G-d with many different names, then we need to at least respect our neighbor’s faith so long as he respects ours. This is something we need to do with determination. I am aware that we have had so much misunderstanding through the generations that it will take much patience on the part of the many, but the goal is worthy.

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