I’m getting ready for the Days of Awe by listening to Torah talks by Rabbi Ari Kahn.
Here’s a groovy lecture on the evolving shofar.
Rabbi Kahn: "Kindness is something we need to be careful about."
"We’re told that Avraham’s son Ishmael represented a fake kind of chesed (kindness). He tried to pass himself as the true son of Avraham but chazal (rabbis of the Talmud) tell us that Ishmael would go around and try to pick up women.
"The verse says he was full of laughter. The implication of laughter in the text is one of sexual impropriety, according to chazal.
"Ishmael would use his father’s wonderful teachings of chesed as a pick-up line. He’d go around to women and say, ‘Didn’t Avraham teach us about the wonders of chesed? Well, if you really want to do chesed, you should sleep with me.’
"We believe in love your neighbor as yourself. We don’t believe in loving your neighbor’s spouse as yourself."