“Follow none but Hashem your God, and revere none but Him; observe His commandments alone, and heed only His orders; worship none but Him, and hold fast to Him.” DEUTERONOMY 13:5 (The Israel Bible™)

This verse concludes with the directive to cleave to Hashem (God). Since it is impossible to literally “hold fast” to a being that has no physical form, the Sages explain that this commandment means we are required to emulate His ways. Just as Hashem performs kind deeds, buries the dead (Deuteronomy 33:6) and visits the sick (Genesis 18:1), so too must we be kind to others and take care of their needs. Contemporary Israel fulfills this mandate, and emulates God’s compassion. It is often the first country to respond to natural disasters, providing medical aid and other assistance around the world. For example, when a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, the IDF was amongst the first responders on the scene.

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