“The Torah begins with chesed (kindness) and ends with chesed.”  _Medrash.
This refers to Hashem making clothing for Adam and Eve, and burying Moshe at the end of Deuteronomy.  (Really we could ask – the chesed began even earlier, with creation itself being solely for the benefit of man -and perhaps by the end of this, we will have one possible answer as to why clothing was listed as the initial chesed).
If such is the way the Torah is inaugurated, and sealed, it is befitting to say that the Torah is, at its essence coming to teach and instruct as as to the values and ways of chesed.  In fact Rabbi Akiva maintained that the verse which best encapsulates the entire Torah is, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’.   What we should also take to heart, is that learning about the ways of the creator is are not a mere abstract, intellectual exercise, reserved for erudite discussions of scholars, but rather it serves to us as guide for each and every member of the Jewish nation, in every generation and place.   There are numerous verses which impress upon us this truth, that we should all strive to walk in Hashem’s ways.
If we reflect for a moment, we will realize that the mitzvah of modeling the Creator reveals something special, that we would not necessarily see from mitzvos such as tsitsis, kashrus, and Lulav.  That we are encouraged, and even expected to imitate the Almighty, reveals that we have within us the capability of being divine.  In other words, when the book of Genesis relates that man was created in the image of G-d, it is not poetic license, but a glimpse into the potential of our holy neshamas, and what we can do with them if we follow His lead.
The ability to do kindness and be compassionate are our greatest capabilities to be like Hashem.  And just as Hashem uses the trait of chesed to create, so too,  when we use our unique human potential to do chesed we are involved in an act of creation, and being a partner in developing the world.   Our forefather, Abraham used his power of chesed to generate a revolution in himself, and then in the world around him; and it was his pillar of chesed which became the foundation stone and primary root for the Jewish people.
As opposed to mundane physical events, and animalistic actions, true creation, what begins beyond the natural order and ultimately shapes it, comes from the intellect.  We were blessed with an amazing capacity called freewill, and it nests in our uniquely human mind, which, like the Creator Himself, (Who, as we see from the Genesis, began every part of creation with an investigation, and decision –  is on the side of causation.  This is opposed to the rest of creation which is totally subsumed and controlled by external forces, thus lack the capacity to create it’s own destiny or a new directive for the world.
To do a true chesed, therefore, we must start with our head, and not instinctively do what feels right, for two reasons.  Firstly, there is a likely chance that what we originally think ought to be done a certain way, may in fact be better a different way, or perhaps we had best do something else entirely, or may even nothing at all.  On a deeper level, the practical necessity of leading our deeds with thought is a result of the fact that our greatest and deepest essence come from the non-physical, rather intellectual/spiritual aspect of ourselves, and it is the part which ought to guide us in our lives, especially if we hope to imitate the Creator and be creators ourselves.
“I will  make for him a helper ”   (Hashem creates Eve)  – The extra ‘for him’  shows us that it was not sufficient to make a generic helpmate for Adam, rather Hashem considered what would be the most ideal counterpart to him, based on his character, role, needs and desires.  So too, if we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we can’t be content with doing generic deeds for others, and giving everybody the same smile or listening ear, rather we must do as we would want for ourselves, and we know that we have preferences, unique sensitivities, and the like.
In our parsha (this is a parsha page, you know), Moshe ‘grows up’, the verse tells us, and what does he do next?  He goes out to see how his Hebrew brethren are faring, and ‘he saw INTO their burdens’.  The extra letter ‘Beis’ sheds a wealth of insight into Moshe and why he was chosen as the redeemer of Israel.  Rashi puts it quite beautifully   ‘he set his eyes and heart  to share in their suffering’.  He felt for them, this is what it takes to be a great Jewish leader, not strength and money, but a good mind and heart.  In fact Moshe was later recorded as chasing after a runaway sheep  (not even his own, as he was tending for his father-in-law) and after a long chase, finally caught up to it, and realized it was thirsty and had gone searching for water.  Whereupon he hoisted th e poor thing over his shoulder and carried it all the way back the flock. To which the Omnipresent responded – I have found a worthy shepherd for My flock (the Jewish people).  A similar story is recorded about our great King David, for the ability to do, or better create, chesed is not mere compliment to a leader, rather it is his force and guiding light.
At the close of the very same chapter, in response to Moshe’s countenance to his people, Hashem responds in kind, turning His countenance to His people.  And once again we see that the catalyst for action, namely our salvation from Egypt, was through a deep, internalized compassion for the recipient, and not based on a superficial overview of the situation. “Hashem HEARD  their cry, He REMEMERED His covenant with the patriarchs, He SAW them, and He KNEW –  and on the final He Knew, Rashi explains that it doesn’t refer to any new information (since the verse doesn’t tell us of any), rather knew, is the deeper meaning, similar to ‘and Adam Knew Eve” – in other words, an inimate and lucid connection to the other .  Rashi’s words resonate with his comment on Moshe ” Hashem set His heart on them, and did not hide HIs eyes from them”.
We see from this episode another amazing thing, and that is not only are we to model Hashem, but when we do so, and activate our divine neshama, Hashem responds to us in kind  (no pun intended).  This is another great reason for us to work on developing our chesed, for the Generation of the flood received a much worse fate than the Generation of the Dispersion (Tower of Babel) for their sins were interpersonal.
Similarly Sodom’s fate was sealed for being so selfish, and totally destroying their divine spark of being givers.
The Chafetz Chaim wrote his monumental works on Loshon Hara and guide to proper use of speech, due to our tradition that our Temple was destroyed for this terrible sin, and we are still suffering in exile for it.  In addition to learning the rules of guarding one’s tongue, if we were all to strive to emulate the chesed of our Creator, we would not only be loathe to say anything harmful or derogatory about our fellow Jews, but we would engender a paralleled response of chesed from our Father in Heaven, who responded to Moshe (and our not speaking Loshon Hara in Egypt) to deliver our salvation,  to do the same for us today.
Wishing you all a chesed- filled Shabbos.