It Is Written
Graciousness, courtesy, compassion, this is hesed. Hesed is a quality that extends even to the animals and the land. The Sabbath rest principle of Hebrew law included the needs of the livestock (Exod. 23:12). After seven years of planting and harvesting, the land itself needed “a year of complete rest” (Lev. 25:5). Even the soil of the vineyards was not to be overtaxed by planting other crops between the rows (Deut. 22:9). The oxen that trod out the grain were not to be muzzled so that they could eat while they worked (Deut. 25:4). And so on. The whole point of this instruction was that our dominion over the earth and the little creatures that creep upon it is to be filled with compassion. We should not rape the earth but manage and care for it kindly, lovingly, tenderly. This too is social justice.
Richard J. Foster b. 1946, United States, Quaker, Writer:
Historical Age, Age of Reason, 1650-1950
Astrological Age, Age of Pisces, 1 AD – 2000
Sun Sign, Taurus