And now, if you intend to do kindness (Chesed) and truth (Emes) with my master… (Genesis 24:49)
If you look in the Torah, we always find kindness coming before truth, and the verse cited above is a prime example. We also find this again in Genesis 47:29.
What’s this about?
Limudei Nison (Vayechi) offers this explanation: The Torah here is telling us the order on how we should do things.
A Jew’s first reaction upon hearing of a problem should be to want to do Chesed … get involved … dive in and help … ooze with compassion, etc.
Only afterwards should the person use the trait of Emes to look at the situation, decide if he can really help, if this is logical, a great idea, will it work, etc.
And why not flip the order of the two traits?
The answer is that if you begin with Emes, you’ll probably never get to the Chesed!
This is because everyone has their own ‘issues’ to deal with, and there is no limit to the number of reasons why a person might feel he shouldn’t get involved in a problem or cause.
Therefore, Chesed followed by Emes -- kindness followed by truth -- is the correct order a person should follow!