Yevamot 89: The Top Three

"Three signs are there for this nation: they are rachmanim, merciful; bayshanim, have a sense of shame[1]; and gomlei chasadim, perform acts of kindness[2]" (Yevamot 89a). The distinguishing mark of the Jewish people is not our observance of Shabbat, kashrut, and a host of other mitzvoth. Important as they may be, they are reflections of the values that are (or at least should be) the true hallmark of the Jew: mercy, shame, and kindness. 

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