Learn to love again.
This time of year in the Jewish calendar is known as the 3 weeks. It a period of mourning in which Jews around the world mourn the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem and the exile which we are still experiencing.
We are told that the second Temple was destroyed because of Sinat Chinam, baseless hatred. Nothing glamourous like lust, theft or idolatry. Nope simple baseless hatred.
In response to this Rav Kook, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine writes,
“If we were destroyed, and the world with us, due to baseless hatred, then we shall rebuild ourselves, and the world with us, with baseless love — ahavat chinam. (Orot HaKodesh vol. III, p. 324)
Whilst some people spend these three weeks on focusing on the mourning practices we engage in (not listening to music, not shaving etc) I think we need to really spend more time on focusing on what got us here in the first place… the fact we don’t love each other freely enough.
Our love comes conditionally, if I know you, I like you. If I need you, I like you. If I’m related to you, If I went to school with you, I like you. Maybe.
But it’s hard. It takes time. More than three weeks. But we need to start somewhere.
All being well this is going to be the first blog in series on kindness, on love, on the future.