Sunday, August 6, 2017

Ahavas Chinam?

לע"נ ר' אלכסנדר זושא ב"ר יוסף 

I hear from time to time that the concept of "אהבת חינם" has no basis in our tradition. מהיכי תיתי ["Stop making things up" in Latin] that we should love people for nothing? If a person is not living as he or she should, there is no mitzva to love him or her. The gemara says [Pesachim 113] that there is even a mitzva to hate evil people. So our love is not "אהבת חינם" - basless, but rather based on the fact that the other person is a fellow Jew in good standing. 

In contrast, שנאת חינם DOES have place in our tradition as baseless hatred was one of the the reasons that the second Beis Hamikdash was destroyed. So we may talk about שנאת חינם but not אהבת חינם.

Ad kan the argument.

Since they are starting up with Rebbe - I feel obligated to come to his defense and we will see niflaos בס"ד. 

Chazal don't use this terminology and it is found in the writings of Rav Kook ztz"l. Let's see....

הבינה [רגש] והציור [דימיון], המדע [שכל] והחפץ [רצון - הם ארבעת מרכיבי האדם], הלא רק שביבים קטנים הם מאוצר החיים [רוח האדם ונשמתו], האוצר בעצמו מלא הוא במילוי אין חקר בעומק נורא. העזיזות של החיים, המתגלה בחפץ החיים, שכל החפצים הם תולדותיה, חזקה היא מאד בחסנה, צורתה קבועה היא, כל הצורות הרוחניות מתטבעות על פי אותה המטבעה הספונה בקרבה פנימה. כשיוצאת מריבה בין כח לכח, בין איש לאיש, בין עם לעם, בין עולם לעולם, המריבה בתוכנה היא תוצאה מהשינוי והניגוד שיש בעצמיות של אוצר החיים. מעט מאד הוא הערך של יסודי ההתנגדות, שהם מתבטאים בבינה ופירוט מדעי, כל אלה הם סימנים קלים, שמפני חולשת ההכרה הם מתבטאים בתור סבות ודרישות. אבל היסוד העליון הוא שנאת החנם, שאוצר החיים מבטא למה שהוא מנגדו. ויצרא דשנאת חנם זה חובק בתוכו את סתר האהבה, שהיא גם כן כמותה אהבת חנם, שאור השלום והאושר רק בה הוא גנוז. וכל הנימוקים, המתגלים בגילוי הגיוני ובמערכה צורתית מתוארה, הם רק ניצוצות קלים, שמתוך שאין הספירה המוגבלה של עמדת חיי האדם בהוה יכולה לקבל את שיגוב האור של האוצר במילוי תוכיותו, מסתפק הוא בציורים קלושים, שמכילים רק צללים כהים של המקוריות, אשר לאהבת החנם ושנאת החנם, שיסודן הוא שנאו רע ואהבו טוב. וכאשר עומק הרע ורוממות שרשו הרי הוא עומק הטוב, נמצא שעומק השנאה הרי הוא עומק האהבה. ואם נחרבנו, ונחרב העולם עמנו, על ידי שנאת חנם, נשוב להבנות, והעולם עמנו יבנה, על ידי אהבת חנם, היורדת מראש צורים, וחנתי את אשר אחן ורחמתי את אשר ארחם, שהיא התיאוריה הנאמנה של העברת כל הטוב על פניו, של זה האיש משה. אבל תיכף בהולדו בא הטוב עמו, ותרא אותו כי טוב הוא, יבא טוב ויקבל טוב מטוב לטובים.


For the record - I have quoted countless complex passages from the Rav [and many other difficult passages from many other sources] and I often don't translate and to date (12 years and over 10,000 posts and over 3,000 recorded shiurim) I have not received one email asking to explain something by someone who was bothered that they couldn't understand. Does that mean that everybody understands everything? That people don't care enough to ask? That people go and ask someone else? That people want to understand but don't want me to have to use my precious time to explain? I will never know because 99.9 percent of my readers prefer to remain anonymous so I can't ask them. Oh well. Sometimes I feel like writing something like גלחעמנדגנ כלחמנקנ דחמעקדר or writing a white supremicist post ("all blacks are stupider than whites but at least they can shoot a basketball" not that G-d forbid I believe it. Many blacks are smarter than me and I am white. Most blacks are better ball players too) and see if nobody says anything. They would probably not. So is the life of the blogger. I try to educate, enlighten and inspire invisible people who want to remain invisible. But I trust that there is ONE invisible person who gains from what we write here so I continue. I used to teach visible people but they would often go to sleep on me or play with their phones. Then I got fired and went from earning next to nothing to earning nothing. So is the life of Yeshiva Rebbi. I wouldn't trade with anyone else. It's the best. הודו לה' כי טוב כי לעולם חסדו!  I LOVE YOU HASHEM THANK YOU!!!!! I am nothing but the dust of the earth so we return to our main program....]. 

Why do people hate each other? Many reasons are given but they are all excuses. There is, according to Maran, ONE true reason why poeple hate each other. 

Why do couples fight?? Why is there often so much hostility and venom between people who should love each other?? 

Why is there so much machlokes in Klal Yisrael? I mean, by golly, Chamas wants to Nuke us all together??? Hitler ימ"ש threw Vizhnitzer Chasidim in the same ovens as Mizrachi-ites and Bundists???

Here it is. Hold on tight. 

People hate one another - because they are different!! [Note the closeness of the words שונא and שונה]. 

A wife has a lot of animus [never used that word before but it popped into my head and on to the screen so there it is] to her husband because he is so very different than what she is and she perceives him as the enemy. 

A religious zionist, flag waver hates Satmar Chasidim because they are so different [and the feeling is often mutual]. A YU intellectual hates the Kollel guy from Lakewood because he thinks so differently - or the YU intellectual may claim that he doesn't think at all. And the Lakewood Kollel guy looks at the YU intellectual who is so incredibly different [even though they both daven from the same siddur and learn the same gemara] and can't "get" him. He is so weird [in his mind] which creates feelings of hostility. Since you are different - you must be against me. [Note: We LOVE people who "hold from us". ויש להאריך.] 

After this basic hatred, all of the other explanations are just cover ups. So yes, Ruchi says that her husband Meyer is a slob [he is] but she is most bothered by the fact that he is so different [her 2 year old is also a slob and she is INFATUATED with him] and just doesn't realize it. 

We "like" those who are "like" us and dislike those who are not. When I look at a person, in a split second I can often identify what group he is from and IMMEDIATELY like them more or less accordingly. 


THAT is SINAS CHINAM!!!! I hate him just because he is different than I am. Is that not baseless???


So what is Ahavas Chinam which will build the Third "Beis" and how do we get there?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH - I was hoping you'd ask!!!

It is the flip side of sinas chinam. I love you BECAUSE you are different. I appreciate that your "differentness" complements me and creates a shleimus. From כנגדו to עזר כנגדו!

So back to Ruchie and Meyer. Ruchie goes to her therapist [sefer Oros Hakodesh] and learns how to CELEBRATE Meyer's unique personality. He is male which already places him on a different planet than her [a mefurash John Gray!]. He is also spontaneous where she is deliberate. He is free spending where she is frugal. And the list goes on. Together - they are one complete unit. She EMBRACES his differentness and vice versa. He might not need to go shopping every new season but she does. He might never brush his hair but her sheitel is really important to her. 

And Klal Yisrael needs Satmarers and Lakewooders and YU-ers etc. We celebrate the fact that we are different and love people FOR WHO THEY ARE. 

THAT is אהבת חינם. Not that I love you for no reason but that I love you by virtue of who you are - as different from me as that may be. 

For that one needs to be VERY WELL DEVELOPED emotionally. I know very, very few such people but it is something to strive for. 

See also here [I was helped by him in understanding this passage].