Featured Post

It’s time for unconditional love

The Jewish people unites not because we have common enemies, but when we remember that we'd be nothing without each other

I imagine that many of you, as I am, are tired of this bitterness which we are experiencing. I am certain that most of us have found some way to temporarily deal with our situation (sic). I understand that there is a vessel on which we can climb above this mess. I am talking about “ahavat chinam,” which is loosely translated as unconditional love. In reality, it is a love that is not bound by opinions, politics, or societal stances. It is a love of family with no obstacles standing in the way.

At this time of year, we are offered a brand new collective chance that all of us can contribute to. I care too much about you as my brother or sister to let my opinion or yours get in the way of our common goal. We know that goal cannot be accomplished without us being together. I cannot wait for someone else to do the work. For years, we have been waiting for leaders to step up and bring us together. Let’s be honest. We may not have this caliber of leaders in our midst. As long as I am fixing myself, we can all benefit and grow. Who wouldn’t want to contribute to an honest sincere familial growth and joy? As Reb Shlomo taught us, the time has come for us all to be little rebbes. The initiative for “ahavat chinam” has to come from within. Within each and every one of us. Working towards this goal can bring us all so much simchah (joy).

We have been blessed to see and experience so many beautiful examples of love over the past months. Our holy soldiers have led the way with their incredible commitment to each other and the entire nation. I have been blessed to constantly hear them say that they have no concerns about any opinions. All they care about is you and me. All of us. I have personally told them many times that the world thinks we are united as a result of our common enemy, however, I see that we are united because of all of you. Lots of unconditional love between them. Kind of reminds me of the ’60s in America, only this time, they have invited Hashem to the party. Thank you. May we all be blessed to join in.

Hashem is asking us to create a dwelling space for him in this world and we want to oblige by creating that space within each of us. This task, first and foremost requires the knowledge that I am nothing without you. As we did in the Beit Hamikdash (Temple), we each gave a half-shekel, each of us equal to the other, and then Hashem made the final completion, so to speak, by bringing the other half. Thus we were complete.

Perhaps it could be spiritually and psychologically healthier to give less attention to what is being expressed in the big picture of the outside world, which of course we do live in, and rather look inside at the small picture. If I think there are severe troubles in this world, the first place I can identify these traits and immediately begin working on fixing them is at my closest location. Me! I need to do that so that I can begin to get rid of them and close the process with the burning up of my negativity. Here we are approaching Erev Pesach, Passover eve, the day when we burn up all of our “chometz,” leavening. We have cleaned our homes, offices, cars… As a matter of fact, I need to totally clean up my act.

We all know that the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed because of “sinat chinam,” baseless hatred. The Holy Temple continues to be in a state of destruction as the hatred continues to surface and multiply. We cannot blame anyone but ourselves. Only we can take responsibility for our own actions. When we simply accept this as societal norm we are in effect allowing ourselves to be partners in the crime.

Please, let’s find a different way to have our views heard, to share ideas, to disagree only in the privacy of our home or at secure meetings and to invest ourselves in ways that will ultimately bring us to find the one trait that should bring us all together. We are all of one family of brothers and sisters. Let’s all please remember that it is forbidden, according to our Holy Torah, to publicly ridicule and embarrass one another. It is comparable to murder. It is a true disgrace of God’s Holy Name. When I hit someone over the head in public and I embarrass them, I am taking responsibility for giving a serious hit to their soul.

In no way am I advocating a refusal to accept that we have differences in our opinions and behaviors. Of course, we are human and sadly enough, human beings disagree with each other. However, in our own home, even when there is a severe disagreement, hatred and anger can be avoided when we make serious attempt to understand each other’s position and opinion, even though we may greatly disagree. Hillel and Shammai are the classic example of Jews who disagreed, yet they allowed their children to marry each other. They promoted the opening of a path to the fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah that the day will come “…..when the truth and the Peace will show each other love” ( Zechariah 8.19).

The world is waiting for us to undertake our role as “am segulah,” the chosen nation. When we act in embarrassing ways, we let the world and ourselves down. That situation can never bear good fruits. Time to look for the one good trait in the person you disagree with most. In the meantime, PLEASE beg all of your friends, in the name of true Peace, to stop the public fights now!

That is indeed the message of our song “Ahavat Chinam.”

I hope it speaks to your heart and soul.

About the Author
Yehudah Katz, former lead of the popular Israeli band Reva L'sheva, has been contributing to the music scene in Israel since 1993, as a musician, singer and innovative educator, throughout Israel, the US and Europe. Katz believes that music is a genuine journey into the heart and provides a vision of one’s spiritual potential. He is presently front man for "Yehudah Katz V'hamagal," leading Melaveh Malkahs each Motsash (Saturday night) around Israel, under the title "Motsash Live." As a solo artist, Yehudah has been blessed with the opportunity to touch many lives with his own unique approach to Jewish spirituality, music and story. Yehudah also directs the annual Reb Shlomo Carlebach Memorial Concerts at the Binyanei Haumah Convention Center in Jerusalem.
Related Topics
Related Posts