The Art of Loving
In his book “The Art of Loving” Eric Fromm writes:
“Love is an art, just as living is an art; if we want to learn how to love we must proceed in the same way we have to proceed if we want to learn any other art, say music, painting, carpentry, or the art of medicine and engineering…”
“..If I want to learn the art of medicine I must first know the facts about the human body, and various diseases. When I have all this theoretical knowledge, I am by no means competent in the art of medicine.
I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice, until eventually the results of my theoretical knowledge and the results of my practice are blended into one – my intuition – the essence of the mastery of any art..”
Throughout the years of Jewish history, the day of Tish’a Be’av – the 9th of the month of Av has been a traumatically painful day.
It traces back to believing the reports that ten out of twelve spies had delivered after touring the land of Israel for 40 days.
Although they have returned with a cluster of grapes so large that it took two men to carry it (Numbers 13:23), only two of the twelve made a good report regarding the land.
The other ten tried to convince the people of Israel that if would be impossible to succeed in entering that great land.
Yes, ten out of twelve spies reported that the inhabitants were too strong to cope with.
That night, the people of Israel forgot that the Almighty, who created the entire world, was going to fight for them.
For the whole night the people cried claiming that God hated them and they would die in the desert.
God then declared,
אתם בכיתם בכינה של חינם ואני קובע לכם בכיה לדורות
“You cried tonight for no reason, I will give you generations of crying for good reason.”
That night was the ninth day of the month of Av – Tish’a Be’Av – תשעה באב
And indeed, many tragic events for the people of Israel occurred on the Ninth of Av.
- Both Holy Temples Were Destroyed
- The Battle at Betar Was Lost
- The Romans Plowed the second Temple
- The Jews Were Expelled from England
- The Jews Were Banished from Spain
- Both World Wars Began
Our sages explain that the second Temple was destroyed and the long (current) period of Diaspora started because of hatred that had no reason.
Hating each other for nothing?
How often are we tempted to hate somebody for no reason?
Maybe the remarkable story brought by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in the following video clip can demonstrate for us this condition…
To practice your Hebrew, you are welcome to follow the Hebrew subtitles.
שנאת חינם – SIN’AT KHINAM
we have to come to baseless love:
אהבת חינם – AHAVAT KHINAM
THE BASELESS LOVE
This year Tish’a Be’av occurs on Sunday, July 18th.
As Eric Fromm said, let us become masters of the “Art of Loving” and contribute whatever we can to Tikkun Olam – “Repairing The World”.
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and speaking a lot of Hebrew!
Yoel & Orly
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