When Sinas Chinam rears its ugly head…

Our Sages, of blessed memory, state (Yoma 9b): “Why was the First Temple destroyed? Because of the follow three sins that occurred there: idol worship, immorality, and murder. Yet, in the period of the Second Temple, they were involved in Torah study, mitzvos, and acts of kindness-so why was it destroyed? As a result of the baseless hatred that was there. Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Eliezer both said, ‘Since concerning the First Temple, their trangressions were revealed-their time of redemption was revealed. In the Second Temple, where their sins were not revealed-their time of redemption was not revealed.’

If I was to do a study of the greatest problems facing our generation, I’d probably start by looking at the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation.

Yes, I’m serious.  If you were not aware, the Chofetz Chaim writes that when the Gemara says sinas chinam (baseless hatred) it also includes lashon hara (hurtful speech), which is a product of sinas chinam.  So by causually looking at the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation (CCHF) and it’s programs, one can easily get an idea of some problems within our people as a Nation.

Some of the previous video topics have been (and this list in no real order, as I dug out my cassettes and cds tonight):
WHO WILL PUT OUT THE FIRE– Maximizing the power of Shmiros Haloshon and Ahavas Yisrael
A TIME TO HEAL– Realizing that each Jew is someone who is a precious as each of us is
CHANGING GOLUS TO GEULAH– Shimiros Haloshon as the path to Geulah
SHAPING A WORLD OF KINDNESS– How acts of Ahavas Yisrael can shape a world that reflects Hashem
IF YOU DON’T CRY WHO WILL?- Sharing the yoke of a fellow Jew
WORD BY WORD– Understanding the destructiveness of Ona’as Devorim

It seems that every year, the board of directors of the CCHF seem to turn on the proverbial Bat-Signal alerting us to an important aspect of tikun haMiddos.  I applaud them.  This year the topic is LETTING GO OF ENVY.  Again, this is a major problem on fronts such as: finances, shidduchim, success in chinuch, relationships, number of comments on blog posts (just joking), vacations, etc.

So these are the problems that have come up over the past few years.  They all center around words.  Words are the main vehicle that we use when dealing with others.  Things we shouldn’t say and things we probably should say.  I admit, this is all mostly fluff.  It’s all easier said (or written) than done.

I’m sure had this been an alternate world, we’d be viewing videos from the CCHF titled:
DON’T BE A HATER– Learning that “baseless” means there’s no foundation in reality
KEEP YOUR MOUTH QUIET– How not speaking at times is even more important than speaking
LOVING YOUR FELLOW JEW IS A MITZVAH…BECOMING FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE ON FACEBOOK ISN’T– Truly understanding the importance and vaule of real friendship
GIVE IT UP– Applying Rav Dessler’s teachings about giving vs taking
EMES RULES AND SHEKER DROOLS– Alligning yourself with the truth is alligning yourself with Hashem

Dissagrements and misunderstanding happen, I know all too well.  Resolving such issues doen’t happen overnight.  Sometimes it takes almost 2000 years.   In fact, some issues cannot be resolved, so we just step back.  Eventually Hashem steps in.  That’s probably why there is a classic machloches about if we, mankind, will rebuild the Beis HaMikdash or will Hashem bring it down from shamayim.  In the end the result is the same…we will be dancing in the Beis HaMikdash.

8 thoughts on “When Sinas Chinam rears its ugly head…

  1. Garnel Ironheart

    The problem with the CCH’s material is that it all sounds and looks the same, year after year. The same 3-4 rabbonim, the same crowd from a particular segment of the Torah observant community, the same “Oy, we should all just get along” yet nothing changes.

    What I’d like to see is the CCH put out a tape with Rav Hershel Schechter or Rav Shlomo Aviner on it in their Modern/Mizrachi regalia. That would be a significant statement that they’re interested in all Jews, not just the ones they look like.

  2. Steg (dos iz nit der šteg)

    actually, about the Facebook comment — while the actual obligatory mitzvot of relationships are limited in scope, and it’s probably impossible to have really close friendships with a large number of people, i actually think that the idea of having hundreds and hundreds of friendly acquaintances is good — it reminds you of the humanity of everyone around you. People who you haven’t seen in person for years can now let you in on their life as it is now; you can catch glimpses of what people care about, what moves them, etc., even if you just work down the hall or something from them and have barely said ‘hi’ in person.

  3. Steg (dos iz nit der šteg)

    Garnel Ironheart:

    do RHS and RSA actually wear “Modern/Mizrachi regalia”? all the pictures i’ve seen of them online (or times i’ve seen RHS in person) don’t seem to have any identifiably non-Hhareidi clothing style.

  4. Neil Harris

    Rav Hershel Schechter (especially w/ his beard) looks just like anyone else.
    I wasn’t in any way dissing the CCHF. They are marketing to as many people as they can and I give them credit. If you compare their posters from 8-10 years ago with the current one they are, in fact, having viewings in many more locations.

  5. Garnel Ironheart

    Pictures I’ve seen of Rav Shlomo Aviner show him wearing a kippah serugah. As for Rav Schechter, you’re right. He wears a black hat and dark suit. And maybe that’s a good thing because it shows that a serious MO authority also dresses the part.

  6. Neil Harris

    “Dressing the part” is shakey ground. Does a Jew wearing khakis and a polo shirt listen to a shiur on his iPod “dress the part”?
    Keep in mind when we use loose terms like MO there is room for a lot of, well, room.


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