Inspired by Reb Kalonymos Kalman's ideal of a group of people coming together with the common goal of enhancing their service of God, increasing their sensitivity to all things spiritual, strengthening their love of acheinu kol beis Yisrael, and unlocking the enormous potential that we all have to cleave to the Almighty.

Interaction and discussion of practical ideas and concepts toward this end, culled from any Torah true source is welcome and appreciated.

Observations and personal experiences are also welcome; the point is to grow!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Yamim Nora'im Prep part III

Our third segment on different suggestions and approaches to the concept of forgiveness focuses on reaching an idealized perspective via-a-vis the people we come into contact with.

Whereas the earlier approaches we discussed involved either "forcing" ourselves into the recognition of  the necessity of mechila (and the gravity of half-hearted forgiveness) and techniques to calm our animus towards those who have wronged us, I'd like to focus for a moment on nuturing healthy relationships, which facilitates itself toward forgiving others with ease.

What is love? Where does it come from? How does it develop?

Rabbi E. E. Dessler makes a powerful observation concerning this very topic in his Kuntress HaChessed (Michtav M'Eliyahu Vol. 1). Contrary to popular belief, Rav Dessler asserts that love is not enhanced by giving - it is the giving that creates love. Rather than being in a loving relationship and therefore feeling compelled to act with kindness towards someone, bestowing them with gifts and favors, it is quite the opposite: the very act of giving, of providing for someone stirs within the giver strong feelings of attachment and closeness, and allows an true and honest relationship to flourish.

My suggestion is this: with friends and loved ones, strive to give them what they need, whether it's moral support, a handout, or a smile. When the relationship deepens through the mutual acts of giving, it will be that much easier to separate from our selfishness and see through to the truth. As for those whom you may not get along with? Try very hard to be pleasant to them, and help them any way you can. By constantly giving to them, you will be strengthening your relationship (obviously this has to be done with common sense and no attitude...), and hopefully they will see the effort you are exerting to make it work with them...

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