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Just in time for the high holidays...

The baggies say (in hebrew) "Ahavat Chinam" which loosely translates to "unwarranted love" for others.

The Talmud teaches that the Second Temple was destroyed, despite the fact that the people at that time studied Torah, observed mitzvot and performed good deeds. Their great failure was in "sinat chinam" - baseless hatred. It was internal strife and conflict that ultimately brought about the Temple’s destruction.

How may we rectify this sin of sinat chinam? The famous Rav Kook wrote, in one of his most oft-quoted statements:

“If we were destroyed, and the world with us, due to baseless hatred, then we shall rebuild ourselves, and the world with us, with baseless love — ahavat chinam."

Maimonides similarly taught that negative traits are corrected by temporarily overcompensating and practicing the opposite extreme.

For example, one who is naturally stingy should balance this trait by acting overly generous, until he succeeds in uprooting his miserliness. Similarly, by going to the extreme of ahavat chinam, we repair the trait of sinat chinam.

Rav Kook however has a different line of thinking.

Ahavat chinam, he says, is not a temporary remedy, but an ideal, the result of our perception of the world’s underlying unity and goodness.

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