First ever איכה?
The word “eichah” occurs only 18 times in the entire Bible. In each instance, it conveys this rhetorical complaint:
Why is G'd posing this question? What could be the relation between these two scenes in Genesis (Bereshit) and Deuteronomy(Devarim)?
What is the foundation of hostility?
How could this relate to Tisha B'Av?
How could that kind of hate, Sinat Chinam, baseless hate, be counteracted?
When questioned why he loved Jews distant from the ideals of Torah, Rav Kook would respond, “Better I should err on the side of baseless love, than I should err on the side of baseless hatred.”
Rav Kook gave practical advice on how to achieve this love, called Ahavat Chinam.
- Love for people does not start from the heart, but from the head. To truly love and understand people - individually as well as a group — requires a wisdom that is both insightful and multifaceted. This intellectual inquiry is an important discipline of Torah study.
- Loving others does not mean indifference to baseness and moral decline. Our goal is to awaken knowledge and morality, integrity, and refinement
- If we take note of others’ positive traits, we will come to love them with an inner affection. This is not a form of insincere flattery, nor does it mean white-washing their faults and foibles. But by concentrating on their positive characteristics — and every person has a good side — the negative aspects become less significant