And yet, the question remains ... how can we elicit true change? How do we bring ourselves to love people who we deem to be unworthy of our love?!
Not easy, right?
Rabbi Katz continues: Looking at someone with a malevolent eye and with hostility, as if he or she is to blame for whatever misfortune has befallen us, is reprehensible. Taking revenge and bearing a grudge only occurs when our stance is: whatever has happened to me, you are the culprit, you are to blame. Naturally, I am going to get my own back through revenge - or I will nurse a grudge against you and keep it festering in my heart, for you surely deserve it!
I think Rabbi Katz is pointing us towards a profound appreciation of how a person arrives at sinas chinam and grudge bearing. A hater forgets that his station in life is explicitly designed by Hakadosh Baruch Hu. This ignorant perspective leaves Hashem out of the picture. It ignores the fact that while unbecoming behaviour exists, my personal loss or pain is divinely orchestrated.
I would like to further explore this idea of keeping Hashem in the equation.
Many of us have been learning about the fundamental principles that produce our experience of life. We have been coming to a clearer understanding of what it takes to have our unique reality.
It has been extremely helpful to recognize and understand the one source of all our feelings. That nothing and no-one, bichlal - at all, has the power to get into us and make us feel anything whatsoever.
The Torah's view on psychology is clear and unequivocal: our experience derives from the Divine, from the only Being that has any power at all in this world to make us experience anything - from the כל יכול - the All Capable One. Our feelings are an inside job, created by Him.
They are NEVER from "out there".
Appreciating that each person sees the world only as far as Hashem grants them to see, also forces us to recognize that each person has their own separate reality, tailored for them by Hashem. Knowing this opens the door to taking perceived offenses less personally, creates more space for love, opens the possibility for compassion and allows us to better understand where other people are coming from.
And then, כמים פנים אל פנים כן לב האדם לאדם, just like water reflects the face which gazes into it, so too the hearts of mankind mirror each other. As you and I change by finding love in ourselves and expressing it to the world, we daven that Hashem will respond by reciprocating that ahava in others, bringing about the achdus, the unity that is so sorely missing.
May we all be zoiche, Be'H, to witness the Geulah Shleimoh Bekoroiv!
Mrs. Rosella Grunbaum & Tzvi Werther