Ahavas Chinam (cringe)

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    on the ball

    Am I the only one who cringes at this phrase?


    whats to cringe about



    Abba bar Aristotle

    on the ball I agree with you. See Seforno in Devorim that Love is an emotion that depends on how good I think someone is.

    To Love someone “chinum” is abdicating this responsibility.


    It sounds new age-y


    What’s wrong with Ahavas Chinam, who doesn’t like freebies?

    on the ball

    I should have explained what makes me cringe:

    1)As Torah613Torah has pointed out – it is a new-age-y term not found (to my albeit limited knowledge) anywhere in either classical or contemporary Jewish literature. This is so even though in literally countless places starting with Mishna and Gemara up until contemporary Sifrei Mussar, there is a wealth of writing dealing with the mitzva of loving a fellow Jew. I’m sure they could have all thought of that term yet they clearly felt it was inapplicable for whatever reason. Do we need to try and be smarter?

    2)If you translate it into English you come up with a term that has terrible connotations.

    3)It is borrowed from ‘Sinas Chinam’ which while making sense in that context (i.e. the idea of hating someone for no reason), makes little sense in its opposite context. You are not supposed to love people for no reason. You are supposed to love them for an excellent reason – namely that they are part of our family, the Jewish people and G-d has commanded us to love each Jew.


    What makes you cringe, the concept or the name?


    It should really be called “Ahavas Yisrael”. However because unfortunately most of us don’t feel this internal automatic love for another member of the tribe, but we have to have a reason, the term “Ahavas Chinam” is used.

    Meaning love them just because we are all part of one big family and don’t look for other reasons(i.e. same kind of head covering, type of shul etc…)

    on the ball

    No the concept is OK (except for my point about us needing to love Jews for the very good reason of Hashem’s commandment rather than in vain), it’s the name I don’t like.


    Maybe one day Hashem will give you CLARITY in this.

    on the ball

    PBA: Not sure what you mean but whatever …thanks.


    on the ball: Popa is just making fun cuz he gets nervous from the word clarity


    Rav Kook said that bayit sheini was destroyed because of sines chinam, and the third will be built because of ahavas chinam. He added we don’t really even need ahavas chinam to explain loving a fellow Jew- the fact that they’re Jewish is reason enough!


    It is not a mitsva to love reshoim. The mitsva applies only to erliche Yidden or true tinokos she’nishbu.

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