היום שלשה ימים בעמר
Today is three days of the omer
A day of compassion in a week of loving kindness
On this day of a convergence of compassion and loving kindness, I wonder about the difference between them. They are similar intentions, so why did the kabbalists feel the need to include both?
I think, perhaps, that loving kindness is the emotion, compassion is the action. Loving kindness is a feeling that sparks movement, a cultivator, within and without. Compassion is a movement that effects all aspects of life.
I recently found that compassion can bring patience, a virtue I have problems maintaining. Using a lens of compassion when dealing with difficult people and issues, looking to difficulties those people and circumstances are dealing with, can abate anger and annoyance. It may or may not bring me to a place of loving kindness, but it's a step towards understanding.