One of the most important concepts the Jewish people has brought around the globe, the other that has elevated and civilized humanity, is �V�ahavta l�reyacha kamocha - And you also shall love your neighbor as yourself� (Vayikra 19:18).
A noble goal, yes, but how realistic would it be?
Nevertheless, one cannot help but wonder how different the entire world can be if everyone truly loved others because he loved himself.
We may reside in a world without crime or gossip. People can be more charitable and considerate. Happiness, goodness and gratitude would reign! People would feel more associated with one another - and loved.
The reason why this can be a difficult goal is because most of us don�t determine what this means to adore others.
Reb David of Levlov once told his disciples which he had learned the extent one must love others by overhearing a conversation of easy peasants.
One of them suddenly asked his friend: �Do you like me?� �I adore you a lot,� replied the friend. �Do guess what happens I would like?� asked the friend. �How may i know what you may need?� asked the opposite. �Then your ex is not actually that of a true friend, for should you really loved me, you'll surely know our needs and troubles.�
It�s an appealing idea, that love is illustrated by understanding another�s needs. I have heard often from Rabbi Noah Orlowek that the meaning of love is important to you is vital in my experience.
As a husband and father, I often contemplate the requirements my spouse and children. Being a community rabbi, there are lots of times I look around the shul during davening, and pray for that needs of men and women in the room. Yet, I often wonder, should i really know what everyone needs? I understand what some people let me know they want, but often we presume we require something, and also the Almighty carries a different idea.
A look into the way to love others comes from a story that became of me more than 2 decades ago. Before I acquired married, Industry experts our rabbeim for suggestions about how you can use a great marriage. Among those conversations left an indelible impression on me.
The rav believed to me: �Yitz, I want you to know you're a selfish animal. You will always be a selfish animal. It�s not your fault; it�s the way in which G-d created you. Any girl do is to begin to add your wife within your concept of self. Then include your children, after that your community, and in the end the whole Jewish people. By expanding your definition of self to include others, you won�t be swimming upstream when it's time to take care of others� needs. Really, you will be your own needs, that's natural for everyone.�
Another facet of learning to increase our appreciation for others is simply by with the meaning of love as articulated by my rebbe, Rabbi Noah Weinberg zt�l. �Love,� he was quoted saying, �is when one identifies and appreciates the virtues in another.� The greater we focus on what is special of a person, the harder we like her or him.
Once I was in a conference with other rabbis. We had been split up into categories of five. A couple in every single group knew the other person well; a couple knew one another superficially for a while; then there was anyone within the group whom there was all just met. Our assignment would have been to play the Love Game.
The item of the game was for every folks to identify important in every an associate the group, then share it with everyone. Then we were asked, �Were you capable to identify important in everybody in the group?� The result was obviously a resounding �Yes!�
The aim of the exercise would have been to illustrate that in the same way that you can identify virtues in someone you've noted for years, it's also possible to identify virtues in someone you just met.
Imagine a world in which each time a person interacted with another, he or she would identify something because person. Picture some sort of by which people would recognize another person�s needs and treat her or him in how he / she wanted to be treated. That you will find some sort of truly full of happier, kinder people and a lot goodness.
In the event the Torah says, �Love your neighbor as yourself,� it isn't a suggestion. This is a mitzvah, a responsibility. Just as a loving father will not command his son to behave beyond his reach, the Almighty will not command us to do the impossible.