Friday, May 1, 2015

Love Yourself

In this week's parshas, Acharei Mos-Kedoshim, there are many mitzvahs, but one stands out of the pack as a central pillar of Judaism. This is the mitzva of Ahavas Yisroel, love of your fellow Jew. In the Torah's words "And you should love your fellow as yourself". Rabbi Akiva says "This is a great principle in the Torah".

How does one love every Jew, even those he never met? It's hard enough to "like" the ones you know. Why does the Torah have to add the words "as yourself"?  The commandment could have been "and you should love your fellow". What can we learn from the words "as yourself"?

From the words "as yourself" it is clear that to "love your fellow", first you need to learn to love yourself. How does loving yourself help you love somebody else?

In order to love yourself, you need to understand what you are. Being a Jew means that at your essence there is a Neshama, which is truly a part of Hashem. When you think about this you realize how amazing you are and that you are one with Hashem. You realize that you must be capable of doing great things. You start to love yourself.

Now, if you realize that your Neshama and "your fellow's" Neshama are one, then loving him is loving yourself. The more in tune you are with your Neshama the more your love for other Jews grows.  Regardless of their differences you love them because you are tuned to their essence.

This is why every Jew felt loved when he came to the Rebbe, because he was truly in tune with his Neshama and therefore with yours as well.

It was due to the lack of this love that the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed and it will take this love to have it rebuilt. This is a key aspect to bring Moshiach.

We desperately need Moshiach, we are all suffering in one way or another in this exile, it's time for it to end.

It's time to get past our petty differences and show love to our "fellow". It is unbelievable how small and petty differences drive us apart. You will also be supprised how a show of love will be reciprocated.

It seems that the ones closest to us pose the greatest challenge of all. This one doesn't talk to her mother, that one doesn't talk to his brother, etc.

When I was diagnosed with ALS, it was sobering. What is important became clear. It is clear that family is more important than the stupid arguments. It is clear that differences such as religious level, dress, etc., are petty. It is clear that we need to unite. It is clear that united we will bring Moshiach. 

1 comment:

  1. What an inspiration to to think about this week. And to remember what lack of respect can bring abut. Lag b'omer next week we remember how a plague killed 24,000 students due to lack of compassion and respect for our fellow Jew . Thanks for reminding us Rabbi!