The cornerstone of every relationship is love and so it makes sense that one of the principals of God awareness is loving God. But how do we create love for God? How do we create love for anybody or anything? The Torah says something unique about love. The Torah commands “Ve'ahavta l'rayacha kamocha.” You have to love your close one like yourself.
That’s strange. First off, how could they command us to love someone – how can you tell me who I should and shouldn’t love? Love shouldn’t be a commandment; it should be an option? Secondly, how can I love someone else like myself!? I like me a lot. Me and myself have been hanging out for a very long time together. Even my spouse doesn’t spend as much time with me as me - so how can I love her like myself.
Lets learn love from the place we all learned it first….our parents
Imagine you were talking to a women who is 9 months pregnant.
Beshaa Tova… Thank you…. So…. are you going to love your child?.... Excuse me?... Are you going to love your child?... Of course…. How do you know? You haven’t even met him or her yet? What if he’s a brat? What if she is not your look? What if you don’t have the same interests, like sleeping through night or verbalizing your feelings as opposed to crying every time you need something. What if the kid down the block is cuter, smarter or more athletic?
The mother is either going to knock you out or assume you’re on drugs.
Why? Because parents love their babies no matter what. Why is that? Because they understand what it means to truly love somebody.
The mistake we make is that we think that love leads to commitment. That’s not the case, in truth commitment leads to love. Parents commit to loving their unborn child and so no matter what that child is born like, they love him or her. The more the parents commit, the more the child becomes a part of them, and the more they love them.
The rabbis say “v’ohavta l’reacha c’amocha”. V’ohavta – when you commit to love someone, then something amazing happens… You connect to it. You identify with it. Like a parent to a child, you don’t see it as something separate but its part of you… that’s k'amocha.
When the Jews were presented with the Torah, the marriage contract between them and God, they used this principal to forge their relationship….
Naaseh…. We commit… VeNishma… we will understand.
The fourth principal of God awareness is Loving Hashem. How? By committing. By going all in. As long as we are holding back from Him, we can’t fully love Him. Our choice is whether we want to commit – Na’aseh.
Once we do, true Ahava is right around the corner.
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