Thursday, 22 April 2010

How to Love Another

Leviticus 19:18 is made up of some of the hardest words the world will ever come to understand, "And you shall love your fellow as you love yourself." For someone working on themselves, these words are not difficult to understand. These are words that are necessary for life itself. 

The average person who listens to others during regular conversation talk, will quite often hear them quoting this very line - a line not from some "other" religion, but rather from the Chumash itself - that book that forms the crux of the Torah given to the Jewish nation at Har Sinai. 

Rabbi Akiva says that this principle is a great rule in the Torah! And Hillel taught, "What is hateful to yourself, do not do to others." These areas have been explained in other posts, and the plethora of material available about this topic is truly unlimited. One does wonder however, why the world is in such a topsy-turvy state, when these words seem to be on the lips of all - so very often! Not only that, it seems like those who relate these words often seem to be caught up in their own world as to what these words could really mean -resulting in a situation of complete chaos of what love is really all about! If these words were being taken to heart, we would surely have a world of peace, goodness and kindness.

There's no doubt, these words are worthy of contemplation every single day. Instead of considering the options of meditating on some word (that has no one direct meaning as such), would the world not be a far better place, if we could spend that "meditation time" considering the power of these words?! Thereafter - of course - the necessary step of actually implementing them into every life situation, becomes an absolute necessity!

Those interested in mastering the "techniques" involved in really coming to love one's fellow, would do well to spend at least an hour every single day involved in the study of Chassidic works as well as some of the more well known Mussar works. But for those wishing to digest a summary of important points, the Ksav VeHaKabbalah (Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenberg - 19th century) enlightens us:
  • Your affection for others should be real, not feigned
  • Always treat others with respect
  • Always seek the best for them
  • Join in their pain
  • Greet them with friendliness
  • Give them the benefit of the doubt
  • Assist them physically, even in matters that are not very difficult
  • Be ready to assist with small or moderate loans and gifts
  • Do not consider yourself better than them
It doesn't take an entire lifetime to get to understand the basics... but it may take an entire lifetime of both study and action to be able to appreciate and value just how much needs to be done to be able to truly understand what it means to... "Love your fellow as you love yourself."

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails