Wednesday, 20 July 2011

True Love - Words From the Arizal - Rabbi Yitzchak Luria

Before a person arranges his prayers in shul (or wherever he will be praying,) before the portion concerning the Akeidah (the binding of Isaac) and onwards, he should accept upon himself the Mitzvah of "ואהבת לרעך כמוך" - "I accept upon myself to love my fellow Jew as myself." 

One should have intention to love every single Jew as one loves oneself. This is because it is through this that his prayer will rise up being included with all the prayers of the Jewish people - and it is able to rise upwards causing fruit to bear from it. In particular the love of ones friends who study Torah together with one - everyone should include himself as if he was one of the limbs of his friends.

In particular - if any one of his friends is beset with distress, everybody (in the group) should join themselves with his distress - whether it be because of sickness or children (or because of a lack of children G-d forbid) and he should pray for him.

Likewise in all ones prayers and his needs and other things - he should join his friend together with him.

My teacher (the holy Arizal) warned me very much in the matter of loving our friends especially when they were part of a click (a group.)

--- Rabbi Chaim Vital (the Rechu) relating over his teacher's (the Arizal's) teachings. See beginning of Shaar HaKavanot and Pri Etz Chaim, Shaar Olam Ha'Asiya Chapter 1. Brought in Shulchan Aruch HaArizal, Chapter 1:2

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