Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

vahavta_yellow.gifOne of my students wrote me a message that contained the following assertion:

… “Love your neighbor as yourself statement (by the way, this statement was never mentioned in Torah but it became a cornerstone of New Testament  with some rabbies saying it first came from  Hillel).

Frankly saying I was always curious to find the precise spot where this quote came from, and thus decided to ask my Rav. Here is his answer:

As for your students remarks, I’m sure they are all good intended people,but they really are missing the basics!  In the Torah in Sefer Vayikrah Perek Yud Tes (19) Pasuk Yud Ches (18) (Parshas Kedoshim) it says clearly “Veahavtah Leraiacha Kemocha” “Love you neighbor as yourself”!!! And yes the Gemorah Shabbos Daf Lamed Alef (31) discusses how Hillel quoted the Aramaic version of this saying to a Ger.    “




Now that the mystery is solved, let’s start exercising this rule that, as Rabbi Akkiva once mentioned “contains all wisdom of Kabbalah, and everything else are only commentaries to it”  :)

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8 Responses to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

  1. Actually it is written VeHakhavta= AND love your neigbour as yourself, and this Ve=AND contains a lot of intresting information and we may say even a key to practical performing of this mitzva.

    Though we are told that performing of this Mitzva is imporsable before we learn to perform all the previous ones, but we may start already today to teach ourselves to do it. on Lukhot HaBrit we have 10 written comandments each of them correspond to the Sffira and Quality, which is to be corrected within each and every soul. As we know that the first Kli to get is Ketter, and the first Light to get with its help is Neffesh, but Yekhidda Light=the light of ABSOLUTE LOVE between the Creator and Its Creation is the light which we get, if we work with the last KLI wich is Malkut, and if you check the meaning of the 10th commandment you will see that its meaning is not to wish anything that you neigbour has, an another words we should pay attention not to envy anything that somebody has, but we have to put Massakh on this feeling and to learn to feel the joy for somebody getting a good job, having sucsessful children, getting spiritual levels and so on, because if we see the world as our common house then we will learn to enjoy the sucsess of each its member.

    We see it at the begining of the Creation in case of Ka’in and Hevvel, if Ka’im could have put Massakh on his envy to his brother by remembering that they are family amd his brother’s sucsess is their family’s one, and that he has a lot to learn from him if he wants his gift to be accepted by G-d, than he would have felt the joy, and altimitly the love to Hevvel.

    We never feel love or hate to somebody first, ussually we are indifferent to many people, but when we hear about somebody’s progress we have the choice as Ka’in had we may fall into the natural feeling of envy =Esster Ekhad and then into Hatered= Esster Kafful. or we may overcome our feeling of envy, by seeing ourselves as a family and experience the joy= Gillu’i HaSemm in this privete case and actually to come to Commplete Gillu’i HaShem and see that He loves and govens us all with absolute love, the Love which isn’t connected to anything, and by this Gillu’i we will learn to love the Creator and each other by this absolute independent of anything love.

    But before we come to this level we may begin through experiencing the joy for each other and praying for help to each other instead of enjoying the falls of others, because the nature of a person gets a spescial satisfaction in the fact that somebody is in a worse position than we are, it shouldn’t be ever our motivation for the comparesen of our situation, we should pray and work till each part of the Creation regains its form before the First Man’s sin, and we should remember that if any of us stays out of this work, we will miss his ot her part, and the Creation won’t get to its completion.

    We are all full of endless potential the Creator made us with, as we are the parts of The First Man’s Soul and in more broad meaning the parts of the Malkhut de Ein Sof, so we have to stop to compete each other and to begin to support each other on our common way to the realization of the Plan of the Creation.

    And we have to remember that the choice is withen our joy-envy ratio, here we have a chance to make Massakh, when it comes to Love-hate ratio it is the result of our choice. the light or darkness we get into made by ourselves Kli.

    AND please, choose joy, love and life.

  2. Another aspect that make very difficult performing this Mitzva is the fact that we all a little bit ill with Perfectionism( by the way it is an official psyciatric desease) and we have to see and understend where it comes from and how we can use it for our own benifit.

    We are coming to this world from the spiritual one where we have a form of Tzelm of the Creator! and as far as our today’s situation, here in this world, may be from the Tzelem, there are anyway Reshimot that make us enjoy Beauty including the phisical apperaence of a person, wonderful places of the Earth, masterpieces of the Nature, muscic, arts etc., so we may say that there is something in us that make us see that one thing is beautiful and another is ugly, and another is dispropotioned and so on.

    We are never happy with what we have we always want something different, if a girl has a straight hair, she dreams of a curly one and if, you are blond you dream of a thick black lashes what ever we see as beautiful in material world we want it to belong to us, we feel phisical suffering when we see disgasting things and disform objects and so on.

    If we go a little bit higher that phisical beauty, we will see that we want the best poem to be written by us, the best song composed by us and the outstanding discovery made by us, we want to be the best of them all.

    And when we are not capable to be all the above our ego suffers a lot and to feel less hurt, it looks for faults with others, more we even try to lessen others in our opponion to make our ego let us in peace from constent unsatisfaction with what we have.

    In short whatever we get, at the same moment it is “Hevel Havallim” for us= not intresting or giving exitment.

    On the one hand these same Reshimot don’t let us stop to want for more, to continuie to develop our personallity, on the other hand they make us see only what is wrong and not perfect be it within us or others.

    So how do I love myself and through it learn to love others, if my wish for perfection and the memory of the spiritual background come together and block any possible ways for Love to this so unperfect and full of ugly things world?

    Our Sages teach us that to overcome this barrier we have to work in two parrallel ways.

    First we have to teach ourselves to pay attention to the beautiful PART of a thing.Yes the whole thing may be not so attractive, but we must find something to like about it. They tell a story about one Rebbe that was on a walk with his students, and all of a sudden they came to a place where there was a body of a dead donkly, the smell was horrible and the students try to pass the place as fast as possible, to their surprise the Rebbe stopped, had a look at the donkey and said:”Just look how white and beautiful its teeth are” and then continue walking.

    Second. We have to do everyday something for the world to be a better and more beautiful place to be. We need to clean house for it to stay clean and nice to live in, we need to weed the garden for it to be a nice place to spend the time.Have I thanked the one who cleaned our house or the garden? or do I think that it is their duty to keep it clean for me? have I taken part in cleaning house before and after shabboth or there is mom to do it? Open your eyes and see that the shirt is clean and ironed and that the children are dressed and fed well, or that your husband took an extra work for the family to afford a holiday in a beautiful place.

    One husband said to his wife when she complained how difficult she works at home:” What all in all you do?”
    Next day he came from the work and saw children crashing the chiars playing battles, all the things scattered everywhere, the sink full over with the dishes and there is no ussual tasty smell of the food.-“What is going on here?”-” it is what is going on here all the time.”-the wife answered

    We have to use our feeling of beauty and perfection for the spiritual growth and development, but we have to overcome our wish to have everything in one moment, if we learn to understand that the spiritual development, and matirial one as being the branch of the spiritual, is organised step by step, then we learn to enjoy every piece of this work, but if we expect our children or partners or other people to be the way we want them to be in one day, then we will never have a chance to enjoy and so to love neither ourselves no others.

    We have to learn to work on bettering ourselves each day and seeing gradual bettering of ourselves and others as a joy of every day spend here together, to learn to pay attention on our and others good qualities and in this way to strengthen them in us and our loved.

    As Rabash and Baal HaSulam put it that we should be 23.30 hours in right line- to do what we have to do, to thank haShem for all he gives us and see the best side of the things and only 0.30 minutes we should spend for critisazing, and SUPPRISE! for critisazing only ourselves, and leave the others in peace and possibility to see and correct what they have to correct.

    In short we should keep the goal of the reaching spiritual beauty and perfection as a perspective for our spiritual work, but to remember that we came here to regain our Tzelem through the hard work, and not to get it again as a gift( as we were given it in the first creation of a MAN) and this work may not be done by us or others in one day.

    But if we help each other by seeing the best parts ofeach outher and thanking each other for every little help we have, then we will make this prossess of our RECREATION much more pleasant and successful. And we will learn to Love each other and ourselves for what we are, and for what we want to be, and most of all for the efforts we make to reach it.

  3. One of the aspects of the performing the Mitzva “love your neighbour as yourself” is the restoring, if nessecary, the good name or the memory of the people, when they came to be the victems of somebody who tryed to use them or their names for their egoistic, childish or even criminal purposes and thus danaging their names in the eyes of Court or Public.

    I have heard a story about one boy who stole a valuable object from another boy in the class, but when the teacher told children to open the bags for search, he put that object into his neighbour boy’s bag, and when the teacher found it in that boy’s bag, he kept silent, and an inocent boy was punished and this case had a very depereorating influence on the life of the punished boy.

    A lot of years passed, and only when the boy that stole the thing got married, but couldn’t have children and went to Rav for the advise, the case was remembered and the Rav told him that he should find the punished boy and ask him for excuse, and to do everything for all the ex-class mates and their parents and the people of that town to know that the boy was innocent and that it was him who stole the valuable object, and then put it in the bag of that boy.

    He did all he could and found everybody who was stil alive, and the punished boy told him that he was graetful to him that though after so many years, but he had couradge to reabilitate his innocent name, and he felt that a ” big stone” of being punished for nothing fell down from his soul.

    But more difficult aspect of this Mitzva is in the case where the people themselves can’t do already anything to proptect their names, because they are dead and somebody use their names for his/her dirty ambitions. It is very important for everybody who can do anything to protect the honor of their names and esspecially when we speak about our Sages, when some people try to use their Great Teachers’ names to sell their own”theory of creation” and to monopolise their works and the right to teach and interprete the meaning of their works and thus damaging the whole nation by deprivating others from the learning these Sages outstanding works, because people are afraid to be thought to do something with those selfish people and organizations, which use the names of the Great Jewish Thinkers, as the platform of their pride and vanity!

    And it is exactly the case of Baal HaSulam and Rabash who being most advanced in their dedicated to Kabbalah works, gave the form of Kabbalah which can be taught as Ari Kaddosh said from the age of 9 years old, the form of teaching Kabbalah, which do not reveal any sectrets!!!, because their form of teaching KabbalaH is from the point of view of KELLIM ONLY!!! and that is why their form of Teaching Kabbalah was, is and will always be the most objective, most complete and giving the learner an independence in his/her study and ways of progress.

    Today, out of all Kabbalaistic Literature,the branch of Ari HaKaddosh-Baal HaSulam- Rabash is the best for those who really want to study Kabbalah for their personal correction and the most effective and allowing the posibility to combine the study with everyday human activity! Explanations in their books are the best ever written and given to the Humanity! And that is why the evil forces hold to this branch because it is the BEST we have for today and most profound and detailed and ready to use for everybody who has a pure intention and open heart and mind to follow their instructions!

    Ari Kadosh brought this Knowledge to us, Baal HaSulam made a system out of the Ari’s left infromation and Rabbash showed how to use this information in a most wonderful way as learning all the Torah taking place in each and every person.

    Though Rav Gottlieb did his best and wrote a clear letter about the connection of performing Mitzvot and studing Torah, and works hard day by day to ensure for us to get Kosher editions of Talmud Esser HaSeffirot with the Rabash’s comments, anyway we will try to show that all what is written in Talmud Esser HaSeffirot and Ptikha leHokhmat haKabbalah may not be understood, learned or implemented without Learning Torah and performing Mitzvot.

    And again I feel personal responsability to adress those orthodox jews who appritiate the works of Baal HaSulam and Rabash and study them, but are afaid to speak about it openly, because the names of Baal HaSulam and Rabash are assosiated with the activity of Bnei Baruch and Michael Laitman and Kabbalah Center and Mr.Berg!

    We do hear and know your lectures and we know that you learn and use the works of these outstanding jewish thinkers, but your not mentioning their name, may be seen as using stolen ideas from our Sages! We have to give ALTERNATIVE lectures and studies on the bases of TES and Ptikha and Zohar with the Baal HaSulam Comments and thus giving people the right to choose between two systems- the System of Keddushar and the system of Tummar!

    The only way to reabilitate the names of Baal HaSulam and Rabash is through teaching their works by everybody who is given the chance by Creator to speak to the jewish people and the whole world! Love your heighbour as yourself is sometimes to put on stake your own reputation to save the reputation of the innoscet person! Sometimes it is to stand against the false notion, that people got through all kind of resourses, and little by little to show that the Tummar grabs the way which is the most effective for the correction of our souls.!

    to be continued.

  4. Now to understand the correlation between Pticha LeHokhmat HaKabbalah and Talmud Esser HaSeffirot we should see the interrelationship between Torah and Talmud Bavly and Yerushalmy.As we have written Torah and oral Torah -Talmud B.Y. with a lot of explanations on written one, the same here- Ptikha gives as an overview of the structure of spiritual worlds while TES gives their ditailed discription.

    But our purpose, as we said, isn’t to go into detailes, but to show that neither TES nor Ptikhah may be understood and used for inner work and correction without performing Mitzvot and learning Torah!

    Now let us clear out what we mean by 1.learning Torah and we see the performance of Mitzvot in comparision to rest everyday activity of a person.

    1.Learning Torah gives us an ability to overcome a constant ambivalation, which is a sign of the most difficult psychiatric deases-schizophrenia-the malignancy of the soul, G-d save us, our relatives ,all Israeli people and all the creation from it,because without Torah’s instructions we never can know, and never are sure if the choisen patern of behaviour is right or not, if it is good for us or others, we decide something and in a moment we doubt the correctness of our decision and look for something else, we are never quiet and happy with ourselves and our loved ones and our goverment, and our country and of course with the Creator for creating such an ambivalent world!. Only if we believe that Torah is given to us by Creator, and is the model of spiritually right system of values, we may take a decision and to be sure that the choice is right, So at least one reasonable side of worthness of learning and believing in spiritual origin of Torah is to help yourselves and your loved ones to escape the trap of ambivalation!

    Now we mean by studing Torah studing it with all the comments our Sage’s left us ,studing all the books possible which helps us to understand the divine spiritual laws, which show us the methods of reaching, the right decisions making, decisions in favour of the wish to bestow, and overcoming our wish to get.

    Only if you see Torah as the only devine messadge of what the Creator expect of us, you may according to the knowledge aquiered to overcome your wish to react in your “natural, spontanious”way=ordered to you by your wish to get, and to react to the situation through substitution your reaction by the recommendations of our Sages and thus to prefer the act of bestowing according to Creator’s value system to the system of values of your own.

    For ex. somebody made me very angree and the natural wish of mine is to “overpour” him/her with my irritationm indignation and complains about his/her unthoughtful behaviour.

    if I manadge to stop my natural reaction( to put Massakh) and think of what Torah and our Sages recommend to do in such situations I make a progress in spiritual world, and if not, I degragate to the animal world. But for me to be able to stop my natural reaction I should have a special training which will ensure the capability of overcoming natural reactions, and here we come to 2.performing Mitzvot.

    to be continued.

  5. So as we said to have the possibility to put Massakh on your natural system of values be it from the kingdom og Gvurra or Hessed( they both may had Tummar sides) we should have a constant independent from our mind and prosess of thinking, our emetional state , our basic mood, System of Values! Any other system but Torah will be Human made and thus may not be complete and relaible for life decision making.

    And as we know that the speed of thought is higher than the speed of light, and the speed of our involantory reactions is even higher than the speed of thought, we should be very well trained to deal with such notions.
    So 1. we said we have constantly to learn our Sages recommendations, learning Hallakot by heart, going to the lessons, lectures, studing with Rav and groups, and 2.we have to have constant training for being able to control our reactions, and improve our qualities.

    Now how do I teach myself to stop, and think what Creator whats from me, before I react? And here comes PHYSICAL performence of Mitzvot.

    And this nessecary training may be given to us only through PHYSICAL!!! performing of Mitzvot, because even when it come for our intrests we are too lazy to start doing something, buT when it comes to doing all the day and even night the ACTIONS which are of irrational origin in comparision to all the other actions made by a person in everyday life, and here we do what to stress that though we find a lot of rational side in Torah’s Mitzvot, the most valueble Mitzvot for us are those that don’t have rational explanation for our Ego, here stays the best training! You may easely explain to your ego that washing the hands is rational though we don’t like ( remember yourself as a child!) doing it, but when we tell our ego that now, after we have washed our hands we have to make Nattilat Yaddaim, its protest is the one of a chalenge! the Phisical Nattilat Yaddaim take some seconds, THE AGUEEING with you ego takes minutes and even more.The one who loved bread, stop eating it, just because his/her ego doesn’t want to say A LONG( several minits actually!) prayer after eating bread.

    So as we see that only Physical performance of the Hallakot, and the less rational is Hallaka the better, gives you this superhuman training ensuring you in the long run the possibility of controling your reactions, and even involantary ones!Becuase every day you learn to do what you have to do and not what you wish to do.

    And remember there is no spiritual level in this world which can be reached or hold without everyday physical performence of Mitzvot according to Hallakot! And the last aspect of proving that there is no use to perform Hallakhot in your mind and the only use comes from performing them physically is…

    to be continued.

  6. When I seat on the sofar in the evening and I think and plan and even vividly imagime myself doing tommorow morning my gum exercising, cleaning the flat or whatsoever demanding my time, effort and attention, NOTHING! stands between me and my plans for tommorow, as they say AdRabbah!But when the morning comes, I look for 1000 and 1 reasons not to make these exercises, though each of them is very rational and should be wanted by my ego, because if I do gum ex. I would look better, if I clean the flat I will stay in better envioroment and so on. But if these actions, that I should do don’t give me emmidiate satisfaction and pleasure, how do you think I can make myself doing them, if not by believe above the ratsio, doing tremendous effort and praying, doing, blessing and so on and so forth!

    As you see if you perfor Mitzvot and Hallakhot in your mind, or in your “soul”your wish to get= Ratzon Lekabbel doesn’t mind it a bit, and the result of this “vertual “performence of the Mitzvot is that after 30 years of doing it you still can’t control your anger and shout and humilate your students and loved ones, and then say that bad temper has nothing to do with your “achivements” in spiritual worlds!

    In short Ptikha and TES teach you the spiritual prosesses that take plase in the spiritual worlds and Torah and Mitzvot teach you to correspond those laws. without Torah and Mitzvot all what is written in Ptikha and TES will never be understood by you or implemented by you, and if you say the G-d forrbid you will make your own torah and your own mitzvort, remember, the Real Torah belongs to the spiritual world and performing MitZvot is the KEY to the Spiritual World, if you perfor your mitzvot they my be the key, the question is to what world, but I won’t be cruel and I will tell you this Secret- it will be the key to the Tummar and facing the argliness of your distorted EGO!Very human, very primitive, and plosible, very ill.

    Decision making prosess in the “Head” of the Partzuf is possible only if we have the knowledge of Torah and a chance to choose between our wish and the recommendations of the Sages- This against This built the Creator.

    And the garantee of the implemention of the right decision and not substituting it with our wish( the prosess that took plase in the World of Nekkudum, where the intention was good= alMennat Lehashpia, but when it came to implemention, the lack of training brought the situation to getting and to the Crash!) is everyday physical perfromence of all the nessecary Hallakot and Mitzvot!

    Only day by day performence of the Mizvot and constant prayer to the Creator for us to be able to perfor them LeShma- for the purpose of correction, and not any other intrests, performing them for learning the ways of Creator the way of bestowing, learning doing somebody’s else will but not mine, gives us possibility to fulfil the way of Torah that leads to spiritual worlds, which is discribed in Ptikha LeHokhmat HaKabbalah and TES.

    These books are full of spiritual Wisdom and amazing wonders, but the key to this spiritual world is through learning Torah and physical performence of Mitzvot, and not through the “soviet Kolkhoz, and Sovkhoz” which is the Laitman’s way to reach the spirituality.

    Kabbalaist isn’t Kolkhoznik, Kabbalaist is the higher form of individuality, living in cooperetion with the rest of the world on the bases of the princeple-Love your neighbour as your self! Spiritual Love isn’t communism, it is the devine order of the Creation.

  7. yehudith says:

    There is a good joke about the “love your neihgbour as yourself”.

    One man was coming home very late at night and as he was coming into the room he was pulling one boot off and throwing it to the one side and then the other boot to another side, making a lot of noise and disturbing the heihgbour from below.

    One day the neihgbour from below asked him nicely not to throw the boots in the night, because it disturbs his spleeping and brings a lot of discomfort to him.

    So next day the man came home and as ussual took off the boot and threw it loudly on the floor, but as he had done it, he remembered the conversation with the neihgbour and quietly took the other boot and put it in the corner and went on his tiptoes to get the shower.

    Suddenly there was a strong blow at the door and one more and more as a poor fellow struggled to put something on himself and to get to the door.

    To his supprise there stood his neihgbour, fuirious and impatiant, and instead of any greeting he just roared to him:” When on earth are you going to throw the other boot and let me get asleeeeeeeeeeep!!!”

  8. yehudith says:

    At a dinner party, the hostess asked a young man to sit next to Mrs Rumbold.Mrs Rumbold was a large, unsmiling lady in a tight black dress. She did not even look up when a young man took his seat beside her.Her eyes were fixed on her plate and in a short time she was busy eating. The young man tried to be nice and did his best to make conversation.

    “A new play is coming to ‘The Globe’ soon,” he said. “Will you be seeing it?” ” No”, she answered.

    “Will you be spending your holidays abroad this year?” he asked. “No,” she answered.

    In despair,he ask her whether she was enjoying her dinner. “Young man,”she answered, ” if you ate more and talked less, we would both enjoy our dinner”.

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