To Love
 
Rivka Olenick
 

All love that is humanly possible can only exist if one has love of God. Any love relationship between anyone, the foundation of that love, if it is real love can only be if there is love of God.


Why is love of God the essence of the human relationship? We are commanded to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy soul and all thy might" to "love your neighbor as yourself?" and even to "love the stranger." It is difficult to love your neighbor "as yourself" and to love the stranger, so on what basis would you love them or anyone else for that matter unless it were based on the love of God? Love for other people is based on the understanding that they are like you, your neighbor is you and the stranger was you in Egypt. Both created by God. In one sense it's almost easier to have love of God, since we can see that God created the entire world and everyone and everything in it. How can any person not have this recognition and this great appreciation for all of God's creation? The world as it exists could not have been created by any entity other than God it seems so obvious. The sky, the moon, the sun, the oceans, all plant and animal life did not "just happen" or evolve as so many foolish people believe. Everywhere you look in the entire universe is the incredible results of God's work that took place on each day of creation. There is no doubt whatsoever to this truth. For thousands of years before we came into existence the world already existed and we are now the benefactors!

Does anyone really believe that there is not a Master of the Universe, a Perfect Creator, a Being Who planned all human life from beginning to end including our eternal life. When a person is deceased, the body is attended to with the ultimate care and compassion guided by specific halachas, laws, the body is then returned to the earth. The body is returned to God, the oul is returned to God. The will of God's even in death, proclaims profound love for His created being, the selem elokim, the significant human entity that God brought into the world. This love is given to us through God's Torah knowledge. His laws tell us how we should live most beneficially and incredibly how we are to be cared for even at death, so that are not frightened by death. We aren't reduced to a jar of ashes; that is frightening! Christianity completely distorted the idea that "man returns to the dust," by creating a horrendous act against the physical body. It is our maker we are "returned to," not a canister.

God demanded that there be great sensitivity for human life even as we depart from this world. This is also love for His created beings. He created each of us with a purpose, the same purpose, to live our lives according to His Torah that instructs us to preserve each other's well being and each other's lives. This instruction assists us in love of God and is also love from God as His creations. Since He created us, He knows better what we are and how we should live. Isn't it logical that the entire system of Torah was set up with our true nature in mind, and within our capabilities? That through that system each of us could thrive and reach our maximum potential by internalizing that system? That is also love for His created beings. The more we are immersed in His system through thought and deeds the more love a person has for God. This is a natural result.

He provided us with the means to achieve happiness in this world by giving us the means to sustain ourselves physically. Simultaneously He gave us the blueprint, the plans, the map, the direction that is all contained in all of the extraordinary ideas of the Torah. Didn't He also implant within our nature the capacity for love, so that it permeates our lives, in all of our relationships with others? We should become more aware of who God wants us to be, the "Klal" and what God wants us to be for those outside of the Klal, the "light."

How can a person not have love of God? I say it is impossible. How can a person not love one who has love of God? That is also impossible. In the Shemoneh Esrei, we recite the blessing of peace, Sim Shalom: Establish peace, goodness, blessing, life, graciousness, kindness and compassion upon us and upon all of Your people Israel. Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your countenance, for with the light of Your countenance, You gave us, Hashem, our God, the Torah of life and a love of kindness, righteousness, blessing, compassion, life, and peace. And may it be good in Your eyes to bless us and to bless all of Your people Israel, in every season and in every hour with Your peace (with abundant strength and peace).



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