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The Mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel
From The Tzemach Tzeddek
We may not hate anyone as the Verse states “hate no one.”
Love everyone, as the verse states “Love unconditionally” (in other words – as you love yourself.)
DON’T BE CRUEL
The entire Torah (Bible) “Don’t do evil” (in other words, don’t do what you don’t want…)
Before we pray we must take upon ourselves to love everyone – as this is the foundation.
WE’RE ONE SOUL
The Ari-Zal writes that all Jews are actually one (Adamic) soul.
For this reason we have personal reasonability (and if one person sins, another can repent.)
It is for this reason that the Ari-Zal would say the viduium (penitent prayer – for though he didn’t sin he was rectifying.)
Included in Adam’s soul was every subsequent Jew.
Just as in the source, the brain feels the pain of every single one of the limbs – so if they were God-forbid separate it wouldn’t – similarly, though we below may not – the Rebbe (and certainly God – as both are on the category of head) feel everyone/everything (so before you sin and likewise to motivate more good -realize!)
LOVE FROM UNITY
This is why we are commanded to love all – for they and we – are composites.
As all, are loved (within God) therefore before we pray, we must be at peace (with all.)
Just as a parent wouldn’t accept you, if you hate one of their children (similarly before we pray we must remove all hatred.)
HOW TO LOVE
In truth, the reason for the “negative” terminology “what you don’t want others to do to you, don’t do to them (instead of the positive – namely the reverse) is because it’s not that we are unaware that we have faults – in fact, we may be far more aware – however as our innate love is so strong, it counterbalances these faults, with them merely being like scabs (“not too deep”.) Conversely if someone points out a fault, we become angry, for what they are doing is highlighting (in essence, they are saying “we are a problem!”) in other words, our love for others must be just like our love for ourselves (namely, just as we can self-tolerate faults – so too for others.)
LOVE TO MAN/GOD
This is why Ahavas Yisroel (loving your fellow) is the source of all – for by connecting all the pieces together, this connects God and us.
LOVE TO MAN/GOD
When we overlook faults, this causes that so does God.
This of-course means not that God can’t see – rather the fault causes not anger/vengeance.
Actually the one God is most upset about (much like if you point out a fault of a child to a parent) is the one who hates.
Just as God overlooks – so too you.
LOVE = JUDAISM
This is why Hillel compared Ahavas Yisroel to the whole Torah – for the goal of the Torah is unity of God and the Jews (and no other Mitzvah is so efficacious.)
LOVE = JUDAISM
Though Ahavas Yisroel connects the totality of the Jewish people (To God etc.) each Mitzvah connects a specific part (like Torah study connects the mind, Teffilin the hand etc.)
WE = GOD
As G-d placed himself within the Jewish people, therefore (as we see within ourselves no grievous faults) hence the verse states, “I see no evil.”
FIRST DO NO HARM
From the juxtaposition in the Torah (Bible) “You shall neither take revenge from nor bear a grudge against the members of your people; you shall love your friend as yourself. I am the Lord.” We deduce that the point of love is to do no harm.
LOVE LIKE G-D
Another explanation is that “Love your friend as yourself,” as Rashi explains, refers to G-d – in other words, just as G-d receives pleasure from man (and conversely is pained at their suffering) so should you.
WE ARE ONE
In essence as God is the source – so this is like the mind – so though the individual limbs may not know the mind, the mind certainly not only knows, directs, but feels! each and everyone – hence in essence and to God we’re one.
The most important quality of love is to never judge – when we do this we cause that likewise God.
Rabbi Akivah said the most important principle is “love your friend as yourself” (stated in the Torah.) Ben Azzai said, an even greater (is when the Torah says) “This is the history/story of man” – in other words, by understanding we are all from one (this creates the necessary love.)
LOVE LIKE G-D
When God envisioned (in machashavah hakedumeh de”ak) everyone (the Kabbalist teach, after God desired, then he had a momentary thought (which everything emanates from) and in that thought, all (Are) is one – this is one of the meanings that an (Adam) is like God (adameh – which in Hebrew relates to that thought) for when we think about that all inclusive thought – we literally are just like G-d.
Through our love for another below – as our mind is connected to God (for the mind expresses the soul, and our soul is in essence God) we therefore cause (this connection.)
You must love people as they are created in Go-d’s image (as the Baal Shem Tov says, we mirror his traits such as compassion, love) when we do so we cause that God (who is our mirror also.)
One of the Reasons that “Loving Your Fellow Jew” as Hillel said is the essence of Judaism, is because, all Jews are really one (soul, sourced in Adam’s) now the primary idea of Judaism is making ourselves the beloved (of God – hence when we love one another – just as say a king would love to visit one of his hamlets in which everyone is loving (but wouldn’t, if they weren’t.))
We find in ancient times that though the Jews in the times of Achav were idol worshipers – nonetheless, as they had unity, they had Divine protection (in other words, far more important than fulfilling the Torah and Mitzvos… Unconditionally loving – which is the entire point!)
GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
When we unconditionally love, so does God (in other words, he overlooks and infinetly gives.)
God’s love for us is such that He desires to bestow upon us everything we can receive.
The key thing is to love everyone – when you help another, think not “I am giving…” rather “as he is me (in another body) all that matters is that he should be happy” (much as we celebrate our own joy.)
One of the factors that allows us to have this kind of love, is not excessive self-love – excessive self-love comes from being indulgent (for example, someone who engages in masturbation – and the remedy of this is Torah, Teffilah, and Tzeddakah! As we fall more in love with God, and less in our infatuations, so our heart becomes loving.)
ACHIEVING UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
“By integrating the past chapters – seeing the body as lower than a worm due its sins and evil – and the joy of oneself, is the joy of one’s soul uniting with G-d, merging with an infinite union with G-d through Torah study and doing Mitzvos, now one can achieve the Mitzvah (the most important Mitzvah of the Torah) to love your fellow Jew, old or young, great or not so great.
For if one despises one’s body, and each and every Jew also has a soul, and the soul is of infinitely great proportions – being literally a part of G-d above.”
“Additionally, not only should one have reverence for every Jew individually, as his greatness is due to such a lofty soul, but considering that all Jewish souls at their source are in G-d, hence we are literally like brothers, coming from the same father.”
“If one considers their body – instincts – to be their fundamental desire, and their soul’s desire as unimportant, such people can have no true love between one another (which as mentioned, stems from the soul, for the bodies of people are what differentiates them) and if we see love between such people, it is merely bodily needs attracting to what the individual wants, not selfless love stemming from a shared identity.”
“Now we can comprehend how Hillel can say that the entire Torah is the Mitzvah of Ahavas Ysroel (“love a fellow Jew,” while there seems to be many other types of Mitzvos relating between a Jew and G-d exclusively.)
The answer is simple, the idea behind the entire Torah is that the Jew should make his soul, not his body, the dominant part of his love (which as mentioned, is the only methodology to achieve unity, and hence merges Divinity within all Jews, for it is not enough for a solitary Jew to do this, rather one must merge one’s soul within all fellow Jew’s souls, for a king does not dwell in a broken palace – meaning that G-d resides in the individual Jew, only within the collective soul which combines all Jews, which is why before praying we say, “I hereby take upon myself the commandment to love a fellow Jew as myself” for only through unity with all Jews can G-d reside on your individual soul.”)
“Additionally one may never judge another person and though it does state in the Talmud regarding a fellow student, who one works very hard on rectifying and refuses to change, nonetheless, most people do not fall into this category, and thus as Hillel states, “Be of the disciples of Aaron Hakohen, who loved people, and drew them close to Torah.”
In other words, if one sees a fellow Jew not behaving appropriately, there is only one course of action, to extend absolute unconditional love (for one is not allowed to judge them, as mentioned in chapter 30, and it is only by a fellow student where both are on the same level, that some minor form of chastisement may take place; hence the only appropriate course) is unconditionally love; and through this love, perhaps one may also be able to ensure the individual to return to G-d, though even if not, one has still fulfilled the commandment to love a fellow Jew as oneself.”
From The Previous Rebbe
FROM LOVE TO LOVE
Loving a fellow Jew makes one receptive to loving God.
One should meditate on how lovable all Jews are (before prayer, as this is a perquisite- one cannot go into the king with dirty clothing (as we are a soul comprised of all Jews – so if a part is missing, we are lame.)
Having pleasure in helping another is the greatest geatest greatest quality/gift.
GREATER THAN LOVING GOD
Greater to love your fellow Jew, than to love God.
Until the Baal Shem Tov, Jews revered Torah scholars, the Baal Shem Tov brought about that all Jews should be loved, the Alter Rebbe brought about, that all Jews should be revered.
FROM THE REBBE
Lacking true love we lose our soul.
By sacrificing oneself for another we reach our essential soul.
LOVE EVEN “EVIL”
Love for one’s fellow is to the most debased miserable person (as it stems from their Godly core – which though their instincts (usually caused by anxiety / insecurity) has caused an outer evil – their essence and yours are both Divine.)
“ALL YOUR MIGHT”
Love for one’s fellow, must be with the full “power and strength” of one’s core (soul/self.)
LOVE = TORAH
The way we fulfill the Torah is through doing Ahavas Yisroel (loving).)
TORAH + LOVE
In order for the Jews to receive the Torah, they had to first love (each other unconditionally.)
TRUE LOVE MEANS BRINGING YOUR FELLOW TO THE RECOGNITION OF HIS DIVINE MANDATE.
The love of G-d of Torah and our Fellow Jew is actually one and the same.
LOVE = CHASSIDIM
Loving your fellow is the foundation of Chassidism.
MEDITATION TO LOVE
Through meditating (how we’re all really essentially one) we achieve a love which transcends self-interest.
LOVE FOR A FELLOW REVEALS OUR SOUL WHICH IS THEN PRIMED TO RECEIVE GOD.
The reason the Torah uses the language – love your fellow Jew as you love yourself – for “as” means not how much, but the type of love – for we love ourselves intrinsically (not for what we’ve done but our very existence.)
Our love for our fellow includes one we never before met.
LOVE = TORAH
Love is the whole Torah.
HOW TO LOVe
The only possibility to love (for by nature our ego feels threatened) is when we go out of ourselves – this occurs by connecting to the generation’s Moses.
OUR CORE = LOVE
When our quintessential true self is revealed, so is our love.
LOVE = MOSHIACH
When there is love (for our fellow) there will be love for God and Torah and it will bring Moshiach.
LOVE = TORAH
The more one loves their fellow, the greater their Torah.
LOVE = MOSHIACH
As the Temple’s destruction was caused by baseless hate (jealousy) it will be caused by baseless love (just love.)
Zealousness (“very religious”) is how one must treat oneself – but compassion is how one must treat another.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
One’s love to help another is even if spiritually it causes for you a loss.
Imagine having a prized car – and because you love someone, you happily give it to them – such must be our love (to everyone.)
Ahavas Yisroel is the foundation of the way of the Baal Shem Tov, and it was materialized and actualized through the Alter Rebbe.
LOVE = MOSHIACH
Loving your fellow brings Moshiach!
One must make an effort to see only another’s positive and become their friend (nothing is as delitroius to a relationship than viewing the other negatively.)
Our love for another must be even for the smallest (accoutrements – much as we have for ourselves.)
One’s love should be so strong, that even those who harm you, you help (them.)