ALL YOU NEED IS, ....LOVE?
Submitted by orange yonason (United States), Feb 1, 2006 at 03:42BS"D
There once was a Rabbi, who was already a sage at the time of J's birth, and who knew what love is without J.'s input. His name was Hillel, and he learned the meaning of love from his Rabbis, who received the teaching from their Rabbis, who received it from theirs, etc., all the way back to Moses, who received it from Hashem at Sinai.
It once happened that a heathen taunted Hillel, saying that he would convert if Hillel could teach him the whole Torah while he stood on one foot. Since Hillel was never one to pass up an opportunity to sanctify Hashem's name, he accepted the challenge. As the man raised one foot, Hillel began his discourse. "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah while the rest is commentary; go and learn it."
His teaching raises a number of questions. Among those relevant to this discussion are:
1. Why did he teach what love was not, rather than what love is?
2. Since love is an emotion common to all people, why is it necessary to "go and learn" what we presumably already know?
3. What is the connection between love and action indicated by the statement, "...do not do to your fellow..."?
In Judaism, "action is the main thing," and everything we "do" has to comply with the details of the Torah's "commentary." But, love is an emotion, and the Torah doesn't regulate emotions, only how we express them through our actions. Some actions are conducive to eliciting positive expressions of our emotions, and so the Torah regulates those actions in order to predispose a person to positive feelings. And other actions variously denegrate otherwise desireable feelings, express negative ones, or repress positive ones. So, those actions are proscribed. Also, since elimination of negative character traits is the first step in preparing a person to develop positive ones, Hillel taught the prospective convert the indispensability of the "commentary" in learning how to think and act in order to fully develop his inate potential.
J. added nothing to our knowledge of how important love is, or how to best express it. What he did was in fact just the opposite. By undoing the fundamental interdependence of action and feelings from the "commentary" that connects them, he deprived his followers of the divinely given knowledge essential to optimum development of both the individual and society.
The long history of violence by many Christians, even into modern times, to those who spurned the "love" they proffered should be sufficient proof of the existential dysfunctionality in their concept of "love."
Here's Martin Luther's "love" in his own words
Here's the story of a Luthern Pastor who converted to Judaism, and the embarassment he felt prior to that when he found out just how "loving" his fellow Lutherns had been during WWII.
How they "loved" us to death (partial timeline):
And last, but not least, the "auto de fe," or, "love" is just another name for nothing left to burn.
Consistant, yes. "Love," no.
For a less confrontational, and more essential presentation of what "love" is really all about, please see:
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