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Love your fellow Jew and you love God as well

In the Torah, we find different kind of commandments (mitzvot). They are divided into two groups:

  • Positive mitzvot
  • Negative mitzvot

In these two groups of commandments, we find mitzvot that are either between Man and God or between Man and his friends. Just to clarify, the commandments between Man and his fellow friends are exclusively between Jews. Of course, we still have to behave in a respectful manner towards non-Jews but that is not the subject of this article.

Unfortunately, many Jews do put far more effort into the commandments concerning Man and God and less into between Man and his friends. This is to a certain extent the wrong approach because when you love your fellow Jew you are also loving God. How come? Because all Jews have a part of the Godly soul inside him. In other words, when you are doing good to your fellow Jew, you are also doing good to God.

How to love your fellow Jew

Love your fellow Jew, is it actually possible? The Torah doesn´t tell us to love our fellow friends as we love our family. But we all know that we have the commandment of Love your fellow as yourself and according to many this is the foundation of the whole Torah. One of the major approaches is that a man is obligated to leave his own comfort zone to help out a fellow Jew, as he would do to perform a mitzvah that is between Man and God and even more. This is not easy at all and most of the time it forces us to use the resources that we have. Both financial and time resources. However, we have to do it and it has to be done with true happiness. And it is not allowed to differentiate between Jews who are strong in their Jewishness and Jews who are less connected.  

From here we learn that love your fellow Jew you also love God

This we learn from the verse וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת ה’ אלוהיך בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשךָ וּבְכָל מְאֹדֶךָ – Love God with all your Heart, Soul, and might. As we have learned before the Godly soul is present in each and every Jew. This means that when we take upon ourselves to love God with all our heart, soul and might we also obligate to do this to our fellow Jew because he has Godliness inside himself. If we decline from doing it, we are also declining our eternal love for God.

Give God fatherly happiness

As we all know, God is our father and we are all his children. Just like our biological parents enjoy when it is peace and harmony among siblings, God does it as well. Just like our parents most of the time are more than happy to deviate from what they want from their children, the same is true with God. This doesn’t mean that we can find excuses to ignore doing some mitzvot to help others, such as not keeping Shabbos or Kosher. But if someone asks you for help to buy lulav and Etrog because they have no money and you say no because you want to buy an extra nice one. This case doesn´t give God happiness. Because he prefers that both you and your “fellow brother” are able to perform the commandment of Lulav. it is a greater pleasure for him to see sibling helping each other out when possible.  

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