Issue 50 | Parshat Kedoshim | Can You Love Another as Yourself?



Life’s Deepest Secret

Love. No word in history has generated as much power. No word has spawned as many books, poems and songs. That one word, more than any other, elicits more joy and pleasure – as well as tears and anguish – than any other life experience. It is man’s most important need, and yet remains elusive to us all.

Do we have to wait for love to come to us, or can we initiate it? Is love just a state of being, or are there things we can do to cultivate love? Is love inherent or acquired? Is it a verb or a noun? Can we learn to love everyone – even strangers, even people who may initially repulse us?

Just as love is the heartbeat of all life, so is it the foundation of the entire Torah (called the “Torah of life”); the basis – and objective – of all mitzvos, as we read in this week’s Torah portion.

In all of history rarely will you find someone who unconditionally loved people as did the Baal Shem Tov. Love became the central focus and cornerstone of the Baal Shem Tov and his teachings.

In this week’s insight we learn some of the secrets of the Baal Shem Tov on how to love in new and unprecedented ways.


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