I Love You Maybe Baby ©
So tell me my dear friends are you seeing RED? Not the red of anger, but the red of love.
Storefront windows abound with heart-shaped decorations and red velvet boxes of chocolate. Victoria Secret is featuring pretty red lingerie in its stores.
Valentine’s Day is looming and love is in the air.
But when all the accessories are stripped away, and the red satin ribbons have been untied, I question, what is love? Do we really know how to love? And what is the greatest love of all? Whether it be love of people, God, or country, what is the real proof that we love something?
Can you love your country if you don’t vote?
Are you really a loving husband if you don’t remember your anniversary?
Are you a person of faith if you never attend temple?
Can you really love yourself if you neglect yourself?
Who is to say how we should love and whether our form of loving is wrong or right?
The group Foreigner came out with a song in the 1980s, I Want To Know What Love Is. And I think they are not alone in that quest. Don’t we all want to know what love is? With on-line dating growing by the minute and divorces equally popular-- Can it be that we just don’t know what love is?
Perhaps we can learn something from this week’s Bible portion in which God gives exact details with one commandment after another of what he wants from the Jewish nation. God does not leave his love affair with a people to chance, He explains explicitly what He wants from them. The burden is now upon His people to prove their love. According to Halacha it is not sufficient to merely be a cardiac Jews meaning, we have G-d in our hearts but when it comes to actions our proof of love is MIA.
The Torah tells us we have to love God not only with all our hearts, but with all our souls and all our might.
I think Whitney Houston was very wrong,
learning to love YOURSELF is NOT the greatest love of all. I think too much self-love is what’s actually ruining people these days. It’s learning to love others and God how they want to be loved, not just how it’s convenient for us to love them that is the greatest love of all. Perhaps love is not about giving what YOU want to give or giving all you have, but rather doing what you don’t feel like doing and giving what you don’t have--be it, time, patience, understanding, a helping hand or a compassionate heart, etc.
How often in our lives do we walk away from a relationship saying, “I gave that person everything I have and they didn’t appreciate it? The better question is, “Did you give them anything THEY wanted.” Jews can keep a perfect “Sabbath” on Wednesdays but at the end of the day would that mean anything to God who asked that the Jews keep it on Saturday?
In my heart I feel The Bible is the best love story ever told. It’s a stormy love story bwn a God and his chosen people, one that often extends beyond rational, reason and self-justifications. You want to know what love is? Let the Torah show us. It is the best valentine’s card ever written and God has never whispered a sweet nothing in our ear.