Loving Your Neighbor As Yourself

Do I Have to Get Along with Everyone?

Beth Lesch


"Ve'ahavta l're'echa kamocha" – "Love your neighbor as yourself" – that’s an easy mitzvah, right?

Errrr, not so much. To love your neighbor as yourself… that sounds like a pretty tall order! How many of us can actually say: “Yep, I love my neighbors as much as I love myself”? And yet it’s a mitzvah in the Torah! So are we all just failing horribly at keeping the Torah?

Could be. But maybe not. What if this mitzvah doesn’t quite mean what it sounds like it means? What if there’s a nuance to it that we’re missing? 

There would only be one way to know. You see, we hear this mitzvah quoted all the time as a standalone sound bite, but in the Torah, it is a part of a conversation, a flow of logical ideas. To truly understand "Ve'ahavta l're'echa kamocha," we can't just examine it alone. We’d have to open up the Torah to Leviticus 19 and read this mitzvah in its context. When we do, perhaps we'll be able to see it in a whole new light.

In this video, Rabbi Fohrman does just that and shows that the mitzvah of "Love your neighbor as yourself" is easier to do than you might think. Not only that, but it has the power to seriously elevate your most troubled relationships.


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