Love other Jews

The Literal Commandment

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18)

 

The literal commandment is for the covenant members of G-d to love their neighbor as themselves.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah explicitly affirmed this commandment numerous times when He spoke about the Law:

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:36)

 

Messiah repeatedly affirmed this commandment (Matthew 19:19, 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27).

 

Pictures of Messiah

The commandment to love our neighbor (even when they do not deserve it) pictures the great love the Messiah has for us. While we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Indeed, Paul, the writer of the letter to the Romans says

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to G-d through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:10)

 

Messiah is pictured in this commandment to love our neighbors. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

The word "love" in this sense does not mean the warm fuzzy feeling that one can have towards others. Love in the Biblical sense is an action verb as Messiah made clear in the parable of the good Samaritan:

"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.'

Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" (Luke 10:30-36)

 

While the priest and the Levite may have had "warm fuzzy feelings" towards the man who was robbed, only the Samaritan took action and truly expressed love towards him.

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by loving His neighbor... and teaching others to do so as well.

 

Traditional Observance

Traditional observance of this commandment is to have and express profound concern and affection for other Jews. The thought is that a Jew should care for other Jews, their property, and livelihood as much as one's own.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and we should express love for our neighbors.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 13
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 2- Personal Development
  • Reference Leviticus 19:18
  • Scripture Book Leviticus
  • Chapter 19
  • Verse 18
  • English You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.
  • Hebrew יח לֹא-תִקֹּם וְלֹא-תִטֹּר אֶת-בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ, וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ: אֲנִי, יְהוָה.
  • Greek 18 καὶ οὐκ ἐκδικᾶταί σου ἡ χείρ, καὶ οὐ μηνιεῖς τοῖς υἱοῖς τοῦ λαοῦ σου καὶ ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν· ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος.
  • Parashah 30- Kedoshim
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 243
  • Sef. Hach. Command The precept of affection for a fellow-Jew
  • Category Love
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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