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Loving God and Loving Ourselves

Written by: Yaffa Epstein

Source Sheet by The Global Day of Jewish Learning

2 like s 2 סימוני אהבתי · Likeאהבתי
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  2. You can lead a Global Day of Jewish Learning (theglobalday.org) event in your community by inviting people to study together on Sunday, November 12, 2017. At the same time you are learning, hundreds of diverse communities across the continents will also join this experience. Communities receive free learning resources to help facilitate the experience (this source sheet is adapted from the full 2015 curriculum - Love, Devotion, Desire and Deception). The 2017 theme is Beauty and Ugliness.

    Together we can unite the Jewish people.

     

  3. Part One: Finding Love
    Text #1: Lionel Bart. “Where is Love?” from the musical, Oliver!
     
    Where is love?
    Does it fall from skies above?
    Is it underneath the willow tree
    That I’ve been dreaming of?
    Where is she?
    Who I close my eyes to see?
    Will I ever know the sweet “hello”
    That’s meant for only me?
    Who can say where she may hide?
    Must I travel far and wide?
    ‘Til I am beside the someone who
    I can mean something to ...
    Where...?
    Where is love?
    Text #2: Oscar Wilde. An Ideal Husband.
    To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance
  4. Part Two: Loving God

     

    Text #3: Deuteronomy 6:5.

  5. (ה) וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽךָ׃
    (5) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
  6. Text #4: Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz. Pebbles of Wisdom.
     
    There is no essential difference between the love of God and the love of man. But since the love of God is not
    described in numberless publications sold at corner kiosks, with illustrations and cartoons, the matter seems to be much more difficult.
    True, there is an intrinsic difficulty. Love of God depends on one’s ability to be aware of Him, not in the sense of one’s
    knowledge of what is written in this book or another, but in terms of personal consciousness. One can love God to the degree that one is able to be conscious of Him or to feel Him.
     
    All that is necessary is to understand and to sincerely inquire into one’s knowledge of that which is worthy of love, and the natural impulse, the love of God, is awakened.
  7. Text #5: Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 54a.
  8. ברכות נ״ד א:כ״ז-כ״ט
    חייב אדם לברך על הרעה כשם שמברך על הטובה שנאמר (דברים ו, ה) ואהבת את ה' אלהיך בכל לבבך וגו' בכל לבבך בשני יצריך ביצר טוב וביצר הרע
    A man is in duty bound to utter a benediction for the bad even as he utters one for the good ; as it is said, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deut. vi. 5) — "with all thy heart," i.e. with thy two impulses, with the good and the evil impulse ;
  9. Text #6: Maimonides. Commentary on Mishna Berakhot.

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  11. Text #7: Babylonian Talmud Yoma 86a.

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  13. Part 3: How Does God Love Us?

  14. Text #8: Ahava Rabbah. Final Blessing recited before the Recitation of Shema in the morning prayers. English translation from the Koren Siddur. Bolding added for emphasis by curriculum author.

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