Looking for true love

One of the main problems today is the weakening of the institution of marriage. Someone generally prefers not to start a family: they get together and departed, “we did not promise each other anything.” Divorce has become a commonplace. And many of those who still prefer to preserve family boundaries do it at best for the sake of children – and sometimes just for the sake of joint business.

What happened? It is clear that two people, a man and a woman, no matter how close, are still different people – each with their own interests, feelings and dreams. A marriage without problems and disagreement was hard to find in the past too. But the spouses, as they say, “held on to love”: they tried to solve problems so both sides would be satisfied, and, as a rule, they succeeded. After all, when a person gets married, he hopes that love lasts forever. So why did they fight for this “forever love” before, but these days many, faced with the very first difficulties, prefer to leave?

Let’s see what the mishna tells us: “Any love that depends on some reason is transient: the reason disappears – love also disappears. And unselfish love will never run out. An example of a love that depends on some reason is the love between Amnon and Tamar, and unselfish love is the love of David and Jonathan.”

What is it talking about? The task of any mishna is not to report any facts, but to show the correct path. What is “love for a reason”? I sometimes ask young people why they decided to get married, and sometimes I hear the answer: “I was bored being alone” or even “I want someone to take care of me”. That is, a man and a woman gets married in order to solve some of her problems! ..

But such “love” will not last long, because it destroys the very foundations of love. Our word “love”, “aava” in holy language, comes from the root hava, which means “to give.” True love is a desire to give to a loved one, even if this is associated with inconveniences for yourself: you give with joy because you love.

Our people’s desire to give with joy extends not only to the family (conjugal love, love for children and for parents). And not even just to close friends, as in the case of David and Jonathan. “Aavat Yisrael” – “Jewish love” – ​​is exactly what the mishna calls for: it is the desire to give to another person, even a stranger, simply because Gd has commanded us to love and do good.

There is a famous Hasidic story about a Jew who rode a train in winter. When the train stopped at one of the stations, the Jew wanted to smoke: he put on his coat and gloves so as not to freeze, opened the window and lit a cigar.

Compare this parable with a fragment of the Jerusalem Talmud: when you love another person, you are with him as his left and right hand, part of a single being. Two hands – two gloves: doing good to another, you help yourself.

In the past year, we have all experienced a difficult time. Many were quarantined and could not even buy food, many lost their jobs and earnings. And the “havat Israel” – our “Jewish love”- was manifested: hundreds of people came to the community and offered help to those in need! Someone gave every month a part of their own income to tzedakah, others went to work as volunteers. They were not interested in who received the food parcels, medicines, holiday packages – they just wanted to give. Because in their souls they have unselfish love inherited from tens of generations of their ancestors.

Unfortunately, the consumer society, with its aggressive marketing and advertising, orients people to “receive,” not “give,” to “love that depends on conditions,” and is therefore doomed to death. This is one of the most important reasons for the current crisis in family relations. And thank Gd that these ephemeral “values” in our culture have a good counterbalance – the eternal values ​​of our tradition and faith. It is not in vain that the Torah tells us about unconditional and selfless love – for example, about the love of Isaac and Rivka, which only intensified day by day, because both spouses cared about each other, and not about themselves.

Source: https://torah.ru/article/111071/

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