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Just a Cliché?

Friday, 23 April, 2021 - 5:16 pm

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Some clichés are just that, cliché. Without real depth or significance behind the widely used expression. But some sayings contain deep wisdom that we risk missing out on if they’re simply reduced to a cliché.
“‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ - Rabbi Akiva said, this is an important, foundational principle of the Torah.”
This saying is quoted all the time, so much so that it’s been reduced to a cliché. People say it without grasping it’s depth and everyone dutifully nods in agreement - also without actually “getting” it.
So join me as we analyze a little -

Is it even possible? What if I don’t even love myself? And how is this mitzvah relevant to say, eating Kosher or keeping Shabbat? How is this specific instruction a “foundational principle of the Torah”?
First things first, is it possible - absolutely yes! Does it require a reworking of our typical world view? Also, absolutely yes.
Here’s the deal: The physical reality that we view with our physical eyes is not the entire story. The deeper reality is the Divine energy that maintains the physical. So, “reality” is the Divine; superficial perception is where we usually abide. When we train ourselves to view everything through the elevated Divine prism, our experience is entirely transformed.
We value and truly love ourselves - and every other person we come in contact with - not because of what we (or they) have achieved, but because of our very essence: our Divine soul. And this perspective of reality leads us to the fulfillment of all the other mitzvot of the Torah too.
And the more we bring ourselves in tune with this reality, the more confident we interact, the more intentional we live and the happier we become.
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