Ahavas Yisroel

B”H

“I hearby take upon myself to fulfill the positive Mitzvah to love my fellow like I love myself”

When you see a Chasid, a Jew fall short, make a mistake, or not live up to expectations, how do we react? We tend to judge them with the strictest of judgement. However, when it is us who fall short, we are able to find an infinite amount of excuses, reason, loop holes, and justifications for our own errors, our own sins. The souls of the Jewish people are bound up as one and any defect found in one Jew is a defect in all of Klal Yisroel. It only takes one minute insignificant hole in the lung of a kosher animal to render it completely treif (not kosher). If we are to examine the deeds and actions of a Jew and find them to be trief, we must also check ourselves and look for that small seemingly insignificant defect.

The Baal Shem Tov teaches that;

If we see a defect in others and can not separate the deed from the individual, then the defect is in ourselves and we are blind to it.”

To bring this Jew closer to Hashem through warmth and friendship not only raises up the individual but ourselves in the process. To push the Jew away from Hashem through criticism and stern judgement has an adverse effect. This explains the statement in the Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a:

“For this reason was man created alone, to teach that whoever destroys a single soul […] scripture imputes [Guilt] to him as though he had destroyed an entire world; and whoever saves a single soul […] scripture ascribes [Merit] to him as though he has saved an entire world.”

Once a Chasid close to Satmar came to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for a blessing for his son who was about to get married. For the full story visit the Mystical Paths Blog

The Chasid said to the Rebbe;

“There is a great doubt about the Lubavitch view in connection with working together with the “wicked people.” The verses are well known, such as “And those that thou hatest the Lord shall hate.” “How is it that Lubavitch can openly work together with those who battle against G-d and his Torah?”

The Rebbe then turned to the Chasid with a question.

“What would your neighbors do if a neighbor’s daughter began to keep bad company? Would they attempt to return her to the way of Torah and the Commandments, or would they say, ‘And those that thou hatest the Lord shall hate and it is forbidden to involve oneself with the wicked; therefore, we should distance ourselves from her and not bring her closer?”

The Rebbe did not even wait for an answer, and promptly added:

“This zealous one would answer that with a daughter, the injunction of ‘From thy flesh do not conceal thyself would apply.'” And then the Rebbe’s eyes became serious, and he knocked on the table, and said: “By the Al-mighty, every Jew is as precious as an only child. With the Rebbe, the father-in-law, every Jew was ‘From thy flesh, do not conceal thyself.'”

The Rebbe’s message is clear. We must love not just the Jew that is far from Torah like our own flesh, our own children, but even ones that might look close to Torah but are to very far. We must inspire them with love and freindship through learning of Chassidus and attending Farbrengens.

Still though, there are rules, even if they are unspoken.

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