Sunday, September 8, 2013

Aseres Yemei Teshuva - Love Oneself

I've been inspired to write something small in honor of Aseres Yemei Teshuva. This is a time when we need to scrutinize our ways and strive to better ourselves. 

Today's topic, I want to write about "Love." Love plays an important role in Judaism. We say several times a day in Kriyat Shema, "Veh'ahavta es Hashem Elokecha - You shall love Hashem, Your God." The Torah also tells us, "Veh'ahavta leh'raeicha kamocha - And love your friend like yourself."  We see the importance of Love of Hashem, Love of oneself, and Love of your friend. 

The Torah automatically assumes you love yourself and so you should love your friend the same way. The question is: If  the Torah automatically assumes that, then why don't we? There are many indications of people lacking in self-love: Some people do hazardous things to their bodies, some people don't treat themselves with respect and dignity, and some can't even fathom the concept of love.

We need to wake up. If Hashem loves us, then why don't we... -- let me rephrase that, then why can't we love ourselves? We are all valuable and important children of Hashem. It's time to realize this. I know, it's easier said than done, but the first step is being conscious of it.

Gmar Chasima Tova,

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