Wednesday, August 13, 2014

   Contemplation of the Divine crowns all of life, without distinguishing between lofty and lowly. As it embraces rational thought and purifies it, so does it exalt and enrich the imagination; it refines the will, just as it empowers abilities.
   The need to think about God, however, is a drastic descent and necessary to man only as a therapy. Atheism is an unfavorable preparation to the greatest level, when there will no longer be a need to think about Divinity, for life itself will be the Light of God.

                                         --Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

And, similarly...

Love means never having to say you're sorry.
                                          --Erich Segal, Love Story

For one never apologizes to one's self.

And a healthy person need not talk and express his feelings to himself either...

Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov used to tell his followers that he learned what it means to love from two Russian peasants. Once he came to an inn, where two thoroughly drunk Russian peasants were sitting at a table, draining the last drops from a bottle of strong Ukrainian vodka.

One of them, in a slurred drunken drawl yelled to his friend, “Igor! Do you love me?” Igor, somewhat surprised by the question answered, “Of course Ivan, of course I love you!”

“No no”, insisted Ivan, “Do you really love me, really?!”

Igor, now feeling a bit cornered, assured him, “What do you think? I don’t love you? Of course I love you. You’re my best friend Ivan!”

“Oh yes, yes?” countered Ivan. “if you really loved me … then why don’t you know what hurts me and the pain I have in my heart?”

You came to me, to open my eyes.
To me your body was a view,
A window and a mirror.
You came as night comes to the owl
To show him, in the darkness, all things.

And I learned: There's a name
For each eyelash and fingernail,
And for every hair on the exposed flesh.
And the scent of childhood,
The scent of paste and pine,
Is the night aroma of the body.

If there were torments -
They've sailed towards you.
My white sail into your darkness.
Allow me to go, oh allow me to go
And kneel on the shore of forgiveness.    

                                                   --Leah Goldberg



  1. Rabbi, l'hefech, you love means ALWAYS having to say you're sorry.
    "You always hurt the one you love" -

    See Rav Matis Weinberg's Frameworks on Nadav and Avihu

    1. Isaacson,

      I do agree with you, and many have criticized this famous quote over the years as being inaccurate, misleading, and dangerous. It was here my intention to explain what the author of the quote might of had in mind (li'sheetaso...).

      Chassidus does, however, teach the ascension of love from "my bride" to "my sister." The love like water that is higher than love like fire. And, seemingly, at that exalted level of unity through love, this quote might indeed be true, as I wrote. For one does not apologize to self.

  2. Rabbi, my friends and I gain much inspiration from your postings. They are unique, and I often share the teachings with others. Please continue posting!!
    -all of us

  3. Thank you for the pushing. I will try.