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The Essence - Dont get swallowed by...THE BLOG!
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metavlad
metavlad
The Essence
Theres an argument in the Talmud, or perhaps the Midrash, as to which is the most important verse in Torah. Rabbi Akiva says its "v'ohavta r'aycha c'moha" "You shall love your fellow like yourself." Rabbi Meir says its "These are the generations of man, in the image of G-d man was created."

Rabbi Akiva is saying that as much as every single person is constantly looking out for Number 1 and working to get themselves higher in this world, thats how hard you have to work for others too. Now, obviously you start with those closest to you, your wife, your parents, your siblings, etc. However, Rabbi Akiva says the goal is to be like Abraham. Abraham who gave himself a circumcision and while sitting and recovering from it RUNS after [what appear to him as] idol worshipers and begs them to come inside his tent so he can give them a feast.

Rabbi Meir takes it a step back. He says that it is very hard to see the greatness within a person and then act on that. We see people messing up all the time so how can we love them like our own selves? A man always has two rulers for measuring, one for himself and one for others, and for himself he rationalizes and gives excuses and everything possible to make himself think he is ALWAYS doing what is right, but for others it is very easy to see them mess up and assume they messed up. So Rabbi Meir says that theres two things that we need to think about: first that man is exactly that, human. He is fallible and will occasionally slip up. HOWEVER, the root, the essence, the most important thing about a person is that they were created in the image of G-d. Underneath all the materialism, physicality, dirt and grime is a SOUL. A soul that G-d breathed into man that is waiting to shine brighter than any star.

Sometimes we forget important things.
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Comments
dnalloh From: dnalloh Date: December 23rd, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
hey fifi! your entry really makes me wish i had the chance to take more than just the one Judaic studies course at Goucher. someday when you're back around these parts i'd like to pick your brain. :) xo
metavlad From: metavlad Date: December 24th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
My brain is always available for picking.
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