Instinctive Love for Ourselves–And Others

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A familiar but mysterious Biblical verse, which was read aloud in Jewish services around the world in late April, may aid Americans in overcoming the bitter divisions currently afflicting our country.

In Leviticus 18:15, God commands: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself – I am God!”

A nineteenth century sage, the Alter of Slabodka, understood the verse this way: just as we instinctively feel some love for ourselves, and need no special urging to look out for our own best interests, so too we should automatically, instinctively, love our neighbors and look out for them.

This understanding makes the conclusion of the verse more comprehensible. The Lord says “I am God” to emphasize that we should feel the same unthinking, unwavering love for people that God himself feels for all creation.

The only remedy for the bitter, causeless hatred that rends our world is sweet, causeless love.

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  1. Sharon Muir  •  May 4, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    I miss hearing Michael on the radio as he is no longer broadcast on our local station. I don't have a twitter or facebook account, but would love to hear the show,again on a regular basis. Any way to accomplish this? I also saw him in Wenatchee several years back & would be delighted to attend another live show of his here localkt.
    Sharon Muir

    • CK  •  May 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      You can listen over the internet, just go to his main page and there's a "listen to the show" button in the upper right portion of the page. It repeats in a 3 hour loop, with it being live during his broadcast. Weekends they play a selection from the previous week.

  2. Bob A  •  May 4, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    The main thing I take from that verse and it is so relevant in our big government program era, keep it local, keep it personal. Only God knows us the way he does. Only our neighbors know us the way they do. No one else will have that understanding.

  3. Sharon Muir  •  May 4, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    That was supposed to be, "here locally" (tapped the submit button in error). Any chance Michael will come to Wenatchee again….maybe on a new book tour?
    Miss you Cultural Crusader.
    Sharon Muir
    Wenatchee, Wa.

  4. John  •  May 4, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Jews neighbors are Jews. Non Jews are not human to Jews.. We are their cattle or goi in Hebrew. They do not love goi only fellow humans.

    • Diff  •  May 4, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      “Thank You, G-d, for Not Making Me a Woman”
      Of course, no doubt, they have a clever way around this straightforward statement.

  5. Abcs  •  May 4, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    I should love Charlie Mansonas much as my Mom. Har har

  6. Ty  •  May 4, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Love for others? It's a nice thought, but that is the single greatest failure of the conservative movement and mind.

    Christianity, for all its faults, is supposed to instill more of a sense of Agape love towards others. The kind of love for ones fellow man that ought to lift practitioners up out of their own darkness.

    There was a quotation attributed to MLK that summed up the idea perfectly, not sure where and if he actually said this, but this is what is attributed to him:

    "Martin Luther King once said that they went to the south not only to liberate African Americans but also to liberate white racists from the hatred in their hearts."

    If that is not the kind of christian grace that ACTUALLY mirrors the example of a Jesus like figure, I don't know what is.

    But when we get to the "Other" around conservatives, some of the most so called Holy people are filled with the most scorn for the "other."

    I've pointed this out so many times to you all before. Listen to your own fellow travelers and hear how they speak about illegal immigrants, both those who are trying to cross recently and others who have been here for decades. Listen to Tom Cotton argue for reductions in Legal immigration. Listen to christians fight for the right to not serve gays (I'm not even against the freedom to do this in particular, but look at the groups most interested in SHUTTING "THOSE" people out of ones sphere, as if they are tainted by some carrion or DEATH, they are the antithesis of Agape love, it's get AWAY From me, you are not WORTHY of my presence, go away, deviants, sick people!).

    Both liberals and conservatives fight culture war battles, but I think it's interesting to note that most of the liberal culture war fronts involve EXPANDING (as opposed to RESTRICTING) who we include in societal institutions like allowing gays to marry and be given societies blessing to their relationships, allowing them to serve openly in the military. It's an ethos of welcome, want to find the reverse? Go to the tail end of the conservative movement to see the greatest desire to RESTRICT the other from the mainstream of society. To cast out those who are not here legally, ALL of them, even those who have been here decades and are productive members of society? Yes, them too, they are not US. Now you get some of that among democrats too, we are not pure, but we have LESS of that attitude, and I think you conservatives need to reflect on this deficiency inside your own souls and communities most of all.

    • Rizzo  •  May 6, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Hopefully, in this day and age, none of us will ever personally encounter they type of hate that Ty spews everyday on this site. He embodies the hate of the leftist mindset. We see it in Antifa. We see it in every Trump protest. We see it in their Anti-American venom they preach. We see it in their joy for killing babies. We see it in Ty's hatred of God, religion and people who identify as Evangelicals.

      The left has become unabashed hate-mongers. It's a sickness… I wish I knew the cure. Because like MLK said, who will "liberate them from their hatred"?

    • Phil  •  May 7, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      I LOVE the way you USE the all caps to make your POINT. I THINK more people should DO that.

      • Ty  •  May 8, 2018 at 2:29 pm

        It's meant to convey additional inflection and emphasis because I write like I talk and normally imbue certain words with all sorts of variation in inflection to convey a point. I agree it comes across as random yelling though and does not translate outside my mind. I have tried to cut back, but habits are not always easy to remember to stick to. But the points still stand. Conservatives as a group need the most self evaluation of all when it comes to bolstering love and concern for others.

  7. Randal Hatfield  •  May 5, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    I was a Christian minister for many years. One thing I said to my congregation many times was that the greatest hindrance to the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the church itself.

  8. Mark Diehl  •  May 6, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Apparently, no one bothered to read the reference. My bible says in Leviticus 18:15 do not have sex with your daughter-in-law. Leviticus 19:15 does make more sense as a solution for healing the division in our land.

  9. RQ  •  May 8, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Contemplating "love thy neighbor as your self", I think thusly. 1: If you do not "love your self" how are you able to love/care for/administrate to your neighbor? "Loving your self" implies that you care about who you are; what you do on a daily basis on taking care of yourself; do you avoid destructive self behavior?; do you "do unto others as you would have others do unto you"?
    I think we all have the obligation to take proper care of our selves, and then pass on, to the best of our ability, those goals to neighbors.

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