Children of Chaos

Kedoshim — you are holy [Lev.19]

Rabbi Akiva told me
this is a major rule in the Torah

love your friend as [you love]
yourself
[Lev.19:18]
Rashi’s grandson made sure I added the [you love]
his grandpa taught him that it only applied
to people who are worthy of your love.

There are limits
some people aren’t so worthy
you don’t have to pretend. [Rashi on Deut:13:19, Prov.3:30]

I’m confused.

Re’acha – your friend –
it’s a close relation.

And there’s an extra lamed attached to re’acha
le-re’acha
we expected et the common call to the accusative
the Ramban told me it was exaggerated language [haflaga]
impossible to love someone else as you love
yourself.

Look to the context
the verse before:
you shall not hate your brother in your heart
you shall surely rebuke your neighbor
and not bear sin because of him
[Lev.19:17].

Unusual progression
you shall not hate your brother to
you shall surely rebuke your neighbor
not bear sin because of your neighbor —

You know something is wrong
you cannot participate in it
more – you have to rebuke
you have to do something
but you are not responsible —

it’s not your problem ultimately
it’s your friend’s problem
it’s your friend’s sin
still – you had to say something —
you had to do something.

Continue –
you shall not take vengeance
nor bear a grudge
but
you shall love your friend as yourself
I am G*d.

We rebuke but we don’t hate
nor do we bear the sin
we don’t get vengeful
we don’t bear a grudge
we don’t judge —

More —
we love our friend
because only out of love will the right action happen
only out of love will healing happen.

This the way of G*d.

That’s what it takes to be a force of right action
of healing in your friend’s life:
no responsibility shifting
no avoidance
no revenge
no judgment
only the truth and
love.

Only love has that kind of power to heal.

We don’t lead with love
but we come to love —

We have moved through
don’t hate
surely rebuke
don’t bear sin
don’t take vengeance
don’t bear a grudge
but

love —

I am Hashem
the way of love
the only course of transformation
the only true healing.

jsg, usa