Monday, June 21, 2010

The Psychology of Jewish Love

Man's anatomy comprises a physical body and a spiritual factor.

The Jew's spiritual factor itself is dichotomous; One component is his Animal Soul; The second one is his G-dly Soul. This last component, according to the 1st Lubavitcher Rebbe, "... is an actual, veritable part of G-d" [notwithstanding our inability to comprehend this fact].

Despite the lowly statuses of the Body and Animal Soul, they have, surprisingly, a significant redeeming value. This can manifest by recognizing their inferior attributes. The Body and Animal Soul give rise to the differences between people. These two constituents contribute to the features that distinguish people one from another. The G-dly Soul, in contrast, remains equivalent among Jews.

It follows, therefore, if a Jew can rise above his lowly essence, i.e., above the contributors of his identity, he elevates himself into a realm wherein all G-dly components are hewn from the same Rock. If a Jew can bring himself to reach this perspective and live with it, he will have attained the level of loving his fellow Jew as he loves himself.

This tremendous effort, this immense shift in mindset, by definition, requires rejecting the Body and Animal Soul that keep tugging him to lesser states. These detractors, like gravity, constantly flash before him his uniqueness and individuality to draw his psyche "downward"; Like a woman of ill repute who keeps trying to seduce a noble character to succumb.

But the proud Jew, keenly aware of his noble soul, resists its competitors that seek to lower him, as sure as the brain, perched high above his heart, with applied wisdom can overrule the lust emoting from below, to stay the high ground.

In this transcendant state a Jew can love and appreciate the spiritual stature of his fellow Jew, as well as love his G-d, which really amounts to the same thing.

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