Love Thy Neighbor
The most famous verse in the book of Leviticus may be the command to love your neighbor as yourself.
“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” ~ Leviticus 19:18.
This imperative is so sweeping that both the old and the new testaments regarded it as one of the two “great” commandments, the other being “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Mark 12:29-31; Deuteronomy 6:4). In quoting Leviticus 19:18, the Apostle Paul wrote that “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:10).
Jewish tradition taught: “Love thy neighbor is one of the great principles in the Torah” (Sifra 2:12). The famous Jewish sage Hillel said: “Don’t do unto others what you would not want do to you – that is the whole Torah” (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbos 31a).
The value of loving our neighbors is true at all scales. As stated both in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, ”Love your neighbor as yourself.”; It is both a moral instruction and a clear statement that what we do to our neighbors we do to ourselves. If you are a bad neighbor to people you know, you burn bridges and end up alone. In terms of your country and world, as Gandhi said: “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” And if humans drive neighboring plant and animal species into extinction, we poison the wellsprings of our own survival.
Is your neighbor more than the guy next door? Could he or she be someone in our community or almost anyone you meet? Could your enemies also be your neighbors? The answer is simple. YES! Your neighbor can be anyone. Should be everyone.
You should develop a habit of immediately looking for the good in that neighbor. From the beginning, find what you like about that person. It could be that you both have a great deal in common; you like how funny he or she is, or simply the way in which he or she greets you. You will learn to love everyone so much more as your relationships progress than you otherwise would.
"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." ~ Matthew 22:39.
Hebrew verse: "לֹא-תִקֹּם וְלֹא-תִטֹּר אֶת-בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ, וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ:" ~ Leviticus 19:18 / ויקרא פרק יח.
Love is the most compelling human characteristic a human being possesses, because of it people will climb mountains and swim across oceans. It has a way of compelling a person to do rise above their circumstances. Love is so important, that all of the 10 Commandments are based on it. When we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will not steal from them, take their life, bear false witness against them, or desire to have what is theirs. Your neighbor is more than someone who lives near you, looks like you and shares you culture or beliefs. Your neighbors are everyone.
Love your neighbors – all of them, the great and the small, seen and unseen, liked and disliked – expresses an inner freedom. To sum it up, just be positive. Accept your neighbors for who they are. Understand that they have flaws, and while they might sometimes annoy you, it is important to love them through it all. No matter what. Hate in all its forms poisons the heart, while love protects and feeds it – and strengthens us to stand up for others and stand up to others. The more bitter the times and the more divisive the conflicts, the more urgent it is to be neighborly, with clear eyes and a kind heart. Then in a deep sense you’re at home wherever you go.
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Take a look at some of our t-shirts that combine inspirational verses with the meme-linguistics of the day.