Tu B’Av, the Jewish day of love, is this week. In honor of the occasion, here are a few of our favorite Jewish love quotes.
Love is at the heart of Jewish life. Loving God, loving your neighbor, loving strangers…but most importantly, as the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said, loving life itself. That’s why our greatest prayer on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is to be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.
“We don’t ask for wealth or fame, stardom or success. We don’t pray to be spared trials and tribulations. We just ask for life. That is what Judaism is: a life of love and a love of life. All the rest is commentary,” Rabbi Sacks said.
“Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li; I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”
Song of Songs 2:16
“Love transforms us. It makes us beautiful in the eyes of those who love us. It makes us real.”
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“The truth—that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”
“Everyone has a right to love and be loved, and nobody on this earth has the right to tell anyone that their love for another human being is morally wrong.”
“There are two things that cannot be achieved in life unless you close your eyes a little bit. And that’s love and peace. If you want perfection you won’t obtain either of them.”
“A husband and wife are one soul, separated only through their descent to this world. When they are married, they are reunited again.”
“We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.”
“Only love gives us the taste of eternity.”
“Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers up all faults.”
“The non-Jewish world could not comprehend the holy nature of Jewish love.”
Maharsha, Chidushei Agadot to Yoma 54b
“Yitzhak’s love came from an appreciation of Rivka’s righteousness.”
Ramban on Genesis 24:67
“Of all the boys I had dated, he was the only one who really cared that I had a brain. And he was always, well, making me feel that I was better than I thought I was.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“The real opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.”
“Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.”
“Love is homesickness”
“This is one of the goals of the Jewish way of living: to experience commonplace deeds as spiritual adventures, to feel the hidden love and wisdom in all things.”
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
“Judaism was the first religion in history to place love at the heart of the spiritual life: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your might. Love your neighbor. Love the stranger. And what we love most — because that is where God is to be found — is life itself. That is our greatest strength. It enabled our ancestors to survive every persecution. It helped Holocaust survivors to survive. It gave the Jewish people the courage to rebuild the land and state of Israel. That’s why our greatest prayer on this day of days is: “Write us in the Book of Life.” We don’t ask for wealth or fame, stardom or success. We don’t pray to be spared trials and tribulations. We just ask for life. That is what Judaism is: a life of love and a love of life. All the rest is commentary.”
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
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Originally Published Aug 7, 2022 08:02PM EDT