Monday, May 20, 2013

When Love is all there is -Part 2

Mr. Schwartz is an extremely successful businessman, has all the money in the world yet unfortunately he and his wife can't have children. They are happy people but they deeply feel that something is missing -they are missing out. He remembers that he has a distant relative in Yerushalayim, Mr. Goldberg who is a poor as a church mouse. He and his wife have been blessed with knein a hara 14 children but unfortunately they have no means of support. Their kids have literally nothing in their lives. In short, Mr. Schwartz travels to Yerushalayim to visit his distant relatives the Goldberg's and is planning on offering them 10 million dollars for one of their children. It's a perfect deal. The Schwartz's will get a child of their own and the Goldberg's will have enough money to support their family and give all the rest whatever they need. What do you think happens?

All the money in the world isn't worth 1 child. But wait Mr. Goldberg, you and your wife can completely change the way you live for the rest of your lives? There is no amount of money worth your child. Love-That's what I'm talking about! We have no idea how much love we do have inside - we often have absolutely no idea as how to access it. We walk around occupied with ourselves - justifiably so. It's just weird though to have such unrealized capacity. It's like you gave a beggar pushing a bubby cart 1 million dollars in a box along with newspapers. He accepts your gift but only sees the newspapers and puts the box on the bottom of his bubby cart. He has a million dollars but he doesn't know it. He shleeps it around with him wherever he goes. In a sense often we are poor shleppers in our ability to love in a relative sense. Would you physically fight for your child? of course! Step in front of a bullet? of course! run a marathon to save their live? of course! There is almost nothing we wouldn't do for one of our children.

Where does this capacity come from? And what is Love?
Our sages teach us that the Almighty is infinite and perfect in every way. He/she has no needs in anyway. In truth there is nothing that we can do for God. He doesn't need us to make him the worlds most read author, he certainly doesn't need us to fix his world for him. A perfect love is when you don't need something from the other. God created us out of this pure love. But if God is one how do we exist? The Kabbalah teaches us an analogy. It's like God constricted himself and allowed "other" to exist. He/she made himself small or smaller to allow other (us) in it's imperfect state to not only exist but to nurture and nourish life. Absolutely altruistic, our life is a gift an opportunity to receive the gifts of God and create something beautiful for ourselves and others but there is nothing we can do to change the love of God for us. (The only possible thing is that our ugly actions can obfuscate that love where we only see ourselves. God and us (a preoccupation of self) can't stand in the same meta-physical space. It's either he or I not both.

This love is all natural with our kids. We have less sense of ourselves and our own needs for our children but of course we see our children as extensions of ourselves. We are really "one" with our children. Their highs are our highs and their lows are our lows. The Gemara teaches us about this love. It's like cutting a piece of bread with a knife with your right hand and you accidentally slip and create a small little wound in your left hand. Your left hand doesn't swipe the knife away and take revenge by cutting the right hand! It's all one! The children are like ourselves -unconditional love. We don't see a scenario ever of a Mr. Schwartz who gather his children around the dining room table and says the following " Kids, I love you and I really have loved you but..... we have been kind of growing a part.... and look I met these Goldberg kids and they are really cute and nice, they don't give me as much trouble, we don;t have as much as common as we used to .... so I'm sorry to say this but I'd like to split up and I'm going to love with the Goldberg kids....
It's amazing how we can readily do this with our wives (who we chose) versus our kids who we would never do this (are accidents of birth) How ironic is this?

Reb Noach Weinberg taught us that the purpose of this unconditional love for our kids and our ability to see past ourselves is to have a living an example in our lives (our love for our kids) that we can learn from and to extend those lessons and apply them to our spouses. From our spouses to all others. The primary dictate of the Torah as Hillel said "that which is hateful to your brother don't do -the rest of the Torah is commentary" - Love your neighbor as yourself. All of Torah can be learned from here.

Shoshie exhibited this grace to all others naturally. What was it that she was unconsciously doing and what is it that we can consciously do? How do we realize our great potential for unconditional love and change our lives and the world? We are created with this capacity-why be a little like the beggar schlepper with a million dollars on the bottom of the bubby basket?

The truth is I have to get Devori out the door, wake Moshe, get Shaya up to do his homework that we didn't do last night and hope that Ellie doesn't wake up yet. Later today, bli neder I will share a proactive, simple, and relevant way to increase love at every step of the way.


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