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You Love Your Wife, But Do You Respect Her? You Love Your Children, But Do You Respect Them?

You Love Other Jews, But Can You Respect Them?

43 min

Class Summary:

This women's class was presented on Tuesday, 29 Nissan 5777, April 25, 2017, at Ohr Chaim Shul, Monsey, NY.

Rabbi Akiva taught his students to love. But they could still not learn to respect their colleagues. Why?

There are people you like but don't love; there are people you love but may not like. There are people you love and like, and there are people, well, that you don't love and don't like either. You love your parents. You love your brothers. You love your sisters. But you don't necessarily like them… Sometimes, you love your husband, but you have a hard time liking him.

What is the difference between "liking" and "loving"? What is the difference between anti-Semites who hate Jews and Jews who dislike Jews? Why do we count both the "day" and the "week" in the counting of the Omer? Why are there so many couples who “fall in love,” but after some time, they find themselves so far apart?

The class explores two concepts: Love vs. respect. The Hebrew word for love, Ahavah, is the same numerical value as the word Echad, meaning oneness. Love grows out of our oneness and sameness. Respect grows out of appreciating our differences. Both are crucial in relationships between families, communities and nations.

Please leave your comment below!

  • S

    Shmuel -4 years ago

    Dear Rabbi Jacobson Loy"t

    E Fromm is a famous psychoanalyst.  Although he is an OTD guy, he has
    a deep understanding of the laws of  human nature.

    For example "To indicate the trend of necessary changes in general is
    useless until it is followed up by a serious attempt to consider the
    real obstacles that impede all their suggestions."

    This is exactly what the Chovois Halevovois and Yirmiyohu say.

    Choivas Halvovois Chapter 5 of  Wholehearted  Devotion

    "Nothing good is without a countervailing evil that may spoil it.
    Therefore one, cognizant of the various detriments that affect human
    activities, will know how to avoid them.
    But a person who knows the good only, will not retain any of it,
    because of the multitude of mishaps that will befall him.
    A pious Jew once charged his disciples, “First learn (to know) evil,
    so that you may avoid it.  Then learn the good and do it”

    Yirmiyohu (4:3) says,

    “Break up your fallow and sow not among thorns.”  When you want to sow
    your fields with crop, first plough it to get rid of the thorns.
    Otherwise they will destroy the crop.

    So I would lbe interested to hear what you think of what he says about love.

    Fromm viewed the experience of "falling in love" as evidence of one's
    failure to understand the true nature of love, which he believed
    always had the common elements of care, responsibility, respect, and

    It appears to clash with your shiur as you believe that love without
    respect is still considered love of other / true love.

    Kol Tuv

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    • RY

      Rabbi YY -4 years ago

      Yes I agree. Thanks vm. 
      That was the point of the lecture that love without respect is very flawed. 

      Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • Anonymous -6 years ago


    Turning love into like

    “I love you, I’m just not in love with you!” Goes the old cliche. Kind of a strange line, as how can you parse the two?

    Stranger still, is that line, I “love” you but I don’t “like” you. If you love someone, you must certainly like them?!

    Well, in fact, that may not be the case.

    You see, we find a phenomenon where you can have what “seems” to be the higher level of affection, without the lower level.

    Strange? Actually, not so much?

    We are in the period between Passover and Shavuot, where we observe a minor level of mourning. We don’t listen to live music, get married and a host of other mourning observances. Among the reasons, during this period of time, the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva, the great Talmud sage and teacher, died.

    Why did they die? Since, as the Talmud states, Lo Nahagu Kavod Zeh Bazeh. Translates: as they did not afford one another honor.

    The obvious question is how is this possible. Firstly, these were not students in your fourth grade class where rivalry is the norm. These were among the greatest and holiest sages to have lived? How could they be guilty of not respecting one another?

    Secondly, and more upsettingly, these were the students of the Great Rabbi Akiva! Rabbi Akiva lived by one primary credo, for which he is known even until today. That is “Love your fellow as yourself.” How could his students, the first line of promulgators of their teachers teachings, not observe their teachers lessons?

    This can be understood, perhaps, but understanding the difference between loving and liking.

    I love that which is me or mine. My child is mine. He is but and extension of me, so of course I love him. Not loving him, is akin to not loving my hand. It is a part of me. I naturally love it, and him.

    My kids will often ask, which of us do you like most? I always answer, that is like asking me, which of my fingers do I like most? I love them all equally.

    However, when it comes to liking, I may not like them all the same. You see, its actually harder to like someone. Liking someone, means. Liking that about them which is different than you.

    I can love my child and still not like them. I love them because they are an extension of me, but I don’t like them since they don’t behave as I wish. To like someone, is to like them, not as they are similar to me, but as they dissimilar to me. Then I am liking them. Not myself.

    If my child is behaving and doing everything as I’d wish, then I don’t need to like them. As I already love them. To like someone is to respect them with all their differences.

    To like my child, is to respect them with all their idiosyncratic behaviors. To respect them despite their thoughts, speech and actions that not to my approval. If I can respect them enough to have a difference of opinion, then I not only love them, I like them too.

    In this respect, loving is much harder than liking.

    Rabbi Akiva’s students, certainly loved one another, in keeping with their masters teachings. When focusing on their similarities, all being children of Gd, students of Rabbi Akiva, they loved their fellow.

    However, to “like” their colleagues, to respect their differences of opinion, to allow them to have a competing opinion and not judge them, well, in that regard, there was still work to do. That is where they needed to improve.

    In the world of parenting, to like your child is a lot harder than to love them, but it is oh so much more important. To have a child, who is behaving in a manner that is different than I’d like, and still have absolute space for them in my heart, and not feel the need to fit them into my mold, my image, that is really respecting them. That is really liking them.

    They know it, they can feel it and they respond to it.

    This season, lets try not only to love one another, lets try to like each other too. 

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  • SL

    Shmuel Lemon -7 years ago

    Rabbi Jacobson

    I do not understand this shiur. The love you are referring to is LOVE OF SELF, which has nothing to do with real love. Real love of the other will automatically lead to respect of the other. They go hand in hand. If there is no respect that proves that there is no real love of the other. Love of self means that I use the other person for my own benefit. That is the essence of being disrespectful! Please can you explain.

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Women's Sefira/Lag Baomer Class

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • April 25, 2017
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  • 29 Nisan 5777
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