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The Five Love Languages of Judaism

Words of Affirmation; Spending Quality Time; Giving Gifts;Acts of Service; Physical Touch

    Rabbi YY Jacobson

    3671 views
  • May 27, 2020
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  • 4 Sivan 5780
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Class Summary:

There is a fascinating teaching in the Talmud: By bringing joy to a bride and a groom, which Jeremiah described in five voices, we merit the wisdom of Torah which was also transmitted via five voices.

But this does not seem to make sense. What is the connection between the two? Also, what are these voices, or sounds? And why five?

Is it possible that an idea introduced to our world only in 1995 was being intimated in the Talmud 1700 years earlier?

Gary Chapman is a renowned marriage therapist. After many years of counseling it was obvious to him that couples were missing each other when one would say, “I feel like he/she doesn’t love me.” And the other would say, “I don’t know what else to do. I try to show her that I love her.” He heard this pattern over and over again. He noticed that the trust, passion, excitement in so many relationships has eroded, because deep down there was a lack of love. So, he went through 12 years of notes that he had made when counseling couples and asked the question: When someone said, I feel like my spouse doesn’t love me, what did they want?  What were they complaining about? Their answers fell into 5 categories. He called them the 5 love languages; five ways that people speak and understand emotional love.

Is it not, then, fascinating, that the Torah described a marriage as consisting of “five voices.” A voice represents a “language,” a form of communication. A good marriage is comprised of all five voices.

The Torah is also given in “five voices.” The giving of the Torah was a marriage—between the Creator and creation. How do we marry G-d? How is it possible for two completely separate worlds to meet? This is where the kolos come in, the “sounds”, the “voices”; the only way to reach out across infinity to truly connect with another, to initiate any relationship, is through the extraordinary gift of communication. The kol, then refers to communication. And, just as in a marriage, there are “five love languages,” five voices that make up the body of Judaism.

Dedicated by Meir Chayne and family

Communication Breakdown

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.

Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.

Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper,

'Please wake me at 5:00 AM.' He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.

The paper said, 'It is 5:00 AM. Wake up.'

The moral of the story? Figure it out yourself.

Negative

Random guy turns to a couple and says: You guys are a bit negative.

Couple: Yeah! But two negatives make a positive.

The Five Voices

There is a fascinating teaching in the Talmud:

ברכות ו, ב: אמר רב חלבו אמר רב הונא, כל הנהנה מסעודת חתן ואינו משמחו, עובר בחמשה קולות שנאמר (ירמיהו לג) קול ששון וקול שמחה קול חתן וקול כלה קול אומרים הודו את ה' צבאות. ואם משמחו מה שכרו אמר?  רבי יהושע בן לוי זוכה לתורה שנתנה בחמשה קולות שנאמר (יתרו יט, טז) ויהי  ביום השלישי בהיות הבקר ויהי קולות וברקים וענן כבד על ההר וקול שופר וגו' ויהי קול השופר וגו' והאלהים יעננו בקול.

Rabbi Chelbo said in the name of Rabbi Huna: Whoever partakes of the wedding meal of a bridegroom and does not bring him joy, forfeits 'the five voices' mentioned in the verse: The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that say, ‘Give thanks to the Lord of Hosts.’

And if he does rejoice with him what is his reward? Rabbi Joshua son of Levi said: He is privileged to acquire [the knowledge of] the Torah which was given with five voices. For it is said: And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were sounds (kolos) and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and the voice of a horn … and when the voice of the horn waxed louder … Moses spoke and God answered him by a voice.[1]

By bringing joy to a bride and a groom, which Jeremiah described in five voices, we merit the wisdom of Torah which was also transmitted via five voices.

But this seems strange. What is the connection between the two? Also, what are these voices, or sounds? And why five?

Five Languages

Is it possible that an idea introduced only in 1995 was being intimated in the Talmud 1700 years earlier?

Gary Chapman is a renowned marriage therapist. After many years of counseling it was obvious to him that couples were missing each other when one would say, “I feel like he/she doesn’t love me.” And the other would say, “I don’t know what else to do. I try to show her that I love her.” He observed his pattern time and time again. He noticed that the trust and passion in so many relationships has eroded, because deep down there was a lack of love. So, he went through 12 years of notes that he had made when counseling couples and asking them this question: When someone said, I feel like my spouse doesn’t love me, what were they complaining about?  Their answers fell into five categories. He called them the five love languages; five ways that people speak and understand emotional love.

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Spending Quality Time
  • Giving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

    1. Words of affirmation

One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up the other person. Many couples have never learned the power of verbally affirming each other. If your husband’s, or wife’s, love language consists of words of affirmation it is like oxygen for him or her to hear from you such words.

But sometimes I may not realize how much my spouse needs this language, because I possess a very different ‘love language.’ I thus do not realize that for my spouse these words can be a life- saver for the trust in this relationship.

Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love. They are best expressed in straightforward statements of affirmation, such as:

"You look sharp in that suit."

"Do you ever look incredible in that dress! Wow!"

"I really like how you're always on time to pick me up."

"You always make me laugh."

“You are such an amazing source of inspiration.”

“I am so moved to see your kindness.”

“I so appreciate how hard your work for our family.”

“Your wisdom is so penetrating. It is so enriching to talk to you.”

 “Thank you so much for taking care of the kids. You are such a special father”.

“I feel like you can change the world.”

Psychologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated. Words of affirmation will meet that need in many individuals.

2. Quality Time

But there is another love language that people have: Quality time. By "quality time", we mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don't mean sitting on the couch watching Netflix together. When you spend time that way, the film has your attention — not your spouse. What I mean is sitting on the couch looking at each other and talking, devices put away, giving each other your undivided attention. It means taking a walk, just the two of you, or sitting around the table and schmoozing. It is not about what you talk about; you can talk about the trees or the coronavirus, the sunset or how the cleaners ruined your dress; it is that you are spending time with each other.

Sometimes having to “do” something can compromise the quality of the time spent together. Spending quality time together means just being with our spouse, giving him or her undivided attention, listening to how their day went, discussing issues, exploring their feelings and experiences. In our distracted, fast-paced age, being able to give your time to someone in that way – without looking at a device, checking the news, or going shopping – is a gift of inestimable value. Quarantine has been immensely helpful for this love language.

3. Receiving Gifts

All five love languages challenge us to give to our spouse, but for some, receiving gifts, visible symbols of love, speaks the loudest.

A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, "Look, he was thinking of me," or, "She remembered me". You must be thinking of someone to give him or her a gift. The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It doesn't matter whether it costs money. What is important is that you thought of him or her. And it is not the thought implanted only in the mind that counts but the thought expressed in actually securing the gift and giving it as the expression of love.

It could be anything from a surprise bouquet of flowers to a pair of earrings. Oftentimes the point isn’t even the gift, but the giving. Just the thought that a loved one took the time to think about something to buy, and how to get it, is a gift in and of itself. That is its own kind of language; its own way of expressing care and thoughtfulness.

But what of the person who says, "I'm not a gift giver. I didn't receive many gifts growing up. I never learned how to select gifts. It doesn't come naturally for me." Congratulations, you have just made an important discovery. You and your spouse speak different love languages. If your spouse's primary love language is receiving gifts, you want to become a gift giver.

For you it may not mean that much, but for the other it may mean the world.

4. Acts of service

For some, their love language consists of "acts of service." By acts of service, we mean doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for her by doing things for her.

Consider actions such as cooking a meal, setting a table, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing the baby's diaper, picking up a prescription, keeping the car in operating condition — they are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. They are expressions of love.

5. Physical Touch

We have long known that physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love. Numerous research projects in the area of child development have made that conclusion: Babies who are held, stroked and kissed, develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.

The 20th century American psychologist Harry Harlow demonstrated the awesome power of physical affection in a controversial but devastatingly effective experiment. Working at the University of Wisconsin in the 1950s and ‘60s, Harlow took a group of infant rhesus monkeys and separated them from their mothers. He made sure that they were safely housed, warm, and had all their nutrition needs taken care of, and also provided inanimate “surrogate mothers”, that were essentially life-like models made out either wire or terry cloth. When these baby monkeys were frightened, they would rush over to “cloth mothers”, and were instantly soothed by the soft feel of the fabric. However, those rhesus infants that had been given the cold, hard “wire mothers” received no such comfort, and could only inconsolably shake in terror. Over time, deprived of a mother’s soft touch – even though they had everything else – they became deeply traumatized.

In a review of a book on Harlow, anthropologist Barbara Smuts offers a similar story:

While studying wild baboons in Kenya, I once stumbled upon an infant baboon huddled in the corner of a cage at the local research station. A colleague had rescued him after his mother was strangled by a poacher's snare. Although he was kept in a warm, dry spot and fed milk from an eyedropper, within a few hours his eyes had glazed over; he was cold to the touch and seemed barely alive. We concluded he was beyond help. Reluctant to let him die alone, I took his tiny body to bed with me. A few hours later I was awakened by a bright-eyed infant bouncing on my stomach. My colleague pronounced it a miracle. ''No,'' Harry Harlow would have said, ''he just needed a little contact comfort.''[2]

This is the awesome power of physical touch. A person can have everything, gifts to fill rooms, and service to provide anything they want, but if their spouse is physically distant, it can feel as though they have nothing in their marriage. For some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it, they feel unloved. With it, their emotional tank is filled, and they feel secure in the love of their spouse.

This might require little time but much thought, especially if physical touch is not your primary love language and if you did not grow up in a "touching family". Touching your spouse as you walk through the room where he is sitting takes only a moment. Touching each other when you leave the house and again when you return may involve only a brief hug but will speak volumes to your spouse.

Five Voices in Judaism

Is it not, then, fascinating, that the Torah described a marriage as consisting of “five voices”? A voice represents a “language”, a form of communication. A good marriage is comprised of all five voices. We must ensure that all the love languages of our spouses, and of our children, are understood and acted upon.

But here we come to the next fascinating step. The Torah was also given in “five voices”. The giving of the Torah was a marriage—between the Creator and creation. How do we marry G-d? How is it possible for two completely separate worlds to meet? This is where the kolos come in, the “sounds”, the “voices”; the only way to reach out across infinity to truly connect with another, to initiate any relationship, is through the gift of communication. The kol, then refers to communication. And, just as in a marriage, there are “five love languages”, five voices that make up the body of Judaism.

To a remarkable degree, the above modes of communication may be found within Judaism as well.

1. Words of Affirmation

Words are vital in Judaism. Some might say that “talk is cheap”. Some might say that “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me”. But that is false. The awesome power of the spoken word is beyond dispute. When King Solomon, the wisest of all men, declared in Proverbs that “Life and death are in the hands of the tongue”,[3] he knew what he was talking about.[4] G-d brought the entire cosmos into being with just a few utterances! G-d created the world with words; we, too, can build people with words, and we can destroy them with words.

Hence, Judaism overflows with words of affirmation. When we wake, we offer the simplest, purest prayer of all – Modeh Ani – “thank you, G-d, for giving me soul back to me for another day.” We have a blessing for getting dressed, for being able to walk, for being able to see. Before we eat, whether it’s a banana, a sandwich, or a cup of coffee, we thank G-d for providing us with these simple pleasures, and the same once we’re finished eating. When we go to the bathroom, we offer thanks for the miraculous and mysterious workings of the human digestive system.

In Judaism, we do not take anything for granted. When there is lightening, allowing the nitrogen in the atmosphere to fertilize the earth, and help our organisms create amino acid, we make a special blessing. When we pick a peach, we do not take for granted the miracle of botany and photosynthesis. Before we take a bite, we make a blessing. We have an entire prayer – Hallel – that serves to do just that: express our gratefulness.   

Does any of this matter to G-d, as it matters for my husband? Yes, G-d, the infinite core of all reality, desired a genuine relationship with each of us. G-d, in His very essence, desires the relationship. Not because he needs us, but in His infinity, He chose to allow us to affect Him in His core. He does not want us because he needs us; He needs us because he wants us.

When you want something because you need it, your desire is as deep as the need. When you need because you want, the need is absolute.

Thus, what is true in our relationship with our spouse, is true in our relationship with G-d. G-d cherishes our “words of affirmation”. They mean the world to Him.[5]

2. Spending Time

Some people just want to spend quality time with their partner; they just want to hang out together. This, too, is a cornerstone of Judaism. G-d loves spending time with you.

The Midrash says: “Open up an opening for me an opening the size of the hole of a needle”, G-d says to the Jewish people.[6] What does this mean?

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explained:

דער אויבערשטער זאגט א אידן: גיב מיר מערניט ווי פינף מינוט. אבער די פינף מינוט זאלן זיין נאר מיינע!

“G-d says, give me only five minutes of your day (a very short time, as the needle hole). But those five minutes should belong only to Me!”

Spending two hours with your wife, but with you on the phone the whole time, is meaningless. Spending five minutes with her, but when there is nothing in the world but her, can mean the world to her.

It is the essence of Judaism. Can you spend five minutes day with G-d—but without any distractions? It is just you, and G-d, living together in the moment. No agendas, no planning for the future, just full presence and intimacy.

Judaism encourages us to take these kinds of “quality time” opportunities daily. Daily prayer and meditation are a cornerstone of Judaism. Some of the sages, the Talmud says, would meditate nine hours a day.[7] The code of Jewish law instructs each of us to dedicate time daily to be completely mindful and meditate on our oneness with the infinite Divine reality.[8]

The mitzvah of Torah study, just like the daily prayers, are intended to afford exactly that kind of opportunity. Each day, we spend time with G-d. For no other purpose than just spending time with our Creator—with the core truth of all reality.

It is the also the meaning of Shabbos—a day of relaxed intimacy. It is the silver lining of coronavirus quarantine: the opportunity to spend time with your soul, your G-d, and your loved ones.

3. The Gift of Giving

In Temple times, many sacrifices were described as a “gift”, a Mincha. G-d, in His infinite yearning for a relationship, desired to receive gifts. It means the world to Him. G-d does not care about the objective value or size of the offering: When describing the various kinds of voluntary offerings, when it comes to the humble flour offering (mincha) the Torah speaks of the “soul who brings a meal offering to the Lord.”[9] Why, here, does the Torah use the word “soul” instead of the expected “person”, or odom? Rashi explains:[10]

ונפש כי תקריב: לא נאמר נפש בכל קרבנות נדבה אלא במנחה, מי דרכו להתנדב מנחה, עני, אמר הקב"ה מעלה אני עליו כאלו הקריב נפשו.

Who usually donates a meal-offering? A poor man [because flour is less expensive than birds or animals]. [Hence,] the Holy One Blessed is He, says: “I account if for him as if he has sacrificed his very soul!”

The point is not how much he gives, but that he wants to give. Today we continue to give gifts to G-d through tzedakah, giving charity. When you give ten percent of your earning or more to charity, these are all “gifts” to our Creator and His children.

4. Acts of Service

There is yet another kind of love language. Some people especially appreciate when a spouse actually does something for them. The psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik has observed, “It’s not so much that we care for children because we love them as that we love them because we care for them”. Acts of service create a very profound bond of love and trust.

In Judaism we have a concept called Avodah, which literally means “acts of service.” In Temple times, the “avoda” represented the concept of sacrifice, and until today it embodies the sacrifices that we make for the sake of truth and for G-d.

Every time I challenge a toxic instinct, I curb my temper, anger, selfishness, promiscuity, addictions, arrogance, I do something that I am not in the mood just because G-d wants me to do it—that is an “act of service,” “Avodah.”

5. To Touch

Finally, we come to the crucial language of physical touch. The Eastern religions focus much on meditation, reflection and mindfulness. Judaism dedicates much space to mindfulness. But in Judaism there is a major focus on physical actions, in the physical world.

A person can contemplate the loftiest subjects, dedicate mind and heart to the service of G-d; but until he wraps some painted cow hides and parchment around his arm, he has not fulfilled the awesome Mitzvah of Tefillin. The same is true with eating matzah, blowing shofar, giving tzedakah, lighting Shabbos candles and fixing a mezuzah on your door.

The body holds the score. The physical world holds the essence of G-d, even more than the spiritual worlds. it is through the physical touch of the physical mitzvah, that we “touch the Divine,” in His very core.[11]

In 1991, a Jew from Worcester visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He lamented that his 88-year-old father was old and sick and now he could not go to synagogue anymore, which was his last joy. He now felt lonely and worthless. What could he do for his father?

And the Rebbe, who was 89 at the time, responded: Every time a Jew does a Mitzvah he generates a delight in G-d. Imagine! A mortal, small, finite human being performing a single deed has an impact on G-d Himself. So every time your father does any Mitzvah—like putting on Tefillin or giving charity—he is achieving the most extraordinary feat. He is causing pleasure to G-d.

We Need All Five

Just as a healthy marriage relies on the five languages of love – affirmation, time, giving, service, and touch – so does the momentous marriage of the Jewish people with G-d find fulfillment in five languages of divine connection – in words of affirmation, the quality time of mindfulness, study, prayer and Shabbos, the giving gifts to the poor, service and sacrifice, and the physicality of Mitzvos.


[1] Talmud Bavli, Brochos 6b

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/02/books/no-more-wire-mothers-ever.html

[3] Mishlei 18:21

[4] The Talmud explains (Erkin 15b) that a negative word can be even more dangerous than the sword; the sword can only hurt a person at close range, while a few disparaging remarks can destroy a person, or an entire group of people, from afar.

[5] See Likkutei Sichos vol. 13 Pinchas, in explanation of an extraordinary Rashi about how G-d “needs” our offerings.

[6] Midrash Shir Hashirim 5:1

[7] Berachos 32b

[8] Shlchan Aruch Orach Chaim section 98

[9] Vaykira 2:1

[10] From Menachos 104b

[11] Likkutei Torah Bamidbar Maamar Veirastich.

Please leave your comment below!

  • Z

    Zevi -3 years ago

    Hope you mind me not mentioning - notwithstanding the seemingly good wisdom of the five love languages but a. Chassidus goes to the essence which is a. hamtakas hadinim - hence in actual fact the benefit of all the languages is in providing safety (love counteracting fear) which then causes both joy and kmayim hapanim lipanim

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  • Y

    Yehudah -3 years ago

    Wow, rabbi how long did it take you to write this. Really fascinating, I’m learning berachos now and have seen that daf many times, is really com to great an insight like this. How ask is well in our neighborhood.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • M

    Moshe -3 years ago

    5 Love languages between 2 spouses, but....

    Chapman's famous book explains how different spice (my made up word for the plural of  spouse) desire different things from their spouse. What is crucial to one spouse is not at all important to  another. So it behooves each married person to figure out what their spouse wants, or a combination of the 5 or even all 5. This is even true in any inter-personal relationship  it's even good to know what your particular business partner or neighbor needs and what is not needed.  Better yet if each can express which of the 5 is important or most important to them.  Woe to the spouse who must mind read and gets it wrong.

       The essay above shows how these 5 common desires ("love languages") can also be found in our relationship ("marriage") with Hashem. Luckily He has expressed Himself and we know what He wants. The 5 languages of  Chapman can be corralled into 5 desires expressed by  Hashem and we have a neat parallel situation. 

      But the full comparison isn't there.

      In a marriage or any other bilateral relationship there are only 2 parties and Chapman states which type of 5 commin desires  each primarily wants from the other, and vice versa. 

       But our relationship with Hashem is tripartite not bilateral.

       Half the Torah is bain adam lemokom, and half is bain adam lechavero. Perhaps one can say a Holy  menage a trois, but tripartite tor sure.

      Three sources to show how mitzvos bain Adam lechavero trump those bain Adam leMokom come to mind: 1. Hillel chooses one principle to sum the Torah and he chooses the bain Adam lechavero half. 2. The Novi we read on  Shabbos Chazon before Tisha bav says explicitly  that Hashem abhors our korbonos, even if perfect, if we have neglected the downtrodden classes. (And we had to mind read that priority cuz a sefer and a half describes the structure of  the mishkan,  the personnel,  the clothing and the procedures all to bring a single korban whereas the requirements to help the downtrodden are relatively few and scattered). 3. The Rosh on Peah 1:1:says that Hashem prefers mitzvos Bain Adam lechavero to those bain Adam leMokom. 

       So it's not a simple bilateral relationship where Hashem desires some or all 5 of Chapman's languages in His own ruchnious way. Rather this is a triangle, a tripartite set up where our "spouse", Hashem,  first and foremost desires things NOT towards Him but towards our fellow. Call it a sixth love language not mentioned by Chapman where a spouse says "you want to please me? Do this or that for another,  be it the kids, or the community,  or even the world!"

       Imagine a spouse having a  top desire for the other to do hatzala,  or to do something for the kids. Chapman didn't include such a spouse. But Hashem did precisely that when He says "do for your fellow first, I'll waive my desires if need be!" 

       So we see that Hashem is not the selfish spouse that wants language #1, 2 or whatever. We please such a spouse by satisfying exactly that particular language. Hashem first and foremost wants us to satisfy our fellow. His greatest "love language" is not for anything directly to Him, not for anything bain Adam leMokom, but for His spouse, each of us, a single yid or all  of us, to do for each other.  

       And in his image parents are more happy when their kids get along and love each other and do good for  each other, even at the expense of the relationship with a parent.  Any normal parent, given the theoretical hypothetical choice between honor and kovod before and after 120, OR that the kids get along would surely chose the latter. Like Hashem. (Of course both is better). 

      

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  • D

    david -3 years ago

    On Shavuous, I read the Five Love Languages, which I had printed.  It was well written and I discussed it and shared it with several people.  But, I shared Gary Chapman's information, which you so well summarized, although Gary did a good job in his classic book.  When I was queried about how you related it to Judaism, some of what you wrote left me cold when I tried to explain it to someone who also was familiar with the book.  Yes, the mincha sacrifice is "giving gifts", but how does that relate to us today as Jews.  Perhaps a good example would be our  tzedaka tradition.  With regard to Words of Affirmation, it is a mitzvah to praise a Kallah;  Spending Quality Time-Shabbos; Giving Gifts-Tzedaka; Acts of Service-Learning Torah and Sharing Torah with his wife;  Physical Touch-The Mitzvah of Biah.
     
    Get the drift?

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  • Anonymous -3 years ago

    Amazing Torah. Thank You!

    To add one thought the gemara says there as well 

    רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר כאילו בנה אחת מחורבות ירושלים שנאמר כי אשיב את שבות הארץ כבראשונה אמר ה

    One might tell himself it's not worth his time to invest in these five love languages at the expense of 'more important endevours 

    However, the Sfas Emes says this is not true:

    תמונה

    We see from here the tremendous value of putting effort to work on these ideas and this way it will bring the shechinah back into our lives.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

Shavuos Essay

Rabbi YY Jacobson
  • May 27, 2020
  • |
  • 4 Sivan 5780
  • |
  • 3671 views
  • Comment

Dedicated by Meir Chayne and family

Class Summary:

There is a fascinating teaching in the Talmud: By bringing joy to a bride and a groom, which Jeremiah described in five voices, we merit the wisdom of Torah which was also transmitted via five voices.

But this does not seem to make sense. What is the connection between the two? Also, what are these voices, or sounds? And why five?

Is it possible that an idea introduced to our world only in 1995 was being intimated in the Talmud 1700 years earlier?

Gary Chapman is a renowned marriage therapist. After many years of counseling it was obvious to him that couples were missing each other when one would say, “I feel like he/she doesn’t love me.” And the other would say, “I don’t know what else to do. I try to show her that I love her.” He heard this pattern over and over again. He noticed that the trust, passion, excitement in so many relationships has eroded, because deep down there was a lack of love. So, he went through 12 years of notes that he had made when counseling couples and asked the question: When someone said, I feel like my spouse doesn’t love me, what did they want?  What were they complaining about? Their answers fell into 5 categories. He called them the 5 love languages; five ways that people speak and understand emotional love.

Is it not, then, fascinating, that the Torah described a marriage as consisting of “five voices.” A voice represents a “language,” a form of communication. A good marriage is comprised of all five voices.

The Torah is also given in “five voices.” The giving of the Torah was a marriage—between the Creator and creation. How do we marry G-d? How is it possible for two completely separate worlds to meet? This is where the kolos come in, the “sounds”, the “voices”; the only way to reach out across infinity to truly connect with another, to initiate any relationship, is through the extraordinary gift of communication. The kol, then refers to communication. And, just as in a marriage, there are “five love languages,” five voices that make up the body of Judaism.

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