Today’s Aliyah

Dvar Torah for Kedoshim 2nd Aliyah

Parashas Kedoshim includes the famous mitzvah to “love your neighbor as yourself” (19:18). Rabbi Akiva exclaimed that this is a great principle of the Torah, but what does it really mean, and is it really possible to love someone as yourself?

Rabbi David Fohrman explores the context of this commandment and provides practical insight. The commandment begins in the pasuk before, when we are instructed to (1) not hate your brother in your heart, (2) admonish your fellow, (3) not take revenge or hold a grudge, and finally, (4) love your neighbor as yourself. There is clearly a process that ends in love, and it ironically begins with hate. If someone does something wrong, the Torah is saying that it’s OK to hate the action, but it’s not appropriate to keep that hate in your heart. Rather, you should privately tell them about it and communicate for their sake as well as yours so that way you won’t hold a grudge or end up doing something to retaliate. Being open and honest with those around us in a constructive way will allow us to, at worst, understand them and, at best, love and respect them.