By Five Towns Marriage Initiative

In this week’s parashah we are commanded “v’ahavta l’rei’acha kamocha,” love your neighbor as yourself. Hillel said something similar as well, when a convert came to Hillel and asked him to tell over the entire Torah in one idea. Hillel said, “Don’t do to others what you would not want others to do to you.” It seems difficult to understand how Hillel could have chosen this as the main idea. Rabbi Akiva, as well, said that loving one’s neighbor as one’s self is an important principle in the Torah. How is everything included in this specific concept?

The Chazon Ish says that a person who is ready to pass on his rights for the sake of another is prepared to make his will be in line with Hashem’s will. The achievements a person has in selflessness to others transfer over and become a part of one, enabling one to use them for service of G‑d too. This is especially so because it takes effort and character development to be selfless with others, since often one may feel superior or competitive and has to put in effort to come to the point of giving and doing selflessly. One can then take the human experience of giving and doing that he has become accustomed to, and use it to do the will of his Creator.

This benefit is available as well when it comes to interpersonal relationships between husband and wife. When working on one’s marriage, one is becoming better equipped to connect to G‑d, and at the same time he/she is also fulfilling a commandment of the Torah. v

Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00—11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail


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