11 Adar 1 5779 – Tetzaveh

How to increase your love

How do we increase our love towards another person? How do we enrich our relationships between spouses, family members and friends?

It comes down to one action. By giving to them.

It is interesting that the construction of the portable sanctuary, the Mishkan, occupies nearly half the book of Exodus. The Rabbi’s say that G-d made it such a central theme in the Torah because it is really a story of love between G-d and the Jewish nation. Really? A love story? It is complete with complex details of measurements, materials, and locations for this tent-like structure, far from anything remotely romantic. How is this a story of love?

The answer is because the Jews were giving to G-d. All the items were being donated: “Each man according to the generosity of his heart”. It wasn’t the materials and physical structure that was of primary importance, it was the fact that this sanctuary was built through the generosity of the people. And it was this act of giving that elicited love, not only from each person but from G-d in return. Each person gave their offering with sincerity, an open heart and from the essence of their being. They invested of themselves into this sanctuary and that caused them to love the Sanctuary and everything it stood for. It was this love that G-d was reciprocated back to them through the ‘resting of His presence’ upon the Sanctuary and inside the hearts of all the nation.

Giving elicits love. Whether it’s a material gift or a generous comment or gesture.

Shabbat shalom!

Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman