Religion & Love

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


  Mutual Respect and Love

“Read Up and Down and You Will see that I Love You As You Love Me”


This is an old proverb that has a great deal of inherent meaning and can be interpreted in a number of realistic meanings.  To be loved one has to be lovable.  It is not a one way feeling.  Sincere love is real; it is not a temporary condition.  It is a feeling that can last a lifetime.  It is not a temporary, flighty state of emotions that comes and goes like the wind.  

It is  also true with religion and the faith that one has.  It is not interchangeable and carries with it conviction and practice.  In the orthodox Jewish religion one must feel that the Caryagim Mitzwot are important.  It is near to impossible to carry out all of the 613 duties or blessings that are prescribed to be followed.  There are definite rules that one committed to orthodoxy must adhere to without fail.  Among these are the ten commandments, which include honoring “thy mother and father so that you may live long on earth.”  Another is to keep the Sabbath holy; this includes not laboring on the seventh day of the week; to participate in prayers, attend synagogue, to not light fire (use matches, oven, or other appliances - these duties should be done before the holy days) from Friday eve until Havdalah (Saturday eve after dark), to follow the religious edicts as prescribed and as learned in an orthodox Torah-true Jewish person.  Intermarriage is prohibited; eating only kosher foods, waiting three to six hours between Meat and Dairy meals; not mixing dairy and meat in the same meal; keeping separate meat and dairy dishes.  Celebrating the holy days as indicated.  Examples are Yom Kippur, where the edict is to fast for a minimum of at least a full twenty-four hours from sundown to darkness the following day.  We must be convinced of what we believe and follow the edicts as commanded.  

It is the same as love.  In order to be loved one must love.  It takes commitment, just as religion is a commitment.  Truly religious Jews do not marry out of their faith and convictions.  There are not to be halfway measures, for example conversions to Judaism in order to gain  advantages or to have someone who pleases us is not a conversion.  It is a farce, a way to satisfy our vanity, make life easier, label ourselves as liberals.  It is an aversion to remain in the fold of our convictions; excuses do not true conversion make.  The convert must believe with his whole heart, soul, and deeds that he desires and wants to enter into being a fully committed Jewish person.  It does not become a true conversion if the individual wants to marry a partner that is a good prospect for him or her.  A conversion is a conviction for the total being.  It is an honest and true belief that the human being wants to practice for his or her life.

It takes effort and a great amount of study and work to enter the path of a truly orthodox human being.  It takes much energy, with a Rabbi/teacher who is willing to work with the candidate thus convinced of his conversion.  It is by no means the play of a child who desires to suck on a lollypop and spits it out if the flavor no longer pleases him.  To be a Jew is very difficult.  With it comes the anger of the non-Jewish community who are often anti-Semitic and use Jewish people as scapegoats for any and everything that is wrong in society.  They frequently use the fable that the Jewish people killed “Christ.”  It is a way of letting out their anger/hate and venom against innocent human beings and at the same time receiving kudos from other sadistic folk who have no other pseudo acceptable means to express their venom and be admired by their fellow hate mongers, their sadistic compatriots.

The expression of religion and love are very private and personal actions, decisions and feelings and have no right to be the object of judgment, expression of ridicule or other negative input by hateful onlookers.  As long as love or religion does not contain barbarism, sadism, hatred, violence, or other harmful/hateful behavior, human beings have the right to express themselves as they feel. 


 Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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