Love, Law and Jeremiah 9:23
God’s holy Law and His love are seen by some as to conflicting factors in our relationship with the Divine. Loving God and observing the Law are understood by these people as two separate approaches to God.
Nothing can be further from the truth. There is no love of God without Law.
What is love?
Imagine if “A” loves “B” but “A” knows nothing about what is going on in the heart of “B”. “A” does not know what “B” cares about, what “B” fears, what brings “B” happiness, what “B” yearns for or what is important to “B”. Can we say that “A” truly loves “B”? “A” does not even know “B” so how could “A” claim to love “B”?
If “A” and “B” were two humans, this scenario would never be entirely true. Since both “A” and “B” share the same properties; “A” will automatically know that “B” wants to live and fears death. “A” will know much about “B” simply because “A” is equal to “B” in so many ways.
But what if “A” is a human and “B” is God? And the human does not know what God cares about, what is important to His heart, what He loves and what He hates. How then can the human claim to love God? Perhaps our human: “A” has a vague idea that God is holy, pure and good, but what do these words mean to our friend: “A”? Do they mean the same things that they mean to God?
The fact is that a human being can never fully understand God. But it is only to the degree that God’s heart is meaningful to the human that the human can claim to love God.
God loves kindness justice and charity. We can know this by reading the code of morality that God breathed into each of our souls. We can know this more clearly by diligently studying this code that is written on our hearts.
When God gave the Law to the Jewish people, He revealed His heart to them more openly than he has done for the rest of man-kind. He taught them what He loves and what He hates. He taught them what He considers pure and what He considers impure. He taught them what He cares about and what moves His heart.
The Law of Moses is not something different than the code of morality that is written on the heart of every human that has the breath of God in their nostrils. The Law of Moses is the commentary to that universal code.
The Law is not a contradiction to love, nor is it a different path to God. Incorporating kindness, justice and charity into our lives is the way we embrace God.
If you found this article helpful please consider making a donation to Judaism Resources by clicking on the link below.
Judaism Resources is a recognized 501(c) 3 public charity and your donation is tax exempt.
Yisroel C. Blumenthal