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A few years ago, I spoke to a group of high-schoolers about the Jewish idea of love. By focusing on the good, you can love almost anyone.
While most people believe love leads to giving, the truth (as Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler writes in his famous discourse on loving kindness) is exactly the opposite: Giving leads to love. When an enthusiastic handyman happily announces to his non- mechanically inclined wife, "Honey, wait till you see what I got you for your birthday ― a triple-decker toolbox! Neither is a father's forcing violin lessons on his son because he himself always dreamed of being a virtuoso. " she cooed.) But in her study of real-life successful marriages Judith Wallerstein reports that "the value these couples placed on the partner's moral qualities was an unexpected finding." To the Jewish mind, it isn't unexpected at all.Now that you're feeling so warmly toward the entire human race, how can you deepen your love for someone?These may be the seeds of love, but they have yet to sprout.On the wedding day, emotions run high, but true love should be at its lowest, because it will hopefully always be growing, as husband and wife give more and more to each other.
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Reprinted with permission from "HEAD TO HEART" by Gila Manolson.