MY D-O-G LOVES MEWhile
writing this article, I went out for a stroll to get some fresh air. There is nothing like the summerÂ night air of Jerusalem. Approaching me was a man with his dog. He wore a tee shirt that said, â€œNo one understands me better than my dog.â€ How sad. It would have been so much better if the letters were reversed: G-o-d instead of d-o-g.
The biggest mistake a Jew can make is to believe that G-d doesn’t understand him or doesn’t love him â€œlike crazyâ€. When things go wrong, we shouldn’t say that G-d does not love us. All the love of mankind from the beginning of Creation till today does not add up to one iota of G-d’s love for every human being. And all the love that G-d has for a regular Human being does not add up to one iota of His infinite love for each and every Jew.
This is a very sensitive subject. Tisha Bâ€™av came about because of the negative report the Spies brought about Israel, and the feelings that we felt about our relationship with G-d as a result. You slandered in your tents and said, Because of G-dâ€™s hatred for us did He take us out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Ammonite, to destroy us. (Devarim 1; 27) They cried all night, and G-d said, You cried for nothing, and I will establish this day for you to weep in every generation.(Taanit 29) And this is what Tisha B’av is about. This is what the galut, the exile, is about. When the enemy entered the Heichal, he saw that the Cherubim on the Parochet were hugging each other. We know that they faced one another when the Jewish Nation were serving G-d with love, and turned away from each other when the Nation was distant from G-d. Why then, at the time of the destruction, were the Cherubim facing each other and embracing? The answer is that G-d wanted His People go to exile with the message that He loves us â€œlike crazyâ€, even in the hardest of times. Contrary to what we think, He always loves us. Â And just as we have lost so much – the Temple, Jerusalem, – because we mistakenly believed that G-d does not love us, if we renew our belief that He loves us with infinite love, we will bring about the Final Redemption.
G-d’s infinite love for us is not diminished even when we do something wrong. When things are not going well, it does not mean that G-d has any less love for me, or that He does not understand me. Often, we do not understand Him, and that is because He is G-d and we are human. But no one loves us more than G-d, and no one understands us more than G-d. If you accept this belief, it will change your life. If you do not believe that G-d loves you, it can be hard for you to love yourself. It is a mitzvah to love yourself, based on a famous passuk: Veahavta Leraacha Kamocha, Love your friend as you love yourself. If you do not love yourself, you can never keep this mitzvah. And why does G-d want me to love myself? Because G-d loves me. This is a link in a chain of beliefs. G-d loves me â€“ I love myself â€“ I love others. If one is not able to truly love another, either he does not love himself, or he does not believe that G-d loves him.
All we need to do is to really mean it, when we say in Shacharit and Arvit, ‘Ahavat Olam Ahavtanu, Hashem Elokenu’, Endless love have You loved us, Hashem, Our G-d. We need to feel it in our bones, and not only wear it on our tee shirts.