a heart to know

Lev ladaat, we are given a heart to know, to know what? v'chol ha'aretz maleh de'ah - that our whole desire, should know God.

Anyone who has known depression, knows there can be times when you are so devastated that you know literally nothing; nothing is certain, everything is a meaningless fog. When you reach this point, it's sometimes painful to those you love because, before we can love anyone else, we first need to rediscover our love for ourself.

This is the same as ahavat yisrael, love of israel, we are all one, we are all connected, but when we are distant from one another, we can't know anything for sure, we become depressed. Only once we have reestablished love of our fellow can we begin to know and love God.

So it is not that ahavat yisrael supercedes ahavat haShem, it is simply that the latter is contingent on the former.


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