In this week’s double portion of Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, the Torah discusses the principle of “love your neighbor as yourself”.
There is a famous story of a man coming to Hillel and asking him to recite the entire Torah on one foot. Hillel told him “love your neighbor as yourself. The rest is commentary. Go and learn”. When we talk about Halachot, we put them into two categories; man’s relationship with his fellow man, and man’s relationship with G-d. how can you put all the laws of man’s relationship with his fellow man into one principle? We can understand from this that if one keeps this principle, he will also keep the other laws that involve man such as do not steal, do not murder, etc. When Rabbi Akiva said this that this is a great principle; it includes more or less half the Torah: all the laws between man and his fellow man.
We can learn from this that even just one simple mitzvah, such as loving those around you, can have a larger picture. We are keeping half of the laws of the Torah. If each one of us can keep this principle, we can hopefully bring peace to the world, and hopefully bring Mashiach in our time .
By: Michal Cohen (12th Grade)