Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sound Off 02-14-09

In the spirit of the day, today's Sound Off is as follows:

What is love? From where does your definition of love derive?


  1. In researching Masoretic Emendations, I came across this wonderful definition of love on the very same webpage-------what are the odds.

    In Leviticus 19:18b, we read "Love your fellow as yourself". It has also been translated as "You shall love your neighbor as you do yourself", and it is generally interpreted in this way. However, Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, in his book titled "Growing Each Day," page 230, has written that: "The Torah is stating here a definition of ‘love’: ve’a-havta, the sensation or the experience of love, is lerei’acha kamocha, when you wish for another that which you wish for yourself.

    "What some people consider love may be nothing more than a self-serving relationship. They may ‘love’ something because it satisfies their needs, but when the object cannot satisfy the need, or the need itself disappears, the love evaporates.

    "True love is not self-serving, but self-giving. We love only when we have as intense a desire to please the other person as to be pleased ourselves. Such an attitude calls for sacrifice, because it may be that we will have to deprive ourselves in order to provide what will please the other person.

    "As children, we are selfish. As we mature, we should develop a spiritual love, which is quite different from our childish physical love. This spiritual, other-directed love can withstand all challenges. As the Song of Songs says, Even abundant waters cannot extinguish love (8:7)."

  2. Love is great respect, admiration and compatibility. Love is not a need to be with someone constantly. Love is a great friendship.

    My definition of love comes from life and experiences.

  3. Love is a choice to unconditionally put someone elses needs before your own with out expecting anything in return.

    My understanding of love comes from reading a number of books including the Bible and from experience. The majority of my experience is from loving my children even before they were born.

  4. >Love is a choice to unconditionally put someone elses needs before your own with out expecting anything in return.

    Yep, that's my definition, too.
    Often a fuzzy feeling comes with this, but not always. The love seems to be in the loyalty more so than the feeling. The desire to remain with someone no matter what.

    That can be strained, though and the bond can break. When I was in high school, I asked a teacher (who seemed happily married)how he and his wife remained together over the years.

    He simply said: Make sure that when you grow and change, that you grow and change together. People will always change.

    He was right. Boy, have my wife and I gone through changes . . . but we keep tabs on each other and continue learning who the other is.

    But she still hasn't told me anything about that secret blog that Zee and Lion insists she has.


  5. It would be a secret blog if she told you about it now would it? [rolls eyes] How romantic would it be if you discovered eachother's secret blogs on Valentines Day?

  6. Math is like love; a simple idea, but it can get complicated.

  7. Math is like the devil, it is evil.

  8. I like the devil... wait no its math that I like.

  9. Love is......meditating in the Scriptures

    Oh how love I thy Torah, it is my meditation all the day... Psalm 119:97

    "As silver enriches its owner, so does the Word of God enrich its lovers. Nothing so strengthens the intellect, clears the judgment, enlarges the views, purifies the taste, quickens the imagination, and educates the whole man."

    from a homily on Psalm 12 (F. B. Meyer)

  10. belief in the inspiration of the Bible is contingent on the ignorance of the reader.

    I disagree with the description by Meyer. How does the Bible "quicken the imagination" when it is supposed to take thoughts "captive to Christ"? It does not enlarge the views when read non-critically. Nice but empty rhetoric.

  11. love is...

    rational and irrational at the same time.
    an effort to understand the gray.
    selfish and selfless (and neither of those are necessarily bad things).
    over the rhine.

    love comes from our species need to survive and persist. from our mothers womb. from our communal needs as humans. from our unique capacity in nature to actualize and put words to nature.

  12. Hazzah for the space monkey! I like it, Biggums, I like it a lot. :)

  13. Welcome Biggums! I look forward to further expressions of your views.

    You seem to speak of paradox (rational and irrational; selfish and selfless). I see paradox in the Bible as well. Maybe if you elaborated on this theme it would help us comprehend Biblical paradox as well, rather than deem various passages and nuances as contradictions that warrant abandonment of Biblical faith altogether as Scrip and others have done.

    How are you resisting the tide of Atheism? Or are you being swept into its current through close associations. Do you still believe in God?

  14. Re: Gray

    Gray is a mixture of black and white. If white represents purity and black represents darkness/evil, then to mix them together results in “gray.”

    The Bible over and over again condemns mixture of good and evil. God would rather we be cold or hot than lukewarm. He is a very “black and white” kind of God. Some things are good; some things are evil. Some things are pure; some things are impure. Some things are godly; some things are demonic, etc., etc.

    Yes, we see through a glass darkly. Our understanding is dim in some areas. Is this what is meant by gray areas? Our understanding may be “gray” but when the wipers clear the windshield of slush and dirty snow spray from passing trucks, we can see the sunny skies ahead.

  15. Sometimes gray is just gray. For example eating meat.

    Romans 14:6 (New International Version)
    He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

    You apply Leviticus and don't eat blood pudding. I apply 1 Corinthians 10:25-26 and enjoy every bite. We both give thanks to God and I consider it gray not meaning a mixture of good and evil.

  16. Hi Zee,

    You have a "slushy" view of God's dietary advice in my opinion. As has been stated by others....."what you eat may not keep you from Heaven....but may get you there sooner than necessary!" : )

    The principle of Romans 14 applies, however. We are not to judge one another. We are each answerable to God for the choices we make.

  17. gray:
    I guess what I am trying to say by "gray" is balance--helping the one you love to see that what appears "black" isn't always so, and what appears "white" isn't always so. there is more than meets the eye. the failure for the christian communities I have been apart of to appreciate gray has caused pain and isolation to many they so ruthlessly judge. i believe the bible has stark elements of black and white--which is partially why i find it an irrelevant standard for moral behavior for any context other than in that which it was written.
    but this is a post in and of itself.

    as relates to love, i believe we can help those dearest to us see beyond their normal paradigms of "good" and "evil". In other words, we should provide perspective to help our lovers see the beauty in balance. The ying and the yang, if you will. roundness instead of linear polarity.

    tandi: i do not consider myself an "atheist" at this time but rather an agnostic. i think the existence of a god is possible, although not provable. i believe this "god" perhaps is in all things but also outside of all things (panentheism). this may be why i don't comment to much on this blog--i think a lot of what goes on here is too polarized. i am not willing to die fighting for the atheist or theist camp.