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What Does a Loving Relationship Look Like?

What Does a Loving Relationship Look Like?

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Dear Readers,

I met an elderly, loving couple who had been married for many, many years. I wondered: What kept their relationship fresh? What sustained their warmth and tenderness over time?

Did they gift each other special, luxurious items on birthdays, anniversaries or commemorative events? Did they have grand gestures of self-sacrifice that kept them so close?

Not at all. It was the constant, ordinary gestures that permeated every aspect of their relationship. It was the small acts of kindness throughout their day. Their phone calls to say, “I’m thinking of you.” Offers to bring each other a hot cup of coffee or a fuzzy pair of slippers, or to wash the dishes left in the sink. The notes on the fridge to remind the other of something that was important for them.

This week’s Torah portion is called Eikev, and it begins with the verse: “It will be because [eikev] you will heed these ordinances and keep them, that G‑d will keep for you the covenant and the kindness that He swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and multiply you . . . ”(Deuteronomy 7:12–13)

In this verse, G‑d is teaching us how we can keep our relationship with Him alive and thriving throughout our long and difficult exile. Several commentaries explain the interesting usage of the word eikev, which literally means “because” but also means a “heel.”

Rashi comments:Eikev, the Hebrew word for “because,” literally means “heel.” If you will heed the minor commandments which one [usually] tramples with his heels [i.e., which a person treats as being of minor importance].”

The Rebbe elaborates: “Our commitment to Torah should permeate us entirely, even our heel—the lowest and the least sensitive part of the person. In other words, our relationship with G‑d should not be confined to the holy days of the year or to certain “holy” hours we devote to prayer and study, but should also embrace our everyday activities.”

Relationships thrive through gestures of love and affection repeated in regular interactions. These small things—like spending time together, complimenting each other or performing thoughtful acts—ensure that each individual understands how much he or she is cared for.

So how do you think a successful relationship with G‑d would look? What would a person do throughout their day if he or she is devoted to making G‑d happy? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW


Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
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Jules Scher Monroe Twp, NJ August 7, 2017

There is an old beautiful song entitled, "Little Things Mean a Lot".
I remember it well, because that was the year in which I married my bride of today, and always lived by those words.
Although, materialistically I've been rather successful, it is definitely the little thoughtful gestures that are most cherished by both of us.
As far as making G-d happy, I think it's making ourselves happy by enjoying all the wonders that surround us every day.
Another song called,"The Best Things in Life are Free" tells us that the moon was made for everyone to enjoy, and of course "love can come to anyone".
A successful relationship with G- d would necessitate one opening his senses to the big and small living animals and plants, their relationship to one another, and the beauty of it all. Taking care of this creation, and being kind to our fellow human being, would make G-d, as well as ourselves, happy!!! Reply

Everett New Zealand August 9, 2017

So true
And thank you for highlighting "eirev", and the root to understand context Reply

Anonymous California August 7, 2017

I think G-d has created the concept of prayer to remind us to appreciate the world around us, and to demonstrate loving gestures toward our family as an example of life lived as a holy person, because every life is precious. Reply

Camille Manhattan August 7, 2017

I just finished reading Emunah with love and Chicken soup and one important message I got from this book is to think of Hashem in every little thing you do through out the day. Thanking him always asking for his help always even for simple things your lost keys etc. And when things seem difficult to always think Gam zu l'tova . Reply

Often we need a break from our daily routine. A pause from life to help us appreciate life.

A little pat on the back to let us know when we're on track. A word of encouragement to help us through those bleak moments and difficult days.

Sometimes, we just yearn for some friendship and camaraderie, someone to share our heart with. And sometimes we need a little direction from someone who's been there.

So, take a short pause from the busyness of your day and join Chana Weisberg for a cup of coffee.

Chana Weisberg is the author of Tending the Garden: The Unique Gifts of the Jewish Woman and four other books. Weisberg is a noted educator and columnist and lectures worldwide on issues relating to women, faith, relationships and the Jewish soul.
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