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The Meaning of Love

The Meaning of Love


Chassidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev once said: I learned the meaning of love from a drunk. I once passed two drunks drinking in a gutter and overheard the following conversation between them:

Drunk #1: “I love you!”

Drunk #2: “No, you don’t.”

Drunk #1: “Yes, yes, I do. I love you with all my heart.”

Drunk #2: “No, you don’t. If you love me, why don’t you know what hurts me?”

Yanki Tauber served as editor of
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Erasmo Ramos Maringa, Brasilien via October 27, 2011

Uhmmm.. I not so sure I understood the message. In order to love, one has to know what hurts others. Two ways of finding out.

1. Theoretical.. You never know if you are right.
2. Practical. Hurting in order to find out..

Perhaps I am really not intelligent enough for that... Reply

Anonymous March 15, 2009

true story wrong tzadik This famous tale is actually about Rav Moshe Leib os Sassov Reply

Yechiel Mendel Youngstown, OH July 14, 2005

Ah, but the drunkard whose love is challenged DOES know what hurts his fellow drunkard. The first one is in pain, and demands that the second knows what hurts him. So, why doesn't the first one simply tell the second what hurts? The reason is that his pain is ineffable, a combination of the shame of drunkenness, the humiliation of his self-degradation, and not excluding the physical effects of years of alcohol abuse and exposure to the elements. How can the first drunkard ever express his misery, make it comprehendible? Only another person who has experienced the same suffering can no that pain. That is precisely what the second drunkard knows. Levi Yitzchok feels that the tzaddik has to experience the suffering of his people along with them to properly lead them and pray for them. He exemplifies the etymology of the English word "compassion," which means "to suffer with." Reply

Anonymous October 28, 2004

First class G-d sent Chassidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev an excellent teacher. But then again, what G-d sends is always first class. Regardless of the 'packaging.'

Hope I remember my own words the next time I look at the 'packaging' and cry.....or scream.....or burn up with anger.....or -- Reply