כי מאחר שגופו נמאס ומתועב אצלו, והנפש והרוח, מי יודע גדולתן ומעלתן בשרשן ומקורן באלקים חיים

Since his body is despised and loathsome he will not love himself on account of his body more than he loves his fellow; and as for the soul and spirit, the differences between his own soul and that of his fellow surely will not diminish the love between them, for who can know their (the soul and spirit’s) greatness and excellence in their source and root — the living G‑d?

How, then, can one claim that his soul is superior to his fellow’s?

בשגם שכולן מתאימות, ואב אחד לכולנה

Furthermore, they are actually all equal; 1 and not only equal yet separate, but, furthermore, they all have one father — one source, and within their source they all comprise one entity.

ולכן נקראו כל ישראל אחים ממש מצד שורש נפשם בה׳ אחד

It is on account of this common root in the One G‑d that all of Israel are called “brothers” — in the full sense of the word, and not only figuratively, in the sense of “relatives” or “similar in appearance” and the like; 2

רק שהגופים מחולקים

only the bodies are distinct from each other.

This explains how it is at all possible to demand that one love his fellow as he loves himself. Self-love is innate, natural to man; love for one’s fellow is not. How can a generated love match a natural one

According to the principle stated here, this is readily understood. One Jew need not create a love for another. The love is an inborn characteristic of his soul, on account of its root in G‑dliness which is common to all souls; it is as natural as the love between brothers.

ולכן העושים גופם עיקר ונפשם טפלה אי אפשר להיות אהבה ואחוה אמיתית ביניהם אלא התלויה בדבר לבדה

Therefore, there can be no true love and fraternity between those who regard their bodies as primary and their souls secondary, but only a love based on an external factor.

Since the body separates us from each other, whereas the soul is that which binds us together, the greater value one places on his body at the expense of his soul, the more conscious he is of the differences between himself and his fellow. These differences require that he create a love for his fellow, and as said above, a created love can never equal a natural, innate love. Therefore, love between people who consider their bodies as primarily important, must be only a love based on some external factor, in which case the love is (a) limited to the importance of the motivating factor, and (b) destined to endure only as long as that factor is valid.

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