A husband on his way home from work takes a detour to pick up his wife’s favorite ice cream. He knows she’s had a hard day; this will be the perfect pick-me-up.

This husband has just expressed his love.

Another husband is on his way home from work. He’s had a really long, stressful day at work. All he wants to do is pick up some ice cream along the way. He can already envision his relaxing plans for the night: the comfy couch, favorite show and a good few helpings of vanilla ice cream. He’s about to get off the exit for the ice cream shop, but then his wife calls. She could really use his assistance at home. With a deep breath, he keeps on driving past the exit. Dessert will have to wait.

This husband has just expressed his respect.

Love and respect. Love is often expressed through what I do for another. Respect is often expressed through what I do not do because of another.

Love fills space. It reaches out to give and connect, filling the space between two individuals with beauty, warmth and closeness.

Respect creates space. It puts ego, desires and logic aside to make space for the other.

Both are key elements in a healthy and wholesome relationship.

M’bsari echeza Eloka—from our earthly experiences, we can come to know and understand G‑d. Our human relationships and interactions mirror our connection with the Divine.

If our earthly relationships thrive on love and respect, so does the soul bond we share with G‑d.

We often express our love for G‑d through theaffirmative mitzvot. Think family Shabbat dinner. Charity. Prayer.

We often express our respect for G‑d through the actions we do not do. Think not turning on the TV on Shabbat. Not eating dairy and meat together. Not gossiping about another.

Love may seem to carry more warmth, passion and inspiration, whereas “not doing” for another, may seem lackluster.

But it is so much more than “not doing.” Within the void of inaction lies a connection and bond that runs deeper yet. Listen closely. You’ll hear the voice of pristine altruism in that sacred space—a place in which it is truly about the “other.” There are no promises of glamor and excitement; its motivation is pure and simple.

“This space is just for you,” it says. “Just because that’s what you need. Just because you’re that important to me.”

Love and respect are so important in all of our human connections. And in our bond with the Divine.

Let’s embrace both.