What Is Love?

What is love? Is it a choice, or something that just happens, or maybe a bit of both? What does it mean to do something with all of our hearts? This week, we are looking at the first line of Vhavta, and we are unpacking what it means to be commanded to love. Take a look and see what your kiddos have to say about love. 

Is God commanding love? What do we do with that? How can we be commanded to love? 

  • That’s strange. 
  • Its really none of their business, the person who is forcing someone to love, its none of their business, its someone elses love, not theirs, no one asked them to interfere. 
  • You don’t go up to someone and say “you gotta love me” its your actions that do that. Like if youre punching or kicking someone, theyre not gonna love you. It’s the actions that you do that makes someone love you. 
  • That’s a mean way to tell someone to love somebody. 

Is love a choice we make or something that just happens (or doesn’t)? 

  • It happens or it doesn’t. 
  • It can be both I think because it can just happen, like if you were a parent and you had a child youre gonna love that child no matter who they are or what they do, it just happens.  But a choice would be like if you were not in the family, you have a choice. 
  • It’s a choice. 
  • Sometimes you just love someone, but nobody is perfect, and they can be annoying, but you still love them!  

What does it mean to do something with all our hearts? 

  • All of your effort.
  •  All your love, all of your support, like when someone is starting something really big like going to college or something, you need to support them with all your heart. 
  • You really really love them. 

What does bchol levavcha look like? How would you know if you saw it? 

  • If youre being nice to that person. 
  • If theyre saying no to everything but that one thing, like they don’t want anything else but that one thing. 
  • You can love something with your whole heart without choosing it over everything else. Whether it be grapes or water bottle, it should understand that you need food and water to live. 

What kind of love can exist between God and a person?  

  • The people listen to what God says. 
  • God made you and I feel like a connection between you and God is the ground and everything you walk on, because God made it.  Before meals, my family and I thank God for everything that God gave us. Basically you know how in the Shema God is instructing you to do things, and if you obey then youre being a good person and you have a good connection between you and God. God has powers and humans don’t but people love God even though God is more powerful. 
  • You don’t really have to try to love God because God made you and God is everywhere so you love God no matter what you do, you don’t even try to. 
  • God is inside you. 

What do you love with all your heart? 

  • My mom and dad. 
  • Pizza. 
  • Everyone in the whole world. 
  • Macaroni and cheese. 
  • My house. 
  • My own heart. 
  • Myself. 
  • My body, because without it I would be gone and I wouldnt even be a person. 

How do you show it? 

  • Like when me and my sister make a mistake, my parents always say “No matter what you do we’re gonna love you with our whole heart and nothing can change that.” Youre staying with your commitments. You make sure that when you say youre gonna love someone with your whole heart,  then you always have to love them even when they make a mistake. 
  • You show that youre respecting somone’s body and their choices, like if theyre saying no I don’t want this to happen and youre like ok and you stop doing what youre doing, then that shows that youre respecting their body and that youre showing that you really care about someone. 

What does it mean to lovGod with all your heart? How do we/can we do that? 

  • The commandments and the Shema. If youre showing love to other people than youre also showing love to God because God could be seeing that and that makes God think youre being a good person.
  •  If you love something, because God made everything and is a part of everything.  

Your loving kiddos had a lot of different ideas about what it means to love and to love with our whole hearts.  Stay tuned next week for our conversations about what it means to love with all our minds and all our strength!