Fish Love

An animated film on the Jewish view of love.

Click here if you are unable to view this video.

This project was created with funds granted by The Covenant Foundation,
with Fiscal Sponsorship by The Foundation for Jewish Culture.

Comments (66)

(44) Anonymous, August 16, 2017 2:26 AM

connect it please

While I understand that love is about giving. What does that have to do with a boy & girl deciding they aren't for each other?

(43) Anonymous, March 31, 2016 10:52 PM

this is great!

(42) Anonymous, January 28, 2016 5:51 PM

Well presented. With wisdom, creativity.

Holds the listeners attention. Gives over thoughts that are wise, forthright w/o being aggressive . Allows the listener to accept this concept and not feel preached to, and hopefully will internalize , if only in one's subconscious to guide to making good choices. Kol Ha Kavod

(41) Alban, April 9, 2013 12:44 PM

Beautiful Ilustration

Beautifully illustrated... this is wonderful...I love it...

Nothing is wrong with wanting others to love you. But indeed TRUE LOVE is all about "giving" to others for their well being and good without expecting nothing in return.

(40) onyx, January 15, 2013 3:32 AM


Wow! Thank You!

(39) ilana, January 2, 2013 9:24 PM

wize a inspiring as always

i want to thank you for this important video, I learned allot, its a beutifull way to present deep ideas.

jay, August 2, 2015 12:19 AM


I agree

(38) Anonymous, November 20, 2012 5:01 AM

had this

truly experienced the kind of loving the parents describe here (not the fish love). but it didnt last. it was a good experience and im just glad i know im capable of such kind of love.

(37) Anonymous, November 3, 2012 3:42 AM


Any adult men out there who believe that your parents know more about you and your soul than you do? Interesting that the author of this video is a 40-something-year-old bachelor. What does G-d want from him? What does he want for himself? That is the holiest answer of all.

Anonymous, January 29, 2014 5:09 AM

You're mistaken

At the end of the credits, Hanan thanks his wife and son. He is NOT a 40 year old bachelor.

Anonymous, March 11, 2015 10:20 AM

Has wife and son

See credits at end.

(36) Anonymous, October 25, 2012 6:18 PM


The parents should become President and First Lady of the USA! Very talented work! Did you marry Shoshana?

(35) Yael, October 16, 2012 1:40 AM

Good Fruit

These short video's are so very encouraging and so very truthful. It is amazing to me how so much can be said and pondered on in one short video. I hope Hanan knows how much fruit he is making available to those who choose to taste and eat. :)

(34) C.D.Urbach, October 14, 2012 5:31 AM

your fish love video

Well done!!

(33) Anonymous, October 9, 2012 12:33 AM

ha ha, ha ha ha! yyyeeeeeessssssssssssss!

ha ha, ha ha ha! yyyeeeeeessssssssssssss!

(32) SANDRA, September 25, 2012 12:01 AM

I've seen this video and also 'fish love' and I'm hooked on Hanan....!!

(31) Anonymous, September 20, 2012 3:18 PM

magic touch

Gila manolson says that very concept in her book!

(30) Here, August 29, 2012 12:27 AM

'Giving' to a loved one is a revelation?

My advice is for women to read the classic book "Women Who Love too Much." The brief description from 1990: "Helps women who tend to be attracted to emotionally unavailable or abusive men to recognize and change the way they love through case histories and gentle advice." Men who grew up with abusive or emotionally damaging parents are often attracted to abusive women. The book can help them, too. Giving and sacrificing in a *loving relationship* is a no-brainer, and I'm surprised that people see the message here as a revelation. If you want a relevation, read "Women Who Love Too Much" so we can stop blaming both men and women who choose toxic partners for not 'giving' enough. Could Shoshanna have been a toxic partner? Only her partner would know the answer to that one.

(29) Morgan Bush, August 28, 2012 9:10 PM

a gentile says, "Wow!"

I am a only a gentile but very glad that I chose to look/listen to this short but very beautiful expression of love. Thank you!

rachel, September 16, 2012 4:30 PM

youre not 'just a gentile' - no one is 'just' anything, everyone has their own part to play - sounds cheesy, but i just wanted to say that

(28) Visitor, August 20, 2012 8:05 PM


This video was made by someone who loves and accepts his parents -- that is a beautiful thing, too! I've just past 40 and still single, so Hanan's Ima might sigh over me, but anyhow, thanks for this video.

Oleg, August 26, 2012 11:48 AM

It happens

I got married when I was 45. So don't lose heart.

(27) sand, August 20, 2012 2:08 AM


This cartoon is an excellent illustration of narcissism. The narcissism of the parents. In a healthy family, the parents would let the son live his own life - and honor and respect the son's humanity, and thus his core beliefs and life decisions. In a healthy family, the son would be treated as an individual. To pedantically lecture to your own child about *your* definition of love, completely railroading and bulldozing him, telling him that his life decisions are 'wrong,' is indeed very Jewish. And very arrogant. And very, very sad. The parents should live the life that's best for them and let the son live the life that's best for him. True love is letting others be who they are. Narcissism is so ingrained in Jewish culture that it is celebrated here as a positive trait. This film shows the opposite of love. The parents are far more self centered than the son, and they are 'transferring' their own narcissism onto him. Love = respect. In this scenario, the parents have no respect for their son. They are in love with the sound of their own voices and their own beliefs.

searcher, August 20, 2012 10:37 AM

open your mind

You know something? When someone react like that (not to the point), it usualy means that he feels critisized, and if you feel critisized by this cartoon, then it means that something in it is true regarding yourself. think about it...

speechless, August 20, 2012 1:26 PM


Searcher, you couldn't be more correct. Once I started listening to myself, and stopped being a party to this type of scenario, many good things came to me. You are detecting bitterness, yes. Bitterness that my voice was so small - like the voice of the son in this cartoon. My hope for cartoon son is that he tunes out the loud, know-it-all voices of his parents and listens to himself. Cartoon parents have a shtick. In the right relationship, it is about giving. But in the wrong relationship, it can kill your soul. You're correct that I'm not focusing on the parent's message, because the bulldozing is distasteful here. Honor thy parents, yes, but grow up, too, and listen to the sound of your own voice. The creator of this cartoon is young. Perhaps he still believes the voices of his parents should trump his own.

Anonymous, August 21, 2012 8:23 PM

Cartoons exaggerate

I hear your concerns about the cartoon's strong displayal of parental stifling of child's voice by focusing on their own concept. The reason most do not find it offensive is probably because it is a cartoon, which is meant to be exaggerated and fictional, and not quite real life. The parents are the relayers of this vital message to us, not necessarily the true responders to their son. Also, a video that provided validation of the son would yield little patience from viewers, as fast moving conversation and back and forth is usually what breeds entertaining clips. So too, in life, G-d sends us messages. We so often overanalyze the messengers that we forget to take the message (ex. somebody we don't like criticizes us in a an offensive way). Thank you speechless, for your articulate words, and for making me think about this video again.

speechless, August 23, 2012 2:40 AM

Thanks for your thoughts, anon

I do hear you. If the message resonated with me, I wouldn't have written in the first place. Nearly everyone I know who gave and gave and gave and gave - is now divorced. Of course giving 150% is vital to a marriage, but only if both partners are loving and genuine, and honest with themselves. Have you not seen, or experienced yourself, a marriage where one partner does all the giving and the other does all the receiving? Enabling does not create giving spouses or healthy, secure children. G-d wants us to love and respect ourselves, not martyr ourselves. It is simply not possible to be a healthy adult and a martyr at the same time. People often 'give' to others out of guilt or obligation. True giving is simply not possible until you learn to love yourself. People mistake loving themselves with self indulgence. But it is the opposite. People who love themselves are secure; they are rarely materialistic and they are among the most genuine, happy people you will meet. Do we not all know people who are deeply self-involved and allegedly 'giving' who give in the name of controlling others? I visited the author's website and saw several videos whether he seems to make fun of his parents' domineering qualities, particularly his fathers'. True mentsches, wonderful adult women, and loving parents of both genders are all about respecting their spouses and children. They give them room and space to be themselves. Giving is a natural consequence of loving yourself. Giving without self love is manipulation, control, and guilt-mongering.

Steven, August 24, 2012 10:23 PM

This is real love

This is not narcissim, this a demonstration on how twisted the world has made love to be. Love does equal respect and the parents respected the son and love him so much that they don't want him to make wrong discissions. Loving someone means that no matter what that I'm going to make sure that your life stays on the right path. Yes the boy is old enough to make his own choices, however the job of a parent is to be teaching at all times. The son loves his parents so much that that he respected their teachings and obeyed their authority in his life which is also a Jewish concept. Last this was all done by the son if you read the closing credits. Which means that the parents in stilled this teaching to thier son. The book of Proverbs says,"Train up your child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it." And we as parents today whether are not instilling into our children the ways they should be walking by! We are teaching our children not to value a relationship that they enter into, because if you can easy enter a relationship and then if "Your not feeling it" call it quits. Then when you do get married the moment you don't like that relationship you leave to "find yourself" We have lost the intergity of our words, of the righteous ways, and our love for one another and for God. I thank Hanan for this to teach us how to love the true way (God's way) and not the human way.

Anonymous, August 29, 2012 5:27 AM

you missed the point entirely

Unfortunately in the american culture it is a strong belief that parents should let children do whatever they please. Therefore there are many teenagers/young adults acting in very irresponsible ways, even endangering other people. From your reply, I see that you feel that parents should not lecture their children, or try to instruct them in any way. If this is the case and what G-D wanted, then there would be no need for parents at all. Healthy parents want to give to a child, give them food, shelter, and good advice so that their child can enjoy a happy, healthy life. I suppose you feel that parents should not tell their children anything, because everything that a person, any person, tells another is based on their own personal opinion, and obviously, according to you, no one's mind should be infiltrated and contaminated with another's beliefs, especially not their parents'. Do you think that a parent should tell their children about the importance of personal hygiene? After all, that is their own belief. Not everyone believes in being clean. Perhaps they should let their kid never shower, never wash his hands, never brush his teeth etc.. and if he gets sick and his teeth rot, at least they respected his beliefs and desires. A fundamental part of Judaism is not narcissism, but transmission of knowledge, instruction from one generation to the next, and RESPECT of parents and their beliefs. Unfortunately many people think that parents should respect their children's beliefs, and they should, as long as the beliefs are not dangerous physically or spiritually, but parents can still advise and teach. Should studies of Shakespeare not be written because they are expressing the analyzer's approach and interpretation. In this world people are entitled to their opinions and have the right to share them. Were the parents in the video forcing their son to marry Shoshana? NO!

Rafi, August 31, 2012 10:12 AM

there's another side to it.

I found that the parents in this video were not too pushy. There isn't even any real "religious" content here either. The parents want the son to get the most out of life, Rather than lying to himself that he is content. That's true love.

(26) Anonymous, August 18, 2012 7:48 PM


This is the best definition of love I have heard. I wish I heard it a few years ago.

(25) ScottMarino, August 18, 2012 3:36 PM

Fish Love?? That's not it

Today's society girls are confused with the concept of taken care of with "to be spoiled". If we were back when everyone was the same and everyone had just what they needed - there would be no need for a "fish love" video. We just need to stop being materialistic heathens.

(24) josh, August 17, 2012 7:56 PM

a masterpiece ! love it!

are we all really that funny lol

(23) JP, August 17, 2012 6:31 PM

Couldn't have seen this video at a better time!

Wow....this video is an answer to prayer for me...I really needed to hear that! Thank you

(22) Anonymous, August 17, 2012 1:14 AM


this was a fantastic way of sharing the meaning of love!thanks!

(21) haddassah j,, August 16, 2012 4:00 PM

great video

To give ourself to someone else or putting oneself for another person its kinda hard when there is a ego inside oneself... when ones love another person either a husband/wife or a prospect husband/wife it comes easily the fact that you want to give yourself or anything to that person... i like the video.. the "i" has to be but aside to really show love.

JP, August 17, 2012 6:40 PM

Well said. I agree...our ego blinds us...when we have a ego, all we tend to think about is "I" and not "You".

(20) David D, August 15, 2012 1:12 PM

This is beautiful

This is THE BEST definition and explanation of love I have ever heard. Thanks for making it. Love is not a feeling or an experience; it is an action. To love is to give; it is to will the good of another. THANK YOU!!

(19) Anonymous, August 15, 2012 9:59 AM

I loved this! It was excellent! What a wonderful message and told in such an entertaining way.

(18) Anonymous, August 13, 2012 3:07 PM

I needed that!

Thank you Hashem for leading me to this video! It was exactly what I needed!

(17) sharona, August 13, 2012 5:53 AM

good point about giving just for the sake of giving. Too many times people expect something in return and when they don't receive it, they are resentful. I'm sure though, If your partner loves you, they will give you in return, even appreciation is a form of giving back. Marriage is Not about 50/50 and keeping score. It might not always come out equal. But both partners should try their best to do what they need to do nurish the relationship and keep it strong.

shlomo, August 14, 2012 4:34 AM

I disagree. Imagine being married to a lady who says openly -i dont feel like going out of my way for u.if i feel like doing something i.ll do it, but dont bug me for anything, i.m not ur slave. U wouldn.t be very motivated to do chesed to such person. So lets be practical and honest. We all need to be appreciated and respected and cared for. It only creates frustration if we are expected to keep giving without being thanked or treated like a human being.

sharona, August 16, 2012 6:06 AM

yes, we all need appreciation and respect and we should be given that; Also, one should try to find out before marriage, the person's personality, are they respectful and appreciative. Of course they could be while dating but not later, but sometime one can notice signs. Both should show respect and appreciation, but they should focus on their own things they need to do, and both of them should do their best. People have ups and downs and so one might not be able to do what they need to on certain days like clean up. It's okay, maybe another day, the other spouse is not able to do certain things. And so while we need the basics like appreciation and respect, there are some things that we can let slide, like forgetting to buy something at the market or something.

(16) Anonymous, August 13, 2012 5:12 AM

Thank you

Thank you to the author of this movie. It was perfect - insightful, funny and filled with wisdom. I just got out of a relationship with a guy who wanted "fish love" vs. the love described with the old man planting the trees. He was 34 years old and said that he had never been in love. I am tempted to share this video with him with the hopes that he will appreciate the meaning of true love, but I trust Hashem that the relationship was meant to end and that I should stop giving to him.

(15) Ann, August 13, 2012 2:56 AM


(14) Anonymous, August 13, 2012 2:01 AM

Excelente animated video!! Really deep! But there's still a question... apparently you can love anything and anyone if you "give" them, so why would you marry X and not Y?

ilan, August 13, 2012 9:32 PM

You've hit on exactly the essence of the Jewish view of love..

No reason not to marry x over y. In the orthodox Jewish community, as long as you're married to someone Jewish and you have a family, that is all you need, and anything more is extraneous. Marriage is simply not about you but a duty to your community. Therefore, stay together regardless of the quality of your relationship. Personal fulfillment? - not important.

Leah, August 31, 2012 2:35 AM

Sorry... but you're wrong

I'm sorry if you do not know any orthodox couples who actually love each other. I'm sorry if you believe that the orthodox only get married because that is the thing to do and do not gain from it. There is a lot you are missing out on in this world. One point you did make is that marriage IS not all about you- if it was, then I'm sure the other half would not care to hang around much longer.

Pesya, August 15, 2012 2:42 AM

You have to choose the object of your giving carefully

Anonymous, August 15, 2012 8:23 AM

mutual love

You do need to know yourself and your needs so the video is somewhat dangerously misleading. However if you do approach love as this video presents it you also need someone who buys into it. As you transform how you approach love and life as a giver then someone who does not share that philosophy will not be attractive for you. You will seek mutuality. The video is good and attempts to highlight the self centered nature of people and how people need to change their approach to relationships but it is only a very crucial part of a far more complicated puzzle.

(13) Miriam, August 13, 2012 12:54 AM


This was amazing. thank you so much, if only every child and teenager were taught this before they got into relationships, there would be peace in this world, and im sure the moshiach would arrive.

(12) Batsheva, August 12, 2012 9:38 PM


What a great conversation starter!

(11) Lea, August 12, 2012 8:40 PM


This story reminds me of my father telling my nephew when he was having marital problems that if he would focus on his wife and her needs, instead of what she wasn't doing for him, the problems would disappear. He didn't listen and they are now divorced.l

(10) JJ Swiontek, August 12, 2012 8:15 PM

Very nice

Well done. I look forward to seeing more from Mr Harchol.

(9) Sam, August 12, 2012 8:14 PM

Why not earlier?!

Too bad this conversation is only happening when the parents/son are older-we have to teach ourchildren about REAL love before they grow up with the wrong ideas about it!

(8) Melanie Vliet, August 12, 2012 5:37 PM


My summary above is my entire comment (very unusual for me).

(7) Shirley Perluss, August 12, 2012 5:13 PM


Wonderful. Loved this animation!!

(6) Arley Steinhour, August 12, 2012 3:47 PM

Short Story, with volumes of Teaching

Great Teaching, Well Taught.

(5) Rita, August 12, 2012 3:44 PM


This is exactly what I have been trying to explain to my own children over the past several years. And really I'm not even a Jewish mother! Hanan, I love that the conversation took place on a quiet road among wheat fields--no distractions like cell phones, radios, iPods or iPads. Just a meaningful conversation between parents and their child. This is lovely. Thank you for giving me a a tool to approach my kids with.

(4) ruth housman, August 12, 2012 3:31 PM

Hidden Agendas

I want to add, it does seem what is called the "me" generation is being slammed here. And yes, there are a lot of people who just seem egocentric, to think only about themselves. But there is also something to this "finding oneself", as in, figuring out where one is headed in life, more about what one finds important and this is a meditative stance too, not just me me me. I feel in listening to this, that the parents, if they had disliked Shoshana, would have found some other way to turn the fish story. Right ow the card played is the selFISH aspect. And honest, this young man doesn't really open up in talking further about his needs, what he means by finding himself, and also why he finds this woman, right now, not quite right. Life is bipolar, and one could make an argument that favors more this young man and his "can do" and what can of fish this is all about. It seems a middle ground in all things, including love. Not too much me but me, too. And then, me, two, as in a couple that links together as in the word coupling itself.

Anonymous, August 13, 2012 8:24 AM

Sorry Ruth I have to disagree. I don't think that the parents are specifically advocating for Shoshana. I think they are trying to explain the concept of love. As for "finding oneself" while I think it is important - it has to be done in the right context. After the army and the war in Lebanon my son was going abroad "to find himself". He would be back when he had done so. I asked him what he would do if he discovered that the "himself" he found out there wasn't someone who could / would live in Israel. He understood that if living in Israel was a priority - he would have to find himself here. He went, cleared his head, had great experiences and is now finding himself in Israel. The same with love. The older you are -> the more you have found yourself -> the harder it is to find someone who fits into the "missing piece". Maybe Chanan should try "finding himself" with someone as opposed to by himself. He just may be surprised at what he finds.

(3) ruth housman, August 12, 2012 3:23 PM

the "hook" that caught the fish

It seems these parents have their own agenda and they're pushing for this. Maybe they love this woman he was dating, and this is their disappointment. The advice has elements of truth, but truly, passion for another, to be "the one", is a complex matter, and it's not about eliminating totally the ego. If there is uneasiness about a relationship it's not always just a selfish "I" want thing, but something else. This is a complex matter. Certainly love is its own reward, and adding up the what I dids, do not mean it's a purchase and sale agreement. I did this for you, and now, you owe me. Love is a many splendoured thing, and a complex mis that does involve two souls, two needs, and how they knead together to form the challah, that gold braid. Making out that this young man is all about himself, and not about seeing "her" could be wrong. There could be much more to his reservations. The parents have a spin or perspective, but this does not mean, that his perspective, if fully realized, does not have truth. Should he re engage with this woman? I do not think this piece convinces me one way or the other. Life and love is learning to make compromises, and it's about growth experiences, and learning to respect and grow with another human being. Finding the right person is a matter of heart too. And that does, involve some semblance of what we call ego.

Anonymous, August 21, 2012 8:35 PM

If I am not for myself who will be for me?

You are right, it is true that a person needs himself to a certain degree-we are here to perfect ourselves. But usually, the way to do that is to extend ourselves to others. The more I include others in the definition of myself, the more I will feel this need to extend myself and thereby acquire this true love. The object of my giving becomes an extension of me, and I naturally love myself. Although there could be many reasons for the son's reservations, my understanding is that in a somewhat stilted, cartoon like fashion, this video is zeroing in on one: his selfishness. Most of us could learn to be less selfish, regardless of other reasons for our decisions. Thank you, Ruth, you made a lot of good points and I commend your insight. :)

(2) Reuven Frank, August 12, 2012 2:14 PM


I remember hearing that, once upon a time, foods were called “Lach” (for you): Rugelach, Kreplach,… Then came a new generation: Biss-LI, krem-LI it’s all, “Li” (for me) Now, I see that we’ve come to I and, for me, not just tacked on to the end, but right up front: iPOD, iPhone,… The parents of Chanan might have mentioned their OWN marriage. That’s the REAL problem of the “I & Me” generation. They think they have all the answers, or, even if they’ll admit they don’t it’s all about I & Me, and “Here & Now.” I once thought the new century would bring so many things that were science fiction 50 years ago. Instead, it came with all the new ways to communicate, or to talk, anyway. But, it’s ALL about one person, ME, being in touch with who I want, when I want, how I want. Maybe, we (at least I’m thinking of someone else), can start to communicate, and not just talk. [Or, maybe, I SHOULD have said, “Maybe *I’LL* start.]

Jim Salomon, August 12, 2012 8:24 PM

A truely Jewish point of view.

Years ago I went through a particularly difficult time in my life. My wife developed early onset Parkinson's Disease, my autistic son had severe behavioral problems, my oldest son became extremely destructive and I became extremely Depressed. I tried my best to be a good parent but everything I did seemed to blow up in my face. I think if some one had said to me "Look the sacrifices you are making for your family show you are a loving parent" it would have been helpful. Ultimately my wife died of her illness. My handicapped son was able to enter a wonderful group facility(We spend every Sunday together). Aaron, my oldest, got his act together and I got treatment which effectively treated my Depression. I'm glad I was able to continue giving to my family. I am now experiencing the fruits of my labors.

(1) Barry Berger, August 12, 2012 1:32 PM

"Fish Love" animated video

The Fish Love animated video has lots of "food for thought" and could be used to generate further discussion in groups of young people. I wish this deep conversation hadn't taken place in a car while the driver was participating. Distractions such as this (speaker phone, texting, or even in-depth conversations) can cause accidents! Perhaps the clip could be remade using some other venue.


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