Purposeful Love

How to rectify senseless hatred.

Click here if you are unable to view this video.

Comments (14)

(14) Willy, September 15, 2011 5:17 AM


my mom died in 1988 of cancer. to make matters worst because my first born son has autism when I wasn't working I was taking care of him. that meant that I couldn't be there to much for mom as hospitals would set him off. I did go see her when I could. when she died my little sister refused to have anything to do with me.nothing I said or did made any difference. for seven years I lived my dads life (his cause was different but his sisters would have nothing to do with him). then I remembered what happened at my dads funeral the regret they had. so I sat down and wrote an letter and explained to my little sister what our dad went through and the effect it had at his funeral. then I said is this what you want. I'm dead and all you will be left with is regret over years not speaking to me? all you would have is wasted years of no relation with me. when we left the family gathering that day she gave me an hug. the first won in seven years. through all this I never lost my love for my sister. My concern was how she would feel if I had died and nothing was changed. I didn't want her to have and regrets.Love is better than hate and life is to short to carry senseless hate over anything this life throws at us. shalom

(13) dale, September 3, 2011 3:13 PM

chose to love

Why do I love certain people such as my wife? My answer is I don't know. If I love them for their good qualities, I may end up not loving them as their traits may change over time. Instead, I choose to love them, then as they change and maybe gain or loose certain qualities my commitment to love is still there. Hopefully I will continue to love. Hopefully I won't be missing out on love.

(12) Shulamis Mallet, September 1, 2011 1:30 PM

How to be proactive in purposeful love.

Lori, amv"s, I love your clips. Rabbi Salomon's are also great. It feels so personal, almost like your talking right to me sometimes. It makes even mussar feel better. I agree with you about purposeful love. It really is difficult to see the good in people sometimes. The mitzva is in the trying. Especially when you feel someone has hurt you. The key is to remember that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all judge unfairly sometimes. When someone hurts you and you want to do that purposeful love thing, there are steps you can take. Taking those steps will (with G-d's help) make you into a better person. The first thing to do, is to NOT react. Wait til you cool down or the pain subsides. Then think. Is it possible that you did something to trigger it? The answer may be yes or no. The important thing is to not let it fester. First pray. Pray to G-d for guidance and ask G-d NOT to judge. When the pain is the worst, ask G-d for mercy, not for yourself, but for the other. When you're calm, go for peace. Talk directly to the person, or to someone that you know is fair minded, to act as mediator. Be careful not to start a round of loshon hora, evil (or inappropriate) speech, which will only make matters worse. Make sure that person knows that you only have their best interests at heart. You may get your head chewed off, or you may be ignored, don't let it get to you. Understand and try again another time. Of course it's possible that the other person may end up responding to you at some later point. When we work toward peace, when we ask G-d to help and to judge favorably, G-d will make sure that when your judgement comes up, you'll also have a witness to stand up for you. That's a "no brainer".

(11) himan, August 31, 2011 1:11 PM


we think positive, act positive then get positive results , that is The God and love

(10) Anonymous, August 31, 2011 3:28 AM

I agree with the premise that senseless hatred is bad. I like the idea of looking for something to love in every person. Where I get stuck is moving from that single item to appreciate to loving the whole person. So, if someone harmed me in some way at work, for example, I can say I love her sense of humor--but I continue to be angry and feel I can never love her nor want to be within ten miles of her. This feels like a slippery slope of mandatory forgiveness, which does not feel authentic to me. Is it a question of degree or where I would draw the line if I were to ever consider acting on my feelings? When you speak of "senseless hatred," are you speaking of the emotion and what is in someone's head, or do you mean hatred that brings about destructive action in physical reality? Hatred that is manifested as violence and/or loshon hara is clear to me as something that G-d would abhor...but what about what is silent and not acted upon and is harmful only to the thinker, not the object of the feelings? What is the definition of "senseless hatred"? It is not self-evident to me, or at least the parameters aren't. I thought Judaism was more concerned with action than thought or intention, as important as those are because they can lead to action. Bottom line: I don't want to be a "senseless hater". But maybe I am in spite of that, or there is an aspect of myself that is, even though I could never imagine myself actually acting out on the angry thoughts. Is this aspect such a priority that G-d would turn away from me even though in most of life I focus on trying to live a loving life? Perhaps the key is to de-escalate anger or reduce ignorance so that it never reaches the level of hatred? I don't know why I'm so confused on this subject or so moved by it....

(9) Anonymous, August 31, 2011 1:53 AM

baseless hatred is not necassarily for NO reason.

my father always taught me that baseless hatred does not literally mean that people hated eachother for NO reason. he said that any reason that someone hates another is not a good enough reason. so i don't know about other people, but when i say "the opposite of baseless hatred is baseless love," i don't mean love for no reason at all, but just loving other people not because they are exceptionally great, but just just because they are made in the image of G-d.

(8) anonymous, August 31, 2011 1:19 AM

I tell my children that Hashem loves them becasue they are Jewish and that although they make mistakes Hashem still loves them. Perhaps one could focus on this.

(7) Alexandra, August 30, 2011 4:37 PM

same wavelength

Your the first video or article I open when entering AISH. I feel I`m on the same wavelength as you are in all modesty. You always touch our heart. Thank you Lorie. I`m Alexandra, french bas Isarel living in Jerusalem.

(6) Gloria, August 30, 2011 3:59 PM

The Best

You give the best and clearest explanation I have ever heard of what Buddhists call "compassion." Your explanation of "love with a purpose" also tells us how to achieve it. Thank you. I'm not a Jew but I view AISH because of the marvellous insights on it.

(5) Yisroel Pollack, August 30, 2011 3:12 PM

Love That Endures

In Pirkei Avos (5:19) it says: Any love that is contingent upon something lacks the wherewithal to endure, because if the thing upon which it is contingent should dissolve, the love dissolves with it. But any love that is not contingent upon anything possesses the wherewithal to endure endlessly. This says, in other words, that, for love to be real and endure, it needs to be motivated by nothing ulterior. When one loves someone for one’s own personal gratification, one is loving from ulterior motives. For it to be real, one’s love needs to be rooted in the essence of the beloved. I think that Mrs. Palatnik’s way of putting it captures this thought magnificently. Love is senseless when it serves the lover’s own purposes. It is purposeful, when it is focused on the attributes of the person to whom it is directed.

(4) ruth housman, August 30, 2011 2:50 PM

Love is a Verb

I guess I happen not to agree with some of the statements that preceded this talk, about LOVE and what G_d is asking. I do not happen to feel that keeping the Sabbath as Orthodox Jews keep the Sabbath or that all keeping kosher is what G_d is looking for, but I can agree, that it's a LOVE story, and that LOVE is where it's "at". I feel blessed in many ways, and I have friends from around the world, Jewish and non Jewish. I feel deeply, at the core, Jewish. I must. I just attended an event that was about Yiddish and Klezmer music in Canada and I wept. I felt my roots, and it was a deep trip through time that brought us all here, to this place. To be here and hopefully to hear each other, not just as Jews, but around the world, as people who need to learn to love each other, and to celebrate diversity, but never, hatred. I am experiencing not a little but MASSIVE visible synchronicity, and I am also seeing something very deep about words, a story that does cross Babel, because in the potentials of the letters, I see that G_d created a universe. Now what is coming to me, I share, and I deeply believe we all must open our filters and share with each other, a deepening perception of love, between brother and sister, and this exceeds the bounds of Judaism, being about "the other" in brother. We are here to rejoice in diversity and to learn to hold hands across the world. Yes, surely the message is LOVE, and LOVE is sensate, and has deep emotive content. And sometimes it's just ineffable. I am that I love!

(3) Mati, August 30, 2011 2:27 PM

In order to succeed in this, Lori.....

To be able to peel away and get to the inner person of a person is not to be aluf, to stay away because of our negative perception of him/her but rather to get close to them...to understand why they act like they do and to experience thier good. Unfortunately, we cannot do this with strangers. So we can only judge them favorably. Also unfortunately, I don't know how to do that either. Perhaps, "Just do it" is the key.......

(2) Suzanne, August 30, 2011 2:15 PM

Very interesting

Lori, I will have to think about this and internalize it. This seems a very positive message.

(1) Tammy, August 29, 2011 1:47 AM

On purpose

XOXOXO....I love you Lori, Israel and ALL the Jewish people.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive Weekly Spirituality Emails

Sign up to our Spirituality Jewsletter.

Our privacy policy