Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What is this thing called LOVE?

The famous refrain of a famous song struck me today, as I was enmeshed with heart-frenzied imagery. You can’t step out the door on Valentine’s Day Week without someone selling you love for a dollar. Or for five, get a dozen.
Cheap love, that.
Got me thinking- what is this thing?
A two-thousand year old Talmudic saying came to me. My ancestors were answering. So many years between us and their answer still made perfect sense.
If your wife is short, bend down and listen to her.”
{Babylonian Talmud, Baba Metzia 59a}
Sounds simple, and in the end it is. Love is a feeling followed by an act. Not always convenient, nor intoxicatingly fun. Not lusty, nor heady. Neither grand nor shattering.
Love is the act of extending to another.
In that way I can grasp what the pious say when they speak of G-d’s love for us.
This week I will bend down or stretch up to listen. It doesn't cost $$$. (Though it may cause some pulled muscles.)
And if what you tell me is that you could use some chocolate, maybe wrapped in red foil and molded like a heart, I will get if for you. Hey, that’s what I’m here for.


  1. Love the potato! LOL Yes, love isn't about candy or flowers. I've never been big on Valentine's Day because it's just commercialized feelings. I'd rather feel loved without candy and flowers every other day of the year.

  2. What a wonderfully wise Talmudic saying which truly does capture the essence of love. Your potato reminds me of a picture I snapped of my daughter, then three, holding up a slice of baguette whose crust was heart-shaped. She first ate the insides to emphasize the heart-shape. =)

    1. Awh... You three year old ate her heat out :)

  3. I couldn't agree more. We celebrated the day several years ago by having a colonoscopy together.

  4. I love the saying. What a simple, yet insightful expression. And I love the potato.
    We do overuse the word 'love,' don't we?
    Makes my saying, "I love you, Mirka," sound trite, but I do, my friend.

  5. What a wonderful post. I like the saying "If your wife is short, bend down and listen to her." Simple gestures. Human extending to human without expectations or desired outcomes...now that is LOVE. I also like it because I am short so I will share it with Peter!

  6. Lovely potato. Very wise saying. I'll have to remember that. I think a perfect definition of love comes from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Happy Valentine's Day, Mirka!

  7. Sometimes I wish people would remember that above all, love is peaceful.

    No drama required.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    PS: I am a complete TOAD for not leaving comments more often.

    1. Best looking toad this side of the continent!

  8. Thanks for the amusing and beautiful pictures of hearts and the insightful quote. It's interesting that people love to point out strange objects that happen to be in the shape of a heart.
    I think it's nice to have a day that reminds us to be kind and loving.

  9. Love that potato!

    Yes, love is a feeling followed by an act -- and after that, it's the acts that keep the feelings fueled.