What can you do to show greater love to your “neighbor?”
18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
God delights in mercy and does not begrudge its use. In Micah’s words to Jehovah, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, … will have compassion upon us,” and will “cast all … sins into the depths of the sea.” To love mercy as God does is inseparably connected to dealing justly with others and not mistreating them.
The importance of not mistreating others is highlighted in an anecdote about Hillel the Elder, a Jewish scholar who lived in the first century before Christ. One of Hillel’s students was exasperated by the complexity of the Torah—the five books of Moses with their 613 commandments and associated rabbinic writings. The student challenged Hillel to explain the Torah using only the time that Hillel could stand on one foot. Hillel may not have had great balance but accepted the challenge. He quoted from Leviticus, saying, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Hillel then concluded: “That which is hateful unto you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah; the rest is commentary. Go forth and study.”
Elder Dale G. Renlund