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Love is in the air. With the advent of Valentine's Day, the United States Greeting Card Association estimates that roughly 1,, greeting cards filled with declarations of love are sent worldwide — and that number doesn't include the flowers, chocolates, jewelry and gifts that have become part of the rituals of this day on the calendar dedicated to expressing the emotion that Shakespeare called "the language of the soul.
Yet academics aren't the Valentines day essay ones who have recognized the dubious historical basis of this connection. Vatican II, the landmark set of reforms adopted by the Catholic Church inremoved Valentine's Day from the Catholic church's calendar, asserting that "though the memorial of St.
Valentine is ancient… apart from his name nothing is known… except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on 14 February. A day in which to acknowledge the power of love to make us fully human.
When I am asked as a rabbi if I think it's a good idea for Jews to celebrate Valentines Day, my standard answer is, "Yes, we should celebrate love… every day of the year.
Love, for at least one of the major Talmudic Sages, represents the ultimate mitzvah. The Power of Love Love of Self And yet, the way Valentine's Day is observed around the world leaves out one person worthy of love who is almost universally ignored.
Granted, it is a fantastically beautiful thing to acknowledge love for another.
The first necessary step to loving others is to love oneself. The verse in Leviticus The verse is commonly used to remind us to love others, but we ignore, at our own peril, the first necessary step that has to be taken in order to accomplish the goal of loving others.
Love your neighbor, the Bible teaches, as yourself.
It is one of the most profound psychological truths that the deep-seated hatred manifested by tyrants or criminals is in reality self-hatred turned outward. To be truly human, you must begin with self-acceptance and self-esteem. Only then can you move forward to a feeling of affection for others as well.
The Chasidic Rabbi of Kotzk was right when he witnessed a man beating another and said to his disciples, "See how even while performing an evil act, this Jew fulfills the words of the holy Bible.
He demonstrates that he loves his neighbor as much as he loves himself. We can only pray that he eventually comes to love himself, so that he may alter the way he treats others. If you don't how to love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to love you?
Faustian Bargain This is not to suggest a self-love that's narcissistic, but rather the kind of self-love made possible by self-respect. The kind of self-love exemplified by the remarkable story of Gil Meche, the subject of a front-page headline in the New York Times:. Major league contracts are guaranteed; no matter how well or poorly someone plays, or even if he can't play at all due to injuries, he gets paid in full.
Meche has a chronically aching shoulder that prevents him from pitching. All he would need to do to collect his salary is to report for spring training.
But instead, Meche announced his retirement last week, which means he will not be paid at all. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn't feel like I deserved it. I didn't want to have those feelings again.
To Gil Meche, more important than money was the ability to look himself in the mirror and say, "I know I am true to my values, my dignity and my self-respect. I don't want to take what I don't deserve. Indeed, in many areas of life we are confronted with choices in which self-respect appears to be at odds with the seeming need for success.
The Faustian bargain seduces us to sell our souls. Only those who are smart enough to choose love, are strong enough to make the right decision. It isn't egotistical to make sure that you are likable in your own eyes.
According to the Torah, it's a first step we all have to take before we proceed on the journey of love of others that will grant us the greatest fulfillment.
So here's my suggestion for Valentine's Day and as all the other days of the year. But you might want to take a moment to live in a way that earns your deepest respect and admiration.
When you truly reach that place, you can then love others as yourself. In turn, they will be your true valentines, loving you for who you are with the kind of love that transcends momentary passion and one pithy phrase.Valentine's day celebration can't be complete without Valentine day songs.
This essay contains Valentines day love songs and Valentines romantic songs. Love is the ultimate mitzvah. Love is in the air. With the advent of Valentine's Day, the United States Greeting Card Association estimates that roughly 1,,, greeting cards filled with declarations of love are sent worldwide – and that number doesn't include the flowers, chocolates.
Editor’s Note: The following essay contains information about a suicide attempt and may be upsetting to some readers. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide. Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday celebrated each year on February Learn about St. Valentine, Valentine's Day quotes and the history of Valentine's Day.
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John Fondas is a professional jeweler with an active interest in eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century shell work and jewelry. An avid collector of Sailors' Valentines for many years, he is currently at work on a book on nineteenth- and twentieth-century jewelry.