It’s Difficult To Love G-d And To Love Man

In a 1995 lecture on Exodus 5, Dennis Prager says: It is difficult if not impossible to love G-d and to love humanity at the same time.

If you really love people, then you so cry for their pain that it’s difficult to love G-d. And if you are really intoxicated with love of G-d, it can come at the price of feeling the pain of human beings. If you really feel their pain, it will have to raise questions about G-d.

There have been people who loved G-d and could torture people because they were able to separate the two. It’s when you really feel for people that the questions about G-d arise.

If you only love man, you will end up with moral chaos because where does good and evil come from if you don’t love G-d?

If you only love G-d, you will end up with moral chaos because you will not care about the suffering of humanity.

If you spend eight hours a day studying Torah, those are hours you could’ve been visiting the sick. If you love man as much as you love G-d, how is your ratio ten-to-one in serving G-d? Anyone who argues that studying Torah serves humanity argues in mystical terms that I can’t relate to. In real terms, no other humans are benefiting.

The three monotheistic faiths have gone overboard with love of G-d at a price.

If you are a married parent, how much time do you spend with your spouse and how much with your children? You can so love your children that it can deflect from your love for your spouse.

I grew up Orthodox where it was taken for granted that every Jew who died in the Middle Ages because he wouldn’t convert to Christianity was a martyr sanctifying G-d’s name. And they were. I accept that totally.

When I had my first child, I saw them differently. As a single young man, martyrdom was clearly the option to take.

If somebody said to me today, accept X or we will kill your family, I don’t know what I’d do. Am I going to say, sure, kill me, my wife and my children. Me, I can handle. I’m going to give up the lives of my wife and kids for the long-term view? I’m agnostic on that question.

If I spent all of my time studying Torah and neglecting my kids, I could say I chose G-d over my family.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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