What can we do about Terrorism?
Love Your Neighbor
as you Love Yourself


Podcast Series Episode

Podcast Transcript:

This is a special episode of my podcast as I sit in my home in Bet Shemesh Israel just after taking shelter from a siren warning of missiles falling.  I am addressing a very hard and sensitive topic and I feel I must share my thoughts anyways. 

What can we do about Terrorism? Love Your Neighbor as you Love Yourself

This episode is about fighting terrorism in this world by loving your neighbor as you love yourself and in the transcription of this podcast, you’ll see the link to my website where you can see more resources.

A Story about Love

There was a happily married couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  When asked what the key to their successful marriage was, they answered that they learned early on to divide the decision-making process.  When it came time for very “important decisions” he would decide.  The “unimportant decisions” she decided.

So, he decided the “important matters” such as who they would vote for and what should happen in global politics.

She would decide the “unimportant matters” such as where to live and how to raise the kids.

This worked for the couple in this story, which I’m sure you get is a joke, but I’m sure we all realize the point.  We quite often get what’s really important in life mixed up with what is not.

How do we stop terrorism – through the commandment to love.

The world seems to be spiraling out of control and hatred between political sides and religious sides seem to be tearing every country apart.

I think it is this hatred that is allowing terrorism to happen and the way to defeat it is through love.

Terrorists are not taking a political or religious side in an argument.  Terrorists are using our ideas as an excuse to destroy, mutilate and demean the value of humanity.  It is a disease that cannot be allowed.

It is not the hatred of the terrorists towards us that is giving them power, it is the hatred between those of us who want this world to be the best place possible for all of us and have differences of opinion on how that should be done that is the problem and is blocking our ability to unify together and stop the terrorism however it is necessary.

We are commanded to Love 18 times in the Five Books of Moses.  How can you be commanded to love?  Isn’t it something beyond our control?

One of the 18 times is in Leviticus 19:18 it says “Don’t take revenge, don’t bear a grudge, love your neighbor as you love yourself, I am the Lord your G-d.”

One of my Rabbis. Rabbi Noah Weinberg taught that when you take revenge, they take revenge back and it never stops.  When you bear a grudge, it only hurts you as the other party does not even know.  Doing both of these things puts a block on your heart so you can’t love.  If you can love your neighbor as you love yourself then G-d joins into those relationships and all miracles can happen without limit. Hence the sentence ends I am the Lord your G-d.

A Historical example of the power of love

In the days of Shaul the first Jewish king, he was righteous and the Jewish people were all righteous but not victorious in battle.

In the days of King Ahab, who was an evil man, the Jewish people did not keep the commandments but were very victorious.

Why the difference?  In the days of Shaul we did not get along.  In the days of Ahab, we loved each other.

Sometimes it is as simple as that.

When we are fighting over religion and politics to the point that we hate each other there is a block on our hearts and we will be defeated.

When we put that aside and concentrate on the common bond, we all have as brothers and sisters in this world made by the almighty, nothing can stop us.

Love and parenting

When I teach my students about relationships, I ask if they will love their child when they have one, they always say yes. 

When I ask, even if their child will have the attributes of people who really annoy you, will you love them, they still say yes.

Parents love their children because they see themselves in them.  They focus on the good and all else pales in comparison.  Parents will sacrifice anything for their kids because their love is the strongest there is.

We need to stop focusing on our differences and focus on our common desire to give our kids the best world possible.

Love others as you love yourself

I’m not saying we need to agree on politics and religion, that’s for the big shots out there to argue out.  I’m just saying that we need to love each other as we love ourselves and get our priorities straight on what’s really important.

That means forgiving each other as we would forgive ourselves. As Sigmund Freud said, human beings are geniuses at rationalizing.  We don’t take revenge on ourselves &forgive ourselves.  We can then love ourselves & need to put aside our very important arguments just for a little while to give our love a chance to straighten us all out.

Then we need to do whatever it takes to rid the world of terrorism just like we would do whatever it takes to save our child.

That is how to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

In the next podcast, we will return to my mini-series on time management.

For more guidance and tips on how to live your dream life, go to my website, https://therabbiwhogotrichonsunday.com  to access content-rich articles and more.

You can also access a link to that web page through the show notes, if you are listening to this podcast on any of the popular podcast platforms.


  1. https://therabbiwhogotrichonsunday.com/content/podcast-series/ 
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah 
  3. https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/1383?lang=bi 
  4. https://therabbiwhogotrichonsunday.com/blog-post/relationship-marketing-an-endless-supply-of-leads/ 
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud 
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