Love as Justice

“Judaism is about love. But it does not make the mistake of thinking with Virgil that omnia vincit amor, “Love conquers all.” Much of Genesis, surprisingly, is about the problems love creates…The verb “to love” occurs fifteen times in Genesis, always between humans and almost always as the prelude to strife… This is an important and unexpected insight. Love real, passionate, the very love that humanises us, leading us to great acts of self-sacrifice – unites and divides, divides as it unites. It creates rivalries for attention and affection. Without such love, an essential element of our humanity is missing. But it creates problems that can split families apart and lead to estrangement and violence. Something else must enter the scene: love as justice. Something larger than the family must be its vehicle. Love must be transformed from a form of kinship into a societal bond… That is why Genesis must be followed by Exodus.”

Ceremony & Celebration, p. 237