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By Tzvi Freeman
Hillel would say, “Be of the disciples of Aaron. Love peace. Chase after peace. Love every person that G‑d created, and draw them to Torah.” —Mishnah Avot
Hillel the Elder is speaking about those who are so distant from G‑d and His service that their only redeeming quality is that they are G‑d’s creation. And he tells us that we must pull such people in with thick cords of love. Perhaps, just maybe, we will bring them closer to Torah and G‑d. And if not—we still have not lost the mitzvah of love. —Tanya, chapter 32.
Why does Hillel put an agenda to love? Read the remainder online, Hillel did not, many of us do!
Firstly, what is a Mitzvah?
Speaking to the italics first ,a Mitzvah is a good deed done for religious purposes. To befriend a fellow someone- a fellow Jew, a Secular Jew to draw them back to knowledge the inner Torah.
This was the modus operandi , and still is in some cases, of the Evangelical Churches . By this I mean making friends, in my case it was to invite someone to youth group, so that they might come to know Jesus and eventually follow him as a disciple. I came to give my life to Christ in this manner and then: to witness, to declare Christ to our fellows that they might come to know him. With the fear or apprehension that not to do so was disobeying Jesus who said go into all the world and preach the Gospel baptising in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” Or even tacitly denying Him before the Father. All this in the mind of children!
I can agree that failure to draw people to Jesus does not negate the love, if it was done in love and not for a notch on our belt.
Our misunderstanding was that we did not hold to the belief that the spark of God already resided in everyone awaiting the fanning into flame.
So Hillel says, “Show them your love–just because they have a holy spark inside, with zero expectations. When it’s done that way, that holy
spark will draw them to the Torah.”—Likutei Sichot, vol 17page 222
So, in our juvenile faith, rather our level 1 James Fowler beliefs we viewed as alien and lost all whom we judged had not Christ. Hence the fear, hatred or other emotions we held towards them and anyone of any other denomination or Religion. There is no god but God, coupled with the gods of the heathens are nought. And our God with our interpretation of the Word is the only Truth.
Our Jewish brethren ergo Hillel, they knew of God within us. SCRIPTURE has a multitude of verses telling us God is with us, yet we still place caveats regarding with whom God dwells,. See God is with us Never minding the fact that in being with us, God is within.
The Kingdom of God is Within You” is the key phrase in Luke 17:21 which inspires the idea of non-violence. Jesus says, “for, behold, the kingdom of God (or Heaven, as is sometimes translated) is within you” in response to the Pharisees asking when the Kingdom of God will come.The Kingdom of God Is Within You – Wikipedia
Still not clear?
In the words of saint Augustine of Hippo
Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you! Lo, you were within, but I outside, seeking there for you, and upon the shapely things you have made I rushed headlong, I, misshapen. You were with me, but I was not with you. They held me back far from you, those things which would have no being were they not in you. You called, shouted, broke through my deafness; you flared, blazed, banished my blindness; you lavished your fragrance, I gasped, and now I pant for you; I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst; you touched me, and I burned for your peace.Boulding, Maria (1997)
It is the journey into God! Rather than the other way about.