Michael Laitman
Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute

What Does ‘To Love’ Actually Mean?

There is a saying about love: liking a flower means picking it, while loving a flower means watering it daily.

But what does it truly mean to love, to nourish a flower, so to speak? It means understanding the needs of your loved ones and fulfilling them, i.e., “watering” them. Love is about identifying what others need and providing it.

Imagine encountering a withering flower. We can revive it easily by giving it water, and then witness it perk up and come to life. Yet, what about love that seems to completely fade away, like a flower that dies? Do we lose hope, or do we continue to water it? In such a case, true love demands that we persist and continue to nurture it.

While many might argue that we need to leave the withering flowers alone, I hold that we should sustain hope and continue watering them. It is because nothing disappears in nature. Nature’s own cycles present examples of barren lands that suddenly sprout with life.

Therefore, even if we face death, a deflated existence, we can overcome such a state. How? It depends on expanding our inner feelings.

When we talk about something “coming to life,” we mean living at our level, restoring its vitalizing forces. It might sound far-fetched in our current understanding, but we can indeed reverse processes of decomposition and decay through our efforts.

Where can we find the patience for such endeavors? Nobody possesses infinite patience. We can, rather, reach an understanding of the process. If love has dwindled within us, we can revive it over a prolonged period by considering it an investment in that which we try to revive. In such cases, we should not think of the years it takes; they become inconsequential as we already live the outcome. Our efforts that we invest quickly dissolve in the face of the goal of what we try to revive. Our spirit will then penetrate this dead state, and it will sprout.

Moreover, we should never surrender in these efforts, as difficult as they become. It becomes a relentless pursuit, and it eventually turns into a true prayer. I once had a neighbor whose little son was ill with brain inflammation. I remember how, at about two or three in the morning, she knocked on my door and brought me this child, a little bundle, handed him over, and said helplessly: “Take him.” She gave up. We should never reach such a state. By never giving up, we eventually reach a genuine prayer. It is complicated, and there might be instances where it feels too late, but the message remains: never surrender in our love and care for others.

About the Author
Michael Laitman is a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah. MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute. Author of over 40 books on spiritual, social and global transformation. His new book, The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, is available on Amazon: