Blog  Loving your Fellow as Yourself: Lessons from Heller High & Beyond

Loving your Fellow as Yourself: Lessons from Heller High & Beyond

For their latest assignment, students had to choose a mitzvah (commandment) from Leviticus 19 and express how they could relate to the mitzvah.

I chose Leviticus 19:18 “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself.”

As I was reading the list of mitzvot, this commandment caught my eye. Ever since kindergarten, my parents instilled the “golden rule” in me. This commandment says to always give the benefit of the doubt. Holding a grudge against someone is unfair to the other individual because it does not allow the individual to repent and try to fix their mistakes. “Love your fellow as yourself” is a principle all individuals should live by. Treating someone else the way you would want to be treated could solve almost every problem. For example, an individual would not steal from another because they would not want someone else to rob them. I believe this “golden rule” is a full embodiment of all the mitzvot. This his rule should be a guideline for Jews in the modern world because it will help others think before acting Instead of acting solely on instinct, it will encourage myself and others to think of how their actions might affect other people as well as how they could affect themselves.

Above is a picture of our whole Heller High group at the top of Masada. I believe this exemplifies the quote “you shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countryman. Love your fellow as yourself” because as a group of 62 high school students, drama and tension exist between all of us. However, we are able to look past these differences, and not hold grudges against each other and love each other as individuals. Also, throughout the hike, we helped one another so everyone could achieve the difficult task of climbing Masada. Obviously, “you shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countryman. Love your fellow as yourself” is one of the most important commandments because it encompasses all of the commandments into a concise statement and is esseential in the creation of lifelong friendships like the ones created at Heller High.

Ryan Gordon is a junior from East Brunswick, New Jersey. He belongs to Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple and was a camper at 6 Points Sports Academy.