The commandment of Ahavat Yisrael – loving one’s fellow Jew – is one of Judaism’s more famous values. As Rabbi Akiva proclaims, “This is a major principle of the Torah!” Yet how can we love our neighbor as we love ourselves? The Sefer HaChinuch teaches that this mitzvah entails protecting another’s property, preventing him from being harmed, speaking only well of him, respecting him, and certainly not glorifying oneself at his expense. Its fulfillment is regarded to be a pre-condition for peace, as well as the prerequisite for the national redemption of the Jewish people.
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