Question (from a letter): Why do you formulate the golden rule in the interpretation of Rabbi Akiva’s “love your neighbor as yourself”? Rabbi Akiva said that all the commandments of the Torah converge to this one, single commandment. But the sage Hillel said that the main commandment is “Do not do to another what you do not want to be done to you.” Isn’t this second, more passive formulation the key to success? And besides, it’s more realistic.
Answer: That is right, I totally agree with that. But the fact is that “Do not do to another what you do not want to be done to you” is not a complete, passive fulfillment of the commandment. The second part is active—love.
So, the first one does not solve the problem. It only seems to distance people from each other. But they tend not to harm.
Question: So do no harm is the first condition? Should there be some kind of attack next?
Question: “Love your neighbor as yourself” is like an attack on yourself? Can I do it only after I have fulfilled this first rule?
Answer: Of course.
Question: Can’t I jump over it, right away to “love your neighbor as yourself”? Instead of proceeding from the rule “Do not do to another what you do not want to be done to you.”
Answer: Try it. But on the way you’ll still be doing it.
Question: So, it turns out that “Don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done to you” is included in “love your neighbor”?
Question: Is it possible for an ordinary, simple person to come to this and not to do to another what you don’t want to be done to yourself? Or will you still do something wrong to someone?
Answer: A person cannot restrain himself. He faces his own kind all the time and constantly sees where he wins and where he loses.
Question: And they annoy him all the time. So why do they offer things that are unrealistic for a person to do?
Answer: It is realistic, you just have to work on yourself.
Question: The result should be the fact that I need to work on it?
Comment: And until this arises in a person, he is not capable. Because a lot of people write to us: “I already live by this rule,” “I have been living by this rule for a long time.”
My Response: 🙂 I believe that it is impossible without the Creator. But, on the other hand, I believe that we will come to this.
I am optimistic because it does not depend on us. Nature moves us, and we will inevitably come to this rule.
Comment: All these rules of both Rabbi Akiva and Hillel seem to say to a person: “Do it!” And you say that one cannot do it without the Creator.
My Response: One cannot. Man cannot change the laws of nature.
Question: Which are only for themselves, only egoism?
Answer: Yes, a person is not able to do it.
Question: So, the question is if a person wants to follow these rules, what should be his steps? What is step one?
Answer: The step is very simple. You have to come to a society that will be occupied only with correcting the connection between them. There you will be able to see how they work on loving each other and at the same time study yourself, as far as you are capable of this at all.
So, one way or another, you have to connect to this breathing machine.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 6/5/23
What Is Hateful To You, Do Not Do To Your Fellow Men
Acquaintance With The Evil Inclination