I really hate being preachy or pollyanna. I’m more of a goofy Elaine Benes (Seinfeld) or an “I Love Lucy” than a sweet refined voice of love and peace. (Footnote… I want love and peace; I just identify with sometimes getting in over my head or creating a bit of an embarrassing situation due to my sometimes overzealous enthusiasm). 🤭😮😵😳

Being predisposed to keeping it lighthearted, I break fully from that stance for at least right now.

I am called upon to love my fellow.

I can’t change the world; I can’t eradicate the not good.

But I can bring light into my tiny corner of the world.

It’s not easy. For even the smallest infractions, I want to hold grudges …  if someone cuts me off in traffic, returns my smile with a frown, does not seem to respect my opinion…

AND yet… when I release my grudges on this minuscule level, it’s a start. Of course, I strive to reach higher too.

Love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18). 

So many religions AND moral codes of conduct ask this of us.

Judaism has a mitzvah to not speak bad of others. It’s called Lashon Hara. It is one tangible way to practice “loving your neighbor as yourself.”

SO SO simple, and also not. Gossip and negative talk is tempting. Especially if I am in a group and the focus becomes the “social putting down of another’s faults. It can be tempting to join in, smile and nod, or at the least, remain quiet but listen with interest. We human beings want to fit in with our fellows.

How can I love my neighbor as myself?

Stake in the ground.

Today I will practice this most basic and important mitzvah. Lashon Hara. I will try to “keep my mouth shut”. More challenging than keeping my mouth shut is what do I do if others speak ill of someone? Studying this most precious mitzvah, the guidance I’m seeing is to politely excuse myself or change the subject. Maybe even, but much harder, say why I am not interested.

One last thing…to kind of embarrass myself, I’ll take a lesson from “BARNEY”, TV’s purple dinosaur, or from the inimitable MR. ROGERS. I give up any claim to coolness at this moment. 🙂


I pray for your health, joy and success, and I pray that everything I want for myself, you also receive.

May we be friends in this age of virtual friendship and possibility.

Love, Vivi  ©

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THE BOOK OF VAYIKRA (Leviticus): Chapter 19 from Jewish Virtual Library

Cover cartoon Photo by Prawny, Animal Photo from, Love on wood Photo by Alex Block, Birds Photo by Jason Hafso, Coffee Photo by Danielle MacInnes, Love to moon Photo by Rod Long, Heart lock Photo by engin akyurt


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