What is Love? … and how will I find it?

Love makes two into one, and one into two.

—Moshe ibn Ezra, Medieval Jewish Poet

To quote a great Greek-American baseball coach, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you ain’t gonna find it.

If you don’t know what is love, you probably ain’t gonna find that either.

Now that’s a big problem. You see, all of us are looking for love. But not one of us can say what is love. No philosopher, no psychologist, no international committee of established authorities ever agreed upon any definition that tells us what love is.

You know how many books have been written on “What Is Love”? You think any of them answered the question?

So if we don’t know what is love, from where on earth is love going to jump out at us?

It’s not.

If it jumps out at you, it’s an impostor. Same thing if you fall into it.

I’ve got a little story for you:

Hannah was a young woman seeking a young man. Her rabbi was working hard for her to make the right connections.

“What do you think of David X?” he asked.

“Nice guy,” she replied. “Not my type.”

“How about Ari. Have you gone out with Ari?”

“Oh, many times. We had a pleasant evening. That’s about it. Not someone I could love. I don’t even know if he knows what love is.”

The rabbi gently chuckled. “You’ve been reading too many romance novels, Hannah. You’re the one who no longer knows what is love.”

“Sure I do!”

“You’re waiting for a knight on a white horse. You’re waiting for romance.”

“If romance isn’t love, then what is love?”

The rabbi sighed just so slightly. He sat back and let the atmosphere in the room clear a little. Then he spoke softly, like a father to a daughter.

“Let me tell you what is love,” he said. His eyes moistened and sparkled a little. You could see he was thinking through his own life.

“Love is not something you find. Love is not something that finds you. Or something you fall into. If you know what is love, you don’t fall for an easy romance.

“Love is when two people who care for one another make their lives together, build a home together, cry together, laugh together, weather the storms of life together, plow through their hardships and celebrate together . . .

“. . . and then, one day, discover that life is unimaginable without the other person at their side.”

A pause. Some quiet.

“Hannah,” the rabbi leaned forward to break the silence.

“What is love? Create some. Then you’ll know what is love.”


Inspired by a true-life story told in  Searching the Novels for Perfect Love?
By Tzvi FreemanTzvi Freeman is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth and, more recently, Wisdom to Heal the Earth. Subscribe to The Daily Dose of Wisdom and Freeman Files for regular updates.

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