"And when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers, they hated him so that they could not speak a friendly word to him." (Genesis 37:4) This past Shabbat we read from parshat Vayeshev the cause of the strife amongst Jacob's sons. To Joseph's brothers there just wasn't enough love for them.
This yearning for love and acceptance fuels many of the fires that continue to burn our inter-personal, inter-communal, and international relationships. And these flames are fanned when love and acceptance are seen as limited commodities. When there is a limited amount of love and one brother receives more than I do then I have cause for fear, frustration and anger.
One of the vital lessons we may learn from these narratives in the Torah is that unlike Joseph's brothers, we need not fear that we are loved less or that we don't have enough love to give, equally to all.
One of my dear friends and teachers recently wrote that "we have enough."
We have enough love for everyone, we have enough compassion for everyone, we have enough respect for everyone. We have enough. We need not choose some people to love more than others because we have enough.
Our love for Israel need not diminish our love for the Palestinian people because "we have enough." Our love for our country need not take away from our love for the global community because "we have enough." Our love for our neighbor need not preclude our love for the stranger because "we have enough."
There is enough love, respect and honor for within us for all people. To truly embody the value that every person is created in the image of God is to allow that love to pervade every word we say, every choice we make and every action we take.