Love and affection between a man and a woman, husband and wife is such a powerful phenomenon. Not only is love an emotion and a sensation, but a state of being. You are actually in love… But what exactly is love? If you could describe it, what would it be? What causes it? There are many definitions of love. Love is physical desire, or a biological urge to reproduce. Love is gratitude. Love is a need to be wanted and a want to be needed.
Here’s an interesting question: We see that love and giving always come together but which of the two comes first?
Is it the giving a result of the love or is the opposite true: is the love a product of the giving?
It seems that the obvious answer would be that love initiates the giving. When a man loves a woman he brings her flowers, he takes her out to dinner. But there is another side to the case. Giving may bring about love for the same reason that a person loves what he, himself, has created or nurtured.
Whether it be a child you have brought into this world or a puppy you’ve fed and cuddled, a house you’ve built, or a garden you’ve planted – a person is compelled to love the work of his hands, for in it he finds himself.
To find the truth about love, all you have to do is go to the source, the Torah, in Sefer D'varim (Deuteronomy) 20:5-7, where among the categories of warriors allowed to return home before battle are the following:
- Whoever has built a new house and not yet consecrated it
- Whoever has planted a vineyard and not redeemed it
- Whoever has wedded a woman and not yet taken her home
All situations are treated in the same way. The Torah reveals to us that the love we bear to the fruit of our labors is directly comparable with the love of a man and wife. There is no doubt that this is an example of the love produced by the power of giving.
Love arises between husband and wife because they compliment each other and by giving each other this completion they come to love each other… one who gives - loves.