Hebrew Bible

What Jewish Texts Tell Us About Romantic Love

Jewish tradition is surprisingly romantic, with lots to say about love and relationships.

So in honor of the upcoming secular holiday of romance, we’ve rounded up our favorite passages on love from the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and other books of Jewish wisdom.

Read on to be inspired, and make sure to share with your beloved!

israel_museum_ahava_magnet1
Famous statue of the Hebrew word for love, "ahava," standing in Jerusalem

1. Two halves of one whole

Jewish texts teach us about soulmates, and the idea of two people coming together to form one body and one soul, something more complete than each of them was before:

It is not good for man to be alone. – Genesis 2:18

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:26

A husband and wife are one soul, separated only through their descent to this world. When they are married, they are reunited again. – the Zohar (foundational book of kabbalah) I91a

Let my soul be bound up with your soul. – Genesis 44:30

Adam and Eve as the first couple in the Bible; Adam describes Eve as “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh"

2. Unconditional love

The wisdom of our Sages also teaches us about unconditional love:

Any love that depends on a specific cause, when that cause is gone, the love is gone; but if it does not depend on a specific cause, it will never cease. – Talmud, Pirkei Avot 5:19

3. Romance is important

The Bible can teach us a thing or two about romance from some of its iconic love lines, particularly those found in the passionately romantic lovers’ tale Song of Songs, or King Solomon’s hymn of praise for the exemplary female partner, Woman of Valor (Proverbs 31:10-31).

4. Love is a gift from God

Our texts indicate that having a loving relationship is God’s gift and a sign of Divine favor, and in turn, honoring one’s relationship and cherishing one’s beloved means honoring God as well:

One who has found a wife has found goodness, and has brought forth favor from God. – Proverbs 18:22

A person should always be careful about the honor of his wife, for blessing is found in a person’s home only due to his wife. – Talmud, Bava Metzia 59a

When a man buys his wife fine clothes and jewelry, he should have in mind that he is beautifying the Divine Presence, represented in this world by none other than his wife. – Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz (16th-17th cent.)

5. Working for love

Sometimes we have to work for our relationships or endure hardships together. But everything is worth it for the one you love, especially when your relationship is strong and healthy:

Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, ‘I will work for you seven years’… So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him a few days because of his love for her. – Genesis 29:18-20

When our love was strong, we could have lain on the blade of a sword. Now that our love is not strong, a bed of sixty cubits is insufficient. – Talmud, Sanhedrin 7a

We have a wide selection of super special and meaningful gifts for loved ones from the Land of Israel, including jewelry with your favorite Biblical love lines, just in time for the International Day of Love.

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/jewish gifts from israel/gifts for someone you love

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