Rav Avigdor Miller on Loving Jews the Right Way

We have an obligation to love Hashem and to love our fellow Jews. Whom do we have to love more, G-d or man?

You have to love Hakadosh Baruch Hu with all your heart. So it leaves no space for any competition. Only that Hakadosh Baruch Hu says that you have to obey Him and you have to love your fellow Jews. And by doing that, you are loving Hashem. Part of loving Hashem is loving your fellow Jew. If a person however, forgets about Hashem, and he thinks he’ll concentrate with all his heart on loving his fellow man, that man is wasting his life. Now, it’s a great thing to love your fellow man – but that’s only if you do it however in the service of Hashem. If you do it because you love Hashem, then you’re living successfully.

And therefore there’s no question about the answer: ואהבת את השם אלוקיך בכל לבבך – You have to love Hashem with all your heart, and that means that there’s no room for anything else. The Chofetz Chaim we are told was a very kindly man. He went out of his way to help people. But he wasn’t exceptional in inviting people to his home. He used to help people find places to stay. He used to pay money to support them when they were visiting in his town. He paid for their lodging, for their food. But to take people into his home, he didn’t do that – he wasn’t so generous. And somebody explained that this was because he didn’t want to divide his loyalties to Hashem. He couldn’t be a crony, he couldn’t sit around all evening talking with his guests. He used to spend his time studying the Torah or even in solitude with Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

So a man who was in love with Hashem, he couldn’t share his time freely with other people. And so although his heart was in gemilas chassadim; he was instrumental in founding free lone societies everywhere. He was busy helping poor brides, poor yeshiva men. He gave advice to everyone, he was available for all those in need. He did all the good deeds that you can imagine. And yet he didn’t spend much time with other people; if he could avoid being a crony and hanging around together with people he did that. Because it detracted from his loyalty, his allegiance, and his clinging to Hashem. And בכל לבבך means with all your heart, with no divided loyalties.
TAPE # 555