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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Compassion for himself.”

There is a verse “Jacob, who redeemed Abraham.”

Abraham is the spirit of love, and Jacob is the spirit of compassion.

At times, a person cannot arouse a love for God within himself.

He is not in a state in which the love of God has any meaning for him.

At such a moment, it is possible that Jacob will redeem Abraham; for even if a person cannot love God, he can, at the very least, have compassion for himself.

Even if he cannot sense love, he can feel, “If this is the case, how far has my soul fallen? How far have I dragged God down with me?”

In general, a person is aroused more quickly and more powerfully by such thoughts than by a feeling of love.

And when he is aroused, when he comes to a true experience of being connected, when he smashes the iron curtain, then he can come to love.

And this is the meaning of “Jacob, who redeemed Abraham.”

—Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz