Study and Theory/
Tu B'Av

An Assemblage of Love Proverbs

Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel. [Genesis 29:18]

 

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. [Proverbs 4:6]

 

Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends? [Song of Songs 1:7]

 

Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love. [Song of Songs 2:4-5]

 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. [Song of Songs 2:7]

 

All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but did not find him. I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him. The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city — Have you seen the one my heart loves? [Song of Songs 3:1-3]

 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you — if you find my beloved, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love. [Song of Songs 5:8]

 

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned. [Song of Songs 8:7]

 

Any love that is dependent on something, when that thing perishes, the love perishes. But [a love] that is not dependent on something, does not ever perish. What's [an example of] a love that is dependent on something? That's the love of Amnon and Tamar. And [a love] that is not dependent on something?  That's the love of David and Jonathan. [Mishnah Avot 5:16]

 

R. Yosi ben Hanina said: Love unaccompanied by rebuke is not love.  [Genesis Rabbah 54]

 

If only my heart could be made of glass, then you could see my love with your eyes. [Solomon ibn Gabirol]

 

Wake my friend from you slumber; wakeful, I shall satiate myself with your image; if you dream of someone kissing your lips, I shall be the interpreter of your dreams. [R. Yehuda Halevi]

 

Love blinds the eyes from seeing faults, and hatred blinds the eyes from seeing virtues. [R. Moses ibn Ezra]

 

O gentle Romeo, If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully. [William Shakespeare]

 

A heart without love is like a wallet without money. [Moses Mendelssohn]

 

To love and be loved, is the most exalted blessing on earth. [Heinrich Heine]

 

Love is hidden in the innermost point of every man’s heart, and there is no man who has never had an hour of love and longing. [Rabbi Aharon of Karlin)

 

Reverence is from man, but love is the gift of G-d. [R. Aryeh Leib Gur]

 

Not even the highest of my mental achievements can be compared with a moment of love. [R. Nachman of Breslov]

 

There is no stronger connection nor any greater communion in the world than a love relationship, whose arrows pierce the hearts of lovers, until neither thing nor place can divide between them; and even though they are separate bodies, there is nothing to stand in the way of the spiritual bond between them. [R. Baruch of Kosov]

 

Sensual love tricks you into leaving celestial love. [Franz Kafka]

 

A high level in love is... not knowing that we love; this is love in its purest form. [H.N. Bialik]

 

The small man becomes greater through his love, and the great man adds to his greatness. [M.Y. Berdyczewski]

 

Love is the strongest illusion—the illusion of illusions—and he who gets to the bottom of the secret of the ‘game of love’, reaches the most internal point of skepticism. [Y.H. Brenner]

 

They both loved collecting stars. The moon loved them both. For the moon still loves to love lovers. [Alexander Penn]

 

To love you more than I love you now, after taking upon yourself the heaviest burden a woman could take upon herself for a man she loves; I know of no man on earth who could love more. If love is great and deep, it has the ability to bring happiness; so, dear Paula, be you the happiest. [David Ben-Gurion]

 

In love you find the paradox of two souls becoming one, but nevertheless remaining two. [Erich Fromm]

 

Happy be our love in its torments, as it itself is the reward for the torments. [Leah Goldberg]

 

A man’s entire life is nothing more than his first love. [Pinchas Sadeh]

 

I count my loves secretly, like a miser. [Yehuda Amichai]

 

I loved you so much I couldn’t tell you; I couldn’t tell you because I loved you so much. [David Avidan]

 

I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox. [Woody Allen]

 

My love, as I have already told you, is made only of loneliness. [Yehonatan Gefen]

 

No, I will not let you touch; what is that hiding within your heart? I have yet to find out, if it is love. [Kobi Oz]

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