Psalm 100

“God’s/His steadfast love is eternal.” (100:5)

If we measure love as a feeling, our love towards our siblings, spouse, parents, and children waxes and wanes. Psalm 100, however, does not consider love to be a feeling but rather a connecting strand. Our model for love is that no matter how God might “feel” about Israel at any given moment — exasperated, angry, joyful, loving, betrayed, happy — the connection of love is unbroken. If we behave with this understanding, then even when we are disciplining our children, we will temper it with love. When we are exasperated with our parents, we will respond with love. When we are angry at our spouse, we approach him or her with love.

Psalm 87

“All my roots are in You.” (87:7)

When the Zohar or Hasidic mystical literature speak of returning to one’s roots, we need to imagine an inverted tree rooted in the supernal world above. The energy source that powers the sun, that sustains the world, comes from the infinite God and streams into our world in an ever-flowing channel. When we engage in mitzvot and acts of gemilut hasadim (loving-kindness), we widen the channel. When we engage in selfish non-loving behavior or sin, we narrow the channels. The result of love is an energy-filled, loving world. The result of hate is a cold, listless, fearful world.

Psalm 77

“I recall Your wonders.” (77:12)

I love my wife. I confess, however, that I do not spend my days obsessing over why I love her, whether it makes sense to continue to love her, what does it mean to love her, is the love reciprocal, or how should I best express the love from moment to moment (note to self: I would do better if I did spend more time on the last question). For me, it is enough that I see her and remember the wonders of our life together; this sense of wonder and gratitude defines our loving relationship. And so it is with God.