Love Your Neighbor Like Yourself
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Love Your Neighbor Like Yourself

Jewish Value:

     Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Additional Value:

     Repair the World

Lesson Summary:

This lesson is part of a unit called "Repairing The World" from, a resource that offers philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement. 

The other lessons are:
The Whole World In Our Hands
Power of Speech

The purpose stated on the site is:
"This lesson emphasizes the importance of "V’ahavta Lereacha Kamocha – Love Your Friend as Yourself." Students will learn the importance of helping others and will have the opportunity to have firsthand experience in this aspect of tikkun olam."


"The learner will:

  • learn a song that teaches the meaning of the verse "V’ahavta Lereacha Kamocha" (Leviticus 19:18).
  • identify ways that one can help a friend, both in and out of the classroom.
(taken from

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

The Torah commands us: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). Because humanity was created in the image of G-d, b’tzelem Elohim, we show disrespect for G-d when we show disrespect to our fellow human beings. Hence, we are obligated to treat everyone with respect. Judaism teaches us to celebrate each individual’s uniqueness and affirm their divine worth. While this value of v’ahavta l’reacha kamocha (loving your neighbor as yourself) does not involve specific actions like many of our biblical precepts, it does call for a type of attitude. It demands we think about people in a particular way. To love our neighbor as ourselves means we behave towards others in the way that we would want them to treat us. Therefore, the value of v’ahavta l’reacha kamocha offers the foundation for understanding moral behavior. Our tradition teaches that the great sage Rabbi Akiva is attributed to saying that Judaism is a religion that cherishes, above all else, treating people well. According to Akiva, compassion for the other is at the heart of Judaism (Jerusalem Talmud, Nedarim 9:4; Sifra, Kedoshim 4:12)

Questions for Reflection

  1. What does it mean to love your neighbor?
  2. What does it mean to love yourself?
  3. Why do you think that this value reflects more of a certain attitude than of certain actions?
  4. How can you incorporate the value of v’ahavta l’reacha kamocha within your classroom setting?

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore


Video example of children singing the song from this lesson:



Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore

List of All Songs

Songs about Love Your Neighbor As Yourself:


literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
One Love Cedella MarleyVanessa Brantley-NewtonAdapted from one of Bob Marley's most beloved songs, One Love brings the joyful spirit and unforgettable lyrics of his music to life for a new generation. Readers will delight in dancing to the beat and feeling the positive groove of change when one girl enlists her community to help transform her neighborhood for the better. Adapted by Cedella Marley, Bob Marley's first child, and gorgeously illustrated by Vanessa Newton, this heartwarming picture book offers an upbeat testament to the amazing things that can happen when we all get together with one love in our hearts.
The Shema In the Mezuzah: Listening to Each Other Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso Joani Keller RothenbergIn a divided world, where the one who shouts the loudest often gets the most attention, a story about compromise and listening. "Standing UP!" "Lying DOWN!" What were the people to do? They decided to ask the rabbi of the town. “What are we to do?” they asked. “Shall we put the mezuzah standing up or lying down?” The townspeople have mezuzahs but cannot agree on how to put them up on their doorways. Should they place them horizontally or vertically, standing up or lying down? To end their arguing, they consult the wise rabbi of the town, who advises them to carefully read the Shema in the mezuzah to find the answer. With this lively tale, based on a twelfth-century rabbinic debate, best-selling, award-winning children's author Sandy Eisenberg Sasso helps young people discover that there is often more than one solution to a problem, and that living together and creating “home” requires cooperation and listening to one another.
* PJ library Books
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