Love as a vehicle of Gratification

I was watching a video in which Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski stated that, “So much of what is love, is fish love”. Dr. Twerski said this because he believes that too many people view love as an act of receiving rather than an act of giving. He believes that too many people use love as a vehicle for their own self – gratification. Love is used as a vehicle in the sense that it gives an individual gratification just as most people who claim to love fish, love eating fish because of its gratifying taste rather than an actual love for the fish. Based on his fish analogy, Dr. Twerski makes the claim that most humans mistake loving someone with their true love of the self-gratification that such an individual is able to give to them. He makes the claim that true love occurs when one gives a part of themselves to someone who he/she cares for. Dr. Twerski believes that this is true love because he believes that everyone should love themselves and by giving apart of yourself to someone who you care then you will also love that person by virtue of your own self-love.


I really liked Dr. Twerski’s video because it really stresses the importance of self-love. In his definition of what true love is, he places emphasis on loving one’s self and then being able to love a part of you through giving it to someone else. An example of this proposal is best seen through the greatest accomplishment that you have achieved throughout your life thus far. It is my assumption that you worked really hard to accomplish this achievement or you would not consider it your greatest. It is also my assumption that you invested a lot of time, ideas, creativity and energy into such an achievement or you wouldn’t have attained it. This is significant because you love this accomplishment and proclaim it to be your greatest accomplishment because you gave and invested yourself in it. You submersed yourself in the pursuit of this previous dream and attained this great thing as result of that. You love this accomplishment now just as you love yourself because it is a part of you now. But how can you love this accomplishment or anyone else if you don’t love yourself first.


How can you hang things up on a wall if the house isn’t built,

Build a house if the foundation isn’t laid,

Lay the foundation if the ground isn’t ready,

Project a love that was not honed within,

Project a love that was not define from within,

How can you give someone else your heart when it isn’t yours to give?


Self-love is more than just accepting who you are, it is acknowledging the fact that you are wonderfully and beautifully made. It is about acknowledging the fact that you are one in a trillion and that you are awesome as you are without the artificial molds of the world that you are expected to fit. Self-love is acknowledgement and adoration of every single aspect of your soul, mind and body. It is the first and most important step to true love which is one aspect of Dr. Twerski’s video that I admired.


Dr. Twerski’s video also highlighted the amount of emphasis that is placed upon ‘receiving’ in society. For many years, most of the world that we live in has wholeheartedly embraced capitalism and its many benefits. The other side of capitalism that is not often talked about is its many negatives. An example of such a negative is the amount of energy that is place on receiving things. Everything that most of us do is geared towards receiving something; even by writing this blog post, I am expecting some sort of gratification whether it be praise from others or the amount of views that I may get. Often times I wonder if I am who I say I am because of who I am or because of how others want me to be. The follow up to such a question would then be why would I allow myself to be define by others and the answer to that was because I wanted their approval. I wanted to receive the approval of other people and was willing to allow others to define me instead of defining myself because I was too focus on receiving instead of giving. I wanted others to approve of me because at that point then I would be more likely to receive what I wanted in life by virtue of connections and power which are both ultimately rooted in capitalism and its many disadvantages. By focusing too much on receiving, I risked losing my own individuality which makes me unique. By focusing too much on receiving, I almost lost the ability to define what love is and learn who to love myself. By focusing too much on receiving and not self-love, I almost lost myself.


-Ainsworth H.

Actual Video:

“So much of what is love, is fish love.” – Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski



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