By: Orna Ben Dor

“I saw the angel in the marble, and carved until I set him free – Michelangelo”

The New Age talk about Love, and its dictates of “having” to love, never appealed to me, even at the outset of my journey of spiritual developmental.

I understood that I cannot force myself to love and that is not necessary to train in exercises of love. It is an act of Grace bestowed on us while we are painstakingly searching for the truth.

Alternatively, a “functional love” which was engendered from a sense of responsibility to others has resided within me. It originated from an inner integrity.

When people have sought my advice, I sense how to be in service of their higher “I”.

Therefore the nature of this love is not sentimental nor is it romantic. I do not aspire to attain it. This Love is of a spiritual essence. It is of no consequence what I feel or think for I am propelled by an inner force.

My term for this kind of love is “functional Love”.

Throughout the years, I have met many who have spoken about love, and who really wanted to own it, but were not willing to cross the abyss in order to reach it. Their attitude to it was not accompanied by enough reverence, and of the sense of Love’s sublimity.

Often it was a conditional and a sentimental love, and, at the time of reckoning, failed the test of circumstance. Love cannot be accessed at a whim.

I view Forgiveness likewise.

How can I forgive before I have received the Grace of forgiveness?

There is nothing to forgive. This is not an issue of blame. There is an understanding that those whom I am supposed to forgive are in fact messengers in my destiny. Therefore it is not a question of forgiving but rather of a spiritual gesture coming from above that opens the heart.

This revelation has enabled me to reach a place where my heart gradually opens effortlessly.

In truth, I still face difficulties forgiving myself.

For me, love and forgiveness are living representatives of truth. They are not feelings. I reach this truth through decisiveness, courage, honesty, earnest tenacity, devotion, wonder and steadfastness. A touch of humour is also required…

And then, within a blink of an eye, Grace appears from above and Love is apparent. It comes from within me as it has always been. We are all Love in its very essence. Clothed in the guise of suffering, blindness, ignorance and selfishness, it is that same Love.

This poem has been spun over the years by the thread of these thoughts.

And I dedicate it with homage to all of you who make the effort and fall, rise and fall again only to stand up again, to those who understand that everything in this world is Grace.


G r a c e

 My beloved

There is no need for you to practise love

For you are love itself

There is no need to force forgiveness

For there is nothing to forgive.

Just face yourself;

Bad, petty

Frightened and angry

Just the way you are

And accept.

Speak not untruths, be holier than thou

Project not on others

Your bitter cry.

 To be precise in the eyes of God,

Do your upmost

 To understand,

And pray

That when your time comes,

Your sincere endeavour, your heart’s truth,

  Your pain-carved soul

Your Will and sense of futility

Will allow you to become

The love you have always been,

The love that you are.


Translation from Hebrew by Liz Meir-Weil