At the risk of being a guessing-game, I thought I had read that before starting prayers (the beginning? The Amida?), one should take a minute to think about the mitzvah to have love for fellow Jews.

Any source for this?

  • 2
    I'm pretty sure I saw this in the book Praying with Fire, which documents its sources in footnotes. I'll check when I'm home if someone else doesn't do so first.
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 12, 2012 at 15:38
  • 2
    ... or actually, it may have been a card/pamphlet with something like "seven strategies to improve your davening" that I once received. I don't remember who made it. I may still have it somewhere. If I can find it, I'll update here.
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 12, 2012 at 15:46

3 Answers 3


According to this collection of notes on the siddur arranged by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi -- http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=30450&st=&pgnum=122 -- the source is Pri Eitz Hayyim, Sha'ar Olam Ha-Assiyah, end of perek alef, which was then mentioned by the Magen Avraham, beginning of siman mem vav.

Pri Eitz Hayyim is a book by Rabbi Hayyim Vital that presents Rabbi Isaac Luria's system of 'kavvanot', i.e., intentions, to be performed in the mind as one prays. The Magen Avraham is a commentary on the Shulhan Arukh who often takes note of Kabbalistic practices. So, the source is in the Kabbalah of the Ari.

One therefore often sees a statement "I hereby take upon myself the positive mitzvah of 'love thy neighbour as thyself'", meant to be recited aloud, pre-pended to the beginning of Shaharit, in prayer books that have been influenced by Kabbalah.

  • it is of interest to note that it is also cited in the nefesh hachayim
    – user1668
    Oct 12, 2012 at 15:30

Apart from the sources in paquda's answer, the Chayei Adam (1:6) also says that you should accept upon yourself to love every Jew in order to be included as part of the group of all of Israel.


Ben Ish Hai,Shana Rishona, Miqes 5. And it's before the entire prayer.

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