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“You shall love your fellow as yourself.” (19:18)

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In his Nusach HaAri Siddur, the Baal HaTanya writes that it is proper and correct that one say before davening, “I accept upon myself the positive commandment, ‘You shall love your fellow as yourself.’” The mitzvah of ahavas Yisrael is the entranceway to be able to stand before Hashem in prayer. Pardes Yosef interprets this idea into the pasuk in Bereishis 37:26, Mah betza ki naharog es achinu, “What gain will there be if we kill our brother?” The letters of the word betza bais, tzaddik, ayin, form an acronym for: boker, morning; tzaharaim, afternoon; erev, evening, the three Tefillos, prayers, that we recite daily. Pardes Yosef explains Yosef’s brothers’ statement homiletically: “What do we gain by praying to Hashem thrice daily, if we do not care for our brother, if we let his blood flow without caring about him?” Horav Menachem Mendel, z.l., m’Varka added that when one  prays  to  Hashem,  he  should  also  concentrate  on  the  needs  of  Klal Yisrael. If he davens only for himself – it is tantamount to stealing!