Loving You is a Losing Game: A Song Review

  • Everyone wants love. Love is in our nature from birth.
  • The Bible teaches beware of love. It is not a losing game but love is dangerous.
  • A man should cherish his wife like he cherishes his own health and body and even more.

Duncan Lawrence received the award for his song “Loving You is a Losing Game” at the Eurovision song contest in Jerusalem last month. Everyone wants love. Love is in our nature from birth.

The baby comes out of his mother’s womb and cries.  He cries for love. His mother embraces him and feeds him. Children need love throughout the childhood and adolescence. When they reach the age of 12 for a girl and 13 for a boy they need love which their mother can no longer give them. By some people this stage in life is called independence.  Others say that it is the trick of the devil.  The song of Duncan Lawrence “Loving you is a losing game” is teaching beware of love.

The Bible teaches beware of love. It is not a losing game but love is dangerous.  Judaism educates children beware of love.  According to Jewish law there is no love without marriage.  It is also today Christian law and Islamic law.  It says in Jewish law as translated from the laws of the Torah written by the sage Maimonides which was the Biblical law of the nation of Israel, “if a person loves someone, and is sick in love over her.  He goes to a doctor and the doctor says that his sickness is from love; he is still not allowed to approach the girl.  The match between them should be made through a third party.”  In Judaism in the times of the temple was not accepted for children to look for their sole mate on their own.  Their parents made for them the shidduch or match.  They had free will to accept to get engaged and marry.  The Torah Jewish law recognized “Love is a losing game.”  Falling in love and dating which is the custom today was not accepted in the Biblical times.

Even today in Chassidic religious communities is observed the stringency of prohibiting socializing between young girls and boys.  Boys learn separately in Yeshivas and girls in Seminars. Only after marriage people are allowed to try to love their partner.   Sometimes two people who made the decision to marry find that they are not compatible and divorce. There is no perfect way to be certain that two children will find love and companionship.  Jewish law attempts to prevent divorce.  Children suffer when they see their parents fighting in the home and when their parents separate and divorce. In Jewish law is united love of God through keeping the customs and rituals of Judaism with natural love in family life.

Today there are large families in the Jewish world divorcing.  The Rabbinical courts are filled with people every day requesting divorce. Marriage begins with a wedding ceremony which is the most joyous occasion.  The couple ideally get to know each other after the wedding for the first time.  They have even never touched or kissed.  All beginnings are difficult and the parents give them emotional support which they need in beginning their relationship.  When they start raising a family they need livelihood. It says with every child comes more sustenance. School systems are set up in Jewish communities from Kindergarten until the children marry and go to work.  The system in Judaism began at Mount Sinai when the Jews were given their religion including the laws of incest, forbidden sexual relationships, laws of marriage and divorce. Love between the husband and wife is very important.  A man should cherish his wife like he cherishes his own health and body and even more. However there is always factors which cannot be controlled including falling in love when being single.  The Torah prohibits falling in love when being single like the song of Duncan Lawrence, “Loving you is a losing game.”

There are men who are difficult and woman who are difficult.  Some men have hearts of stone.  Some women can never be pleased. You never know who your partner is until after many years of marriage or maybe on the first day when you will seek an annulment. In the old days the parents gave up their happiness for the sake of the family.  Today they are more free and independent.  They consider their own happiness sometimes before anything else.  Children from divorced homes are more likely to divorce since they do not have the example made by their parents. Love can be dangerous.  The sudden loss of a partner who was loved and cherished can sometimes be disabling. Love is a dangerous game.  Cherish the one you love and thank God for not being alone in the world without a woman or a man.  The sages teach, “A man without a woman, and a woman without a man dwell without joy.”

The song of Duncan Lawrence at Eurovision teaches an important lesson in life which has already been included in Jewish law and the laws of marriage in all religions.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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