The Rabbi Jeffrey Summit [of Tufts Hillel] tells a Hasidic story of the rabbi who watches two Russian peasants drinking together at an Inn.
The first asks, “Boris, do you love me?”
His friend replies, “Ivan, Do I love you, we’ve worked side by side on our farm for years. Of course I love you!”
They return to their vodka and a minute later, Ivan asks, “Boris, do you know what causes me pain?”
Boris thinks for a moment and answers “No.”
At that point Ivan roars, “If you don’t know what causes me pain, how can you say you love me!?
Afterwards, the Hasidic rebbe who heard this exchange said to his students, “This is the essence of our connection with one another. We must look deeply enough into one another’s souls not only to know what makes us happy but also to understand what causes pain.”
May we be brave and loving together.