The Jungian therapist Robert Johnson wrote in a little book called “We”:

“Here we are confronted with a paradox that baffles us, yet we should not be surprised to discover that romantic love is connected with spiritual aspiration – even with our religious instinct – for we already know that courtly love, at its very beginning so many centuries ago, was understood as spiritual love, a way of loving that spiritualized the knight with his lady, and raised them above the ordinary and the gross to an experience of another world, an experience of soul and spirit.”

I discuss the medieval myth of Tristan and Iseult the Fair in the context of this week’s Torah portion Bamidbar, the Biblical prophet Hosea, and the Festival of Shavuot that begins this Saturday night as similar expressions of spiritual love.

To read my d’var Torah, you can find it on my blog at the Times of Israel at