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Poster Commentary
"Love is stronger than death."Adapted from Song of Songs 8:6
Poster design:Dan Reisinger


by Irving Greenberg

The fiercest battle in the world is that between life and death. Life has grown tremendously from one cell to 10 million species—and counting. Yet life is vulnerable to disruption; it is so wondrous and complex that it is easily destroyed. Death conquers, and all living things die.

The other half of the story that Judaism teaches is that life, which is driven by the power of love, is the strongest force in the world. Life is upheld by an infinite Creator/God who loves life and sustains it. Human beings are instructed to join in the battle, on the side of life. “Behold I place before you today, life and good, death and evil… choose life.” (Deuteronomy 30)

Love or hate? Eat healthfully or poorly? Smoke or breathe fresh air? Exercise or be a couch potato? Do justly or commit injustice? Pollute or respect the environment? Speak words of friendship, caring and encouragement or words of rejection, degradation and dismissal? In each case, Jewish religion tells us to act on the side of life, so that you and your children shall live.

But you say, “What is the use? In the end, death wins. Those whom I love will be taken away by death—or I will be taken from them. Won’t love and deep friendship only lead to greater loss when death comes?”

The Jewish answer is no. Love makes life richer, more intense, and constantly joyful. When loved ones die, you discover that love lives on after death. The memory stays in your heart. The love still fills your life.

Judaism teaches that if every person chooses to live lovingly, together we will help life win out in this world. Then all will know the truth: that love is more powerful than death.

Conversation Guide


The commentary interprets this verse from Song of Songs as instructing us to “live lovingly” and “help life win out in this world.” By valuing life over death, and choosing to live our lives infused with love, we can overcome the challenges that death ultimately poses.

From where does love get its strength? If death is our ultimate end, why is love stronger than death?

What happens to life if we allow death to overshadow it?

How does the larger context in Song of Songs shed more light on this quotation? In this passage, the male lover professes his great love for his beloved: “Bind me as a seal upon your heart, a sign upon your arm. For love is stronger than death, its jealousy bitter as the grave. Even its sparks are a raging fire, a devouring flame. Great seas cannot extinguish love. No river can sweep it away.”



Each image calls out to us to examine it, to note our thoughts and feelings, and relate these impressions to the quotation. Often clues in the artwork suggest meaning and invite interpretation.

Israeli designer Dan Reisinger’s modern-looking graphic offers a powerful interpretation of this quotation. 

How does the image present the quotation? Was this how you interpreted the quotation without the image?

What is the relationship between the words “love” and “live”? How do the colors contribute to this relationship?

Is death represented at all? What message is Reisinger conveying by the absence of “death”?

What personal emotions does this image bring out?


Copyright© 2012 Harold Grinspoon Foundation

Please use this guide creatively in your programs.  We’d also love to see what you’re doing and share it with others, so please post on our website using the Share button in The Exchange.


Masters Series©2012, Dan Reisinger, Quote: Adapted from Song of Songs 8:6,

Harold Grinspoon Foundation, West Springfield, MA