“Vast floods cannot quench love, nor rivers drown it”, wrote King Solomon, the wisest among men, in the Song of Songs, expressing the intensity of one of the strongest emotions that affect human motivation.
Over the years, love has been the inspiration for countless books, songs, poems, plays and films and under its influence people have discovered the most positive and kindest aspects of their personalities.
The instruction to love appears three times in the Bible. People are required to love God and strangers, and especially to fulfill the commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself”. The special significance of loving others was frequently emphasized by the Sages of Israel, such as Rabbi Akiva, who said that this was a “great rule of the Torah” and Hillel the Elder defined it as “the entire Torah while standing on one foot”.
Among all the various types of love, such as parents’ love for their children, familial love and love among friends, romantic love has gained the most attention. The powerful emotional bond and physical attraction that exist between loving partners attain ultimate heights, as defined by King Solomon in the Song of Songs when saying “for love is fierce as death”.
Lovers may express their deep feelings for their beloved in many different ways, but nothing compares to the romantic gesture of sending a love letter. The carefully chosen words, perfumed paper, decorated envelope and above all, the knowledge that the letter was prepared by a loving hand, demonstrate the sincerity of the sender’s feelings for the recipient.
The heart stamp completes this gesture, as the letter is posted with a stamp that is all about love. A large bright red heart, the traditional place for harboring feelings, appears at the center of the stamp. Although the heart symbol does not resemble the actual shape of the human heart, and there is debate among researchers as to the source of its choice, this symbol has traditionally been used to represent love for more than 2000 years.
The tab of the stamp illustrates the fact that the emotion of love is common to all cultures and to all peoples, by incorporating the word “love” in numerous languages.