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PARASHAT VE-ETHCHANAN (ENGLISH)



YEHOSHUA LHUNGDIM


You should love the lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your means.[Devarim 6:5]

It is a Positive commandment in the Torah to Love the Lord God with all one’s heart, all one’s soul and all one’s means.[Mitzvah 419,positive commandment 173]

Rashi hakadosh here told us that to love the Lord our God with love means to perform All His Commandments with Love and not out of Fear.For A Person who serves God out of fear is bound to leave Him when He sets upon him great burden.But one who serves out of love is ready to make great sacrifices for the object of his affection.

In Masechet Avot chapter 1:3, Antignos of Socho expresses this same idea saying that A servant needs to serve his master out of love and not for the sake of receiving rewards.

Kaf Nakhat says that one should not say I will perform and fulfil the Mitzvot of One who created me so that One who created me will provide me with my needs.Likewise the Rambam too says that One should not say I will do the Commandments and engaged myself to learning the wisdom of the Torah so that I may receive the blessings that is written there or so that I may have a share in Olam Haba and I will remove amd guard myself from any sins and transgression that the Torah prohibits us and warns us so that I may save myself from the curses that is written in the Torah or so that I may not be remove from Olam Haba.It is not proper to do the work of God with this kind of mindset.For one who does like this,work for God out of fear and this is not the level of Prophets,sages and the like rather A level of unlearned person.

Rambam in his commentary to the Mishnah writes that Reward mention here is not the reward one gets because one does what he/she is commanded.Reward mention here speaks of a reward where one gets because of love and kindness.Even this kind of Reward,One should not hope to receive rather One should Love God out of Love without any hope for something in return.This is cited in the Pirkey Avot too that Love which is dependent on something when that something perishes so too that love Perishes likewise One should Love God not because of something.but rather because it is a commandment.

Abarbanel does not accept the idea of the Rambam who says that The Tana who says this also meant to say A servant must not serve his master in order to receive even the rewards of Olam Haba rather The Tana here refers only to the rewards in this world.

It is written in the Yalkut about the verse in Mishlei 11:21 From hand to hand the evil will not be cleansed that God say to Israel Don’t do the Torah in order to receive the rewards immediately, because one who does so is called Bad and he is not cleansed because he leaves nothing to his children, For If Avraham Avinu was to request God for an immediate reward, How and where will Moshe say Remember your Servant Avraham, Yitzkhak and Yaakov. (Shemot 32:13)

Since Love is an emotion, how can one commanded to love? The Rambam says that The Torah answers our question in the next few verses by saying that A Jews should think about the Torah, study it and teach it.When one thinks and considers God’s great and wondrous deeds and creations, and sees in them His infinite and incomparable wisdom, One comes to love God and is filled with the yearning to cling to Him and know Him.

With All your heart:with both your good and evil inclinations.[Rashi]Howso?We know that even the bad traits has its good sides.As the Ben Ish khai states even When the Pirkei Avot says that Jealousy,Greed and Honor removes a man from this world one must have a controllable amount of it For If one does not have Jealousy how will he uplift himself in Rukhaniyut as The sages say Jealousy among the scribes breeds wisdom,He will lack wisdom.And he needs the Greed so that he can fulfil the mitzvah of Oneg Shabbat and he needs Honor so that he does not fall by thinking himself so lowly.

With all your soul: Even if your devotion to God costs you your life.[Rashi]This refers to rare situations -idolatry,adultery and murder in which the halacha requires one to die rather than sin.The Ramban says that your soul refers to the seat of the intellect meaning that one should devote one’s entire intellectual capacity to the love of God.

With all your resources:There are people who will risk their lives to save their money,even those who put wealth above life must place love of God above all.[Rashi]

The gematria for the Rashei Tevot of Levavkha, Nafshekha and Meodekha is 120 which is Lamed[ל](30) Mem[מ](40) Nun[נ](50) meaning that if one fulfill this positive commandments he can live a full 120 years.Or One can merit to have God as his shadow protecting him at all times.As it is stated God is your Shadow.(Hashem Tzilkha)[Psalm 121:5]


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