Today 19th Av, 5769 – eMussar Lesson –
Our Inherent Love for HaShem
eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.
AROUND THE SHABBOS TABLE\PARSHAS EIKAV
A straightforward reading of the verse (Devarim 11:13) that we read every day in Krias Shema seems perplexing: “If you continually hearken to My commandments that I command you today, to love HaShem…” Is “to love HaShem” the sum total of what HaShem requires of us? Aren’t there 613 commandments?
King Dovid said “My soul knows very much” (Tehillim 139:14), meaning, the human soul is inherently wise, i.e., it knows HaShem. However, the material element of the body intercepts and hides our inner light. Therefore, HaShem gave us the Mitzvoth, which protect the soul from the impure influence of the material elements.
The Talmud (Shabbos 152b) presents a parable that alludes to this: “A king distributed royal garments to his servants. The wise among them stored it in a chest, whereas the fools wore them while they did their work. Subsequently, the king requested his garments that He had distributed. The wise ones returned them to him clean, while the fools returned them soiled. The king was pleased with the wise but angry with the fools. So too, HaShem gives us souls. In the future He will collect them. If we return them clean we will be rewarded, but if we return them soiled they must be purified.”
The entire purpose of Torah is to protect the soul so that it remains pure and holy. As long as the soul is protected through Mitzvah observance, it naturally is drawn to its source. Hence, it is filled with love for its Creator, for it was formed from the Divine element.
Now we understand the verse from Krias Shema: “If you continually hearken to My commandments that I command you today” – the soul will revert to its natural state – “to love HaShem.” Hence, the fulfillment of all the Mitzvoth awakens love within the soul of man – the very purpose of creation.
[Based on Da’as Torah of Rabenu Yerucham HaLevi]
TODAY: Awaken the natural love of HaShem that is rests within your soul.
By Rabbi Zvi Miller.
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