Thought of the Week: Eikev - 5780

How To Love HIM

On a daily basis, committed Torah Jews recite the Shema prayer morning and night.  The second paragraph of the Shema appears in Pareshat Eikev.  Among the messages of the Shema is to love Hashem.  Rashi states that the way a person can develop a love for the Almighty is by the study of Torah.  When one delves into the text that defines who we are, a deep appreciation for the Giver of the Book develops, and a love of Hashem ensues.

Maimonides adds that another way to cultivate such love is by studying science.  He states: "What is the path [to attain] love and fear of Him?  When a person contemplates His wondrous and great deeds and creations and appreciates His infinite wisdom that surpasses all comparison, he will immediately love, praise and glorify [Him], yearning with tremendous desire to know [Hashem's] great name, as David stated: "My soul thirsts for the Lord, for the living G-d" [Psalms 42:3]."

Thus, to establish within ourselves the love of Hashem, we need to open our eyes to the magnificent world.  However, without a commitment to the knowledge of Torah, the wonders can be viewed as the result of randomness and do nothing for our quest for a connection to the Creator of all.

Shabbat Shalom