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Blessings of Shema: A Singular Heart

“Unify our hearts to love and fear Your Name.” (Ahavah Rabbah) The Hebrew word for unify is “viyacheid,” which also means to make into one. We are asking God to help us achieve a level of awareness in which only one drive motivates us; our relationship with Him, as in, “You will always be intoxicated with her love.” (Proverbs 5:19)

This is how the Rambam (Hilchot Teshuva 10:3) describes the proper degree of love of God: A lovesick’s person’s thoughts are never diverted from the love of the woman he loves. He is always obsessed with her; when he sits down, when he gets up, when he eats and drinks. With an even greater love, the love of God should be implanted in the hearts of those who love Him and are obsessed with Him at all times as we are commanded, “Love God, your Lord, with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

This concept was implied by Solomon when he stated as a metaphor, “I am lovesick.” (Song of Songs 2:5) Indeed, the totality of the Song of Songs is a parable describing this love.

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