Shema: Divrei Binah: The Demands of Love
“And you shall love God, your Lord, with all your hearts, with all your soul, and with all your resources.” “All your soul;” even to the point of giving up your life for God. The demand of Messirat Nefesh, to give up one’s life, is only taught in the context of Love of God, not fear or awe. For only love can create a relationship so powerful and intense that one is willing to sacrifice his life for the relationship. (Divrei Binah – Tzav)
The verse is not demanding sacrifice, but achieving such an intensity of love that we would be willing to give up our lives. Our focus should be on the love demanded, not he sacrifice.