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Shema: Yesod v’Shoresh ha-Avodah

“And you shall love God, your Lord, with all your heart.” These five words obligate a person to infuse his heart with a mighty and passionate love for God. This love is a positive commandment. If a person will be weak in fulfilling this law, besides not fulfilling a positive commandment, he will be speaking falsehoods as he recites this prayer. Therefore one must use the strategy to stir all his limbs and his entire heart and his mind to be filled with this fiery love for God. The more he focuses his effort when filling every part of his physical and spiritual being with this love, the more the love will increase.


Just as we see when a woman holds a newborn child, she kisses him constantly, hugs him, and squeezes him, and expresses deep, deep love for him with every kiss; so to, each word of this prayer must be recited as one of those kisses.

One should review the following selection from the Zohar (Volume III 267a): “and you shall love,” for a person must be totally connected to this love for every aspect of his Higher Service of God must be done with love, for there is no service such as one that expresses love of God. Rabbi Abba taught: this paragraph incorporates all of Torah, for the 10 Statements are included in it. Come and see, there is nothing more beloved to God then on who loves Him with all his heart.

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