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The Basics

3 and 4: Love and Fear of Hashem

You shall love Hashem, your God, with all your heart, all your soul, and all your resources. (Devarim 6:5)

You shall fear Hashem, your God. (Ibid., 13)

The two mitzvos of love and fear of Hashem are also a pair.

• We are commanded to love Hashem with all our hearts, all our souls, and all our resources. Hashem constantly showers blessings on us and everything we have comes from Him. If we are aware of Hashem’s kindnesses to us, we will come to love Him.

• We are commanded to fear Hashem, who is the Absolute Power. He watches everything we do and holds us accountable for all of our actions.

The Rambam teaches several methods which help us achieve love and fear. In Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah (2:2), he states: “By thinking into His actions and creations… and seeing His unlimited wisdom, one will love and praise Him and fear Him….”

In Sefer HaMitzvos (mitzvah 3), the Rambam states that we need to analyze and contemplate Hashem’s mitzvos, so that we understandHashem better and enjoy our understanding of Him.

In addition, the Rambam writes (Hilchos Teshuvah 10:6), “Love is based on knowing Hashem, which is developed by studying His teachings....”

Thus we have three methods by which we can achieve love of Hashem: studying His Torah, analyzing His mitzvos, and contemplating His creations.

Included in this mitzvah is the obligation to bring other people closer to Hashem. One who loves someone will sing his praises and tell others to love him, too. This is what Avraham Avinu did — because he loved Hashem, he taught everyone around him to follow suit.

*****

The first four mitzvos—belief in, understanding of, love for, and fear of Hashem — are in the category of the six constant mitzvos, which apply all the time. The last two constant mitzvos are prohibitions and are therefore not listed here. They are “Do not worship any other gods” (Shemos 20:3) and “Do not stray after your heart or your eyes” (Bemidbar 15:39).


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger and Torah.org.


 

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