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Living in Divine Space

Living in Divine Space: The Love for G-d

To the right is the commandment:

And you shall love G-d your G-d with all

your heart, and with all your soul, and

with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:5).

This is the mitzvah of loving G-d. In the Torah, this verse follows the previous one ("Hear, O Israel"), indicating that love (ahavah) for G-d is to be a natural result of contemplating His unity. For actually, it seems odd that one should be "commanded" to love something: either you love it or you don't. One associates "commandments" with action, rather than emotion. And so–as taught by theBa'al Shem Tov–this commandment does not refer to the emotion of love, but implies rather that one is to contemplate the unity of G-d, which will then spontaneously arouse love of Him. For if G-d is in fact the ultimate source of all reality, who could desire anything other than Him? And conversely, if everything else we perceive indeed possesses no intrinsic reality, why bother devoting one's energy to it?

This commandment is placed to the right, since, in Jewish imagery, the right side is associated with love and lovingkindness.

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