My wife’s and I’s Hebrew anniversary from the time of our Shidduch is Tu B’av and so this week is a special one for me sorry for this late blog post- I was busy doing it, and could not write it, but hope you enjoy nonetheless.
I have had some great conversations this week about community, and about love and fear of Hashem both of which play into what I want to write about today. This is the Torah portion that we read the Shema- the single most important declaration of G-d’s oneness- Moshiach also affirmed this too, calling it the most important mitzvah upon which all other mitzvahs stand. But of course lets examine what Rashi, and then Baal Haturim say on this weeks Parsha and find if Moshiach has anything to say similar to these two giants of Torah, on this incredibly important Parsha.
Let’s start with Rashi on this week’s Parsha-
“The Lord is our God; the Lord is one: The Lord, who is now our God and not the God of the other nations--He will be [declared] in the future “the one God,” as it is said: “For then I will convert the peoples to a pure language that all of them call in the name of the Lord” (Zeph. 3:9), and it is [also] said: “On that day will the Lord be one and His name one” (Zech. 14:9). (see Sifrei)
And you shall love [the Lord]:Perform His commandments out of love. The one who acts out of love cannot be compared to the one who acts out of fear. If one serves his master out of fear, when the master sets a great burden upon him, this servant will leave him and go away [whereas if out of love he will serve him even under great burden] (Sifrei 6:5). With all your heart: Heb. בְּכָל--לְבָבְךָ[The double “veth” in לְבָבְךָ, instead of the usual form לִבְּךָ, suggests:] Love Him with your two inclinations [the good and the evil]. (Sifrei; Ber. 54a) Another explanation; “with all your heart,” is that your heart should not be divided [i.e., at variance] with the Omnipresent (Sifrei)……6. And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart.
והיו הדברים האלה:ומהו האהבה והיו הדברים האלה, שמתוך כך אתה מכיר בהקב"ה ומדבק בדרכיו: אשר אנכי מצוך היום: לא יהיו בעיניך כדיוטגמא ישנה שאין אדם סופנה, אלא כחדשה שהכל רצין לקראתה. דיוטגמא מצות המלך הבאה במכתב:
And these words… shall be:
What is this“love” [referred to in the previous verse]? It is that these this“love” [referred to in the previous verse]? It is that these words [the mitzvoth] shall be upon
your heart, and through this, you will come to recognize the Holy One, blessed be He, and will [consequently] cling to His ways. (Sifrei 6:6)
Which I command you this day:they should not appear to you as an antiquated edict (דְּיוּטַגְמָא) which no one cares about, but as a new one, which everyone hastens to read. The word דְּיוּטַגְמָאmeans: a royal edict which comes in writing.(Sifrei)
And you will teach them: Heb. וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם. This is an expression of sharpness, meaning that these words should be sharply impressed in your mouth, so that if a person asks you something, you will not have to hesitate about it, but you will tell him immediately. (Sifrei ; Kidd. 30a) To your sons: These are your disciples. We find everywhere that disciples are termed “sons,” as it is said: “You are children to the Lord”
This is interesting for a few reasons- the Tanya states that a true Tzadik “It is written, however, "One nation shall prevail over the other nation." The body is called a "small city." Just as two kings wage war over a town, which each wishes to capture and rule, that is to say, to dominate its inhabitants according to his will, so that they obey him in all that he decrees for them, so do the two souls— the Divine and the vitalising animal soul that comes from the kelipah— wage war against each other over the body and all its limbs. It is the desire and will of the Divine soul that she alone rule over the person and direct him, and that all his limbs should obey her and surrender themselves completely to her and become a vehicle for her, as well as a robe [instrument] for her ten faculties and three garments mentioned above, all of which should pervade the organs of the body, and the entire body should be permeated with them alone, to the exclusion of any alien influence, G‑d forbid. That is to say, that the three brains that are in the head shall be permeated with ChaBaD of the Divine soul, namely, the wisdom of G‑d and the understanding of Him, by pondering on His unfathomable and infinite greatness; and from them shall be born, through the daat (knowledge), awe in his mind and dread of G‑d in his heart, as well as love of G‑d that shall flare up like a glowing fire in his heart, like flaming coals, so that his soul shall yearn and long, with passion and desire, to cleave to the blessed En Sof, with his whole heart, soul and might, from the very depths of the right ventricle of the heart. The latter would be so thoroughly permeated with love to overflowing, as to inundate the left side as well, to the extent of subduing the sitra achra with its element of the "evil waters," namely, the lust stemming from kelipat nogah, changing it and transforming it from seeking the pleasures of this world to the love of G‑d. Thus it is written, "'With all thine heart— with both your natures." That is to say, that the person shall steadily rise to attain to the degree of "abundant love," a supreme affection surpassing that of "ardent love" that is comparable to burning coals.
This is what is called in Scripture "love of delights," which is the experience of delight in G‑dliness, of the nature of the world to come. This delight is in the brain of wisdom, in the intellectual pleasure of comprehending and knowing G‑d, to the extent that one's intellect and wisdom can grasp [Him]. This is the element of "water," and "seed," i.e., light that is sown in the holiness of the divine soul that converts to good the element of "water" in the animal soul, from which the lust for mundane pleasures had been previously derived.
Thus it is written in Etz Chayim, Portal 50, ch. 3, on the authority of the Zohar, that the evil is converted into, and becomes, completely good, like the good nature itself, through the shedding of the soiled garments, the pleasures of this world, in which it had been clothed.”
We actually see Moshiach doing this both in himself but also in all of those who followed him. He gives us this strength to use even that which is evil for good. I can best show this through an example of my own life, growing up I was physically beaten, sexually abused, and psychologically terrorized. That left impacts on my soul that ended up having me chase all kinds of evil- but which in the end, Hashem through Moshiach and getting to know the burden of suffering that he endured, his love for Torah and for Am HaAretz of his time, and the bringing of true Teshuvah in both the righteous and the unrighteous. He has made to realize the amazing reality of having Teshuvah being not about sin, but about being brought closer into G-d’s presence, to being drawn to know him, and his Torah more and more.
It is also intriguing to note that Rashi here indicates that Hashem will be G-d of all the nations. Something which Moshiach has made it the duty and has better than any other Jew made known or at least the reality of holding a copy of at least the Tanach in their hands, and seen with their eyes. I believe that it is Jewish followers of Moshiach to reveal to the world the Oral Torah passed down through generations by Mesorah to the nations so that his name will be one and He will be one. This of course can only be done to those who want to perform the commandments out of love. Perfoming them out of love is the most important aspect- I have a poem from a follower of Moshiach and he speaks of love like this.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all that I own and if I hand over my body so I might boast[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not brag, it is not puffed up,
it does not behave inappropriately, it does not seek its own way, it is not provoked, it keeps no account of wrong, it does not rejoice over injustice but rejoices in the truth; it bears all things, it believes all things, it hopes all things, it endures all things.
Love never fails— but where there are prophecies, they will pass away; where there are tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
But now these three remain— faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.
So important is this serving out of love to Hashem the performance of the Mitzvahs, that this man says it is the most important aspect of the Mitzvah’s it is after all- the Tikkun to Sinas Chinam. Ahavas Chinam- the reason we chose this name is to be a Tikkun for the great sin of the generation when Moshiach ben Yosef came- to bring the Mitzvah’s in love.