Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Commandment to Love G-d.

Little Chaim doesn't like fish. Now what if his father were to command him to like fish – would the son be able to overcome his inherent dislike of fish and begin to love it?

It is a basic part of the Shema prayer, “And you shall love G-d with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your might”. How is it possible that G-d has given us a mitzvah, a commandment, to 'love' Him? If we do not have love in our hearts for G-d, how is it possible to change our nature and begin to love G-d?

What is it that makes it possible to command someone to love G-d yet to command someone to love fish may be foolish?

The basic difference is that man can exist without fish. A man is not dependent on fish alone for his life. But man can not exist independent from G-d; man's total existence is dependent on G-d. More than that, nothing exists outside of G-d. While we may appear to have an independent existence, it is only because our senses can not perceive G-d. We are limited beings.

Our every moment existence is totally dependent upon His good will, which He never retracts. Even when man sins against Him, He gives man the ability to continue.

We in fact have an inherent love of G-d hidden in our soul. And so by contemplating on G-d that He is the source of our existence and provider of our physical needs, evokes that hidden love for Him.

The active concept of love of G-d is the contemplation and awareness of His goodness. The more we contemplate on His goodness, the greater will be our awareness of Him. The more we will be aware of Him the more love we will feel for Him in our hearts.

However the more we look at ourselves as a separate entity, the less we can feel any love for G-d. The more we try to see G-d in our lives, the more He will give us the ability to perceive Him in this world.

Basically, The more we contemplate on G-d's goodness, the better.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Golus, exile - like in a dream.

When we will be redeemed from exile, the experience will be like awakening from a long sleep.
A dream can fuse two opposites; in a dream state, we can visualize things that are logically impossible. While praying, we can become aroused with love for G-d. When the prayer is over, though, the love vanishes and we go back to our preoccupation with material mundane matters.

However, we should not assume that our spiritual service while in exile has no value. Even if the inspiration later vanishes every spiritual success is real and permanent. Our G-dly soul is always complete, and its accomplishments can never be erased.

The fact that we are in a 'dream-state' has a positive component. It means that we are able to overcome boundaries tht to our rational mind seem insurmountable. Our rational mind tells us that we must progress in an orderly, systematic fashion. We mustn't think too big or get ahead of ourselves. However, in a dream state we ignore all these limitations and can make a huge spiritual leap all at once, out of proportion to our previous level.

Our exile is a state of sleep but through increasing in Torah and Mitzvot we can awaken in an instant to the ultimate state of redemption.