Issue 10 | Parshat Vaetchanan | Love in Face of Suffering



Lessons from the Shema Prayer 

The mitzvah of loving G-d, V’ohavto es Hashem Elokhecho – stated in this week’s Torah portion – is one of the most fundamental (as well as one of the most famous) principles in Judaism, recited several times daily in the Shema prayer. 

But what does this – so common and perhaps taken for granted – directive really mean? Does G-d need our love? What significance and value can the love of mortal creatures have before Almighty G-d? And what is the purpose of this command – what is accomplished by us loving G-d? 

The Baal Shem Tov, offers us a novel and radical interpretation of this mitzvah. And one that sheds a new light on the meaning and root of human suffering and the power of love in face of distress, teaching us an incredible lesson how our attitude impacts our pain.


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