Positive Mitzvah Three

To Love G-d

Devarim 6:5 You shall love Hashem, your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your resources.

We are commanded to love G-d, to dwell upon and contemplate His Mitzvot, His injunctions, and His works, so that we may obtain a conception of Him, and in conceiving Him attain absolute joy. This constitutes the Love of G-d, and is obligatory.

As the Sifre says: "Since it is said, 'And you shall love Hashem your G-d' (Devarim 6:5), the question arises, how is one to manifest his love for Hashem? Scripture therefore says: 'And these words which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart' (Devarim 6:6); for through this (i.e., the contemplation of G-d words) you will learn to discern Him whose word called the Universe into existence." (ibid. 5)

The Sages say that this Mitzvah also includes an obligation to call upon all mankind to serve Him (Baruch Hu), and to have faith in Him. For just as you praise and extol anybody whom you love, and call upon others also to love him, so, if you love Hashem to the extent of the conception of His true nature to which you have attained, you will undoubtedly call upon the foolish and ignorant to seek knowledge of the Truth which you have already acquired.

As the Sifre says: '"And you shall love Hashem your G-d" (Bereishit 12:5; Devarim 6:5): this means that you should make Him beloved of man as Avraham your father did, as it is said, "And the souls they had gotten in Charan." (Sifre) That is to say, just as Avraham, being a lover of Hashem - as Scripture testifies, "Avraham My friend" (Yeshayahu 41:8) - by the power of his conception of G-d, and out of his great love for Him, summoned mankind to believe, you too must so love Him as to summon mankind unto Him.