Positive Mitzvah Eight

Walking in G-d's Ways

Devarim 28:9 Hashem will confirm you for Himself as a holy people, as He swore to you - if you observe the mitzvot of Hashem, your G-d, and you go in His ways.

Devarim 10:12 Now, O Yisrael, what does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you? Only to fear Hashem, your G-d, to go in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul,

With this Positive Mitzvah we are commanded to be like G-d, Baruch Hu, as far as it is in our power. This injunction has already appeared in another form in His words, "After Hashem your G-d shall you walk" (Devarim 13:5), which the Sages explain as meaning that we are to imitate the good deeds and lofty attributes by which Hashem, Baruch Hu, is described in a figurative way - He being indeed immeasurably exalted above all such description...thus, we must learn from the beautiful, merciful and kind ways of Hashem and commands us to imitate them.

The duty of imitating G-d, as expressed in this Mitzvah, is one of the fundamental teachings of Judaism. It finds its classic expression in the verse, "You shall be holy, for I Hashem your G-d am holy" (VaYikra 19:2) Thus, while paganism pictured its gods in the image of man, in respect of both their physical and spiritual attributes, Judaism pronounced the doctrine of man made in the image of G-d, insisting, moreover, upon the supreme duty of man to make his ways like those of his Creator. This is the source of Yisrael's moral law, which holds out to man the possibility of becoming but little lower than the angels (Tehillim 8:6).

Sotah 14a

'Just as the Holy One, Baruch Hu, clothes the naked (i.e. Adam and Chavah, Bereishit 3:21), so should man clothe the naked; just as the Holy One, Baruch Hu, visits the sick (i.e., Avraham, ibid., 18:3, Rashi), so should man visit the sick; just as the Holy One, Baruch Hu, comforts mourners (i.e. Yitzchak, ibid., 25:11), so should man comfort mourners; just as the Holy One, Baruch Hu, buries the dead (i.e., Moshe, Devarim 34:6), so should man bury the dead.'