Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Listen, Understand, Love

In this weeks Parsha, Vaeschanan, in the second verse of the Shema, we are commanded: And you should love HaShem...

When it comes to loving someone, you either do or don't. You cannot be commanded to love another. How then do we fulfill this commandment?

HaShem wants to be understood, known. The more we understand about HaShem the more we love him. Being that HaShem is infinite there is always more to know. 

To be loved, is to be understood. 

Most women know this naturally, as they yearn to be understood. When they are understood they feel loved. 

To understand, you must listen. To listen is to remove ones personal understanding and feelings on the subject and hear it from the other ones perspective totally. To listen is not just about hearing, it's about picking up on nuances such as facial expressions, body language and hints. To experience the other. 

Again, most women naturally know how listen, most men do not, hence the complaint "he doesn't listen". Good listening takes effort and could be exhausting. 

HaShem is saying, try to understand me, from my perspective. Hints are found all over the Torah. Pick up on the hints, listen. 

HaShem is asking us to understand: Why He created this world? How do we fit in the scheme of things? He wants us understand Him, to know Him. 

A hint to this is found in the first verse of the shema. 

שמע ישראל ה׳ אלוקינו ה׳ אחד. 
Listen Israel, HaShem is our GD, HaShem is one. 

In the Torah, this verse has two oversized letters ע and ד. Together they make up the word דע, to know or understand. 

שמע ישראל If you will listen. דע You will understand. ה׳ אלוקינו ה׳ אחד HaShem is our GD, HaShem is One. In other words, what HaShem is all about. ואהבת and then you will love HaShem...

Knowing HaShem's purpose, will motivate you and animate you, as you will find deep meaning in fulfilling HaShem's will. Not from a feeling of obligation but rather from love. 

Listen, understand, love. 

(For anyone wanting a deeper understanding of HaShem. I would suggest learning Chabad chasidus. Contact your local Chabad Rabbi for more info.)

1 comment:

  1. From a Siddur:

    Seven characteristics which typify a clod and seven the wise person:

    The wise person does not speak in the presence of who is wiser than he, he listens.
    He does not interrupt his friends words,
    He does not reply in haste,
    He asks what is relevant, he answers to the point,
    He replies to questions in orderly sequence
    Of what he has not heard, he says, " I have not heard",
    He admits the truth,
    The opposite of these typify a clod....