Parashas Nitzavim

In this week’s parashah it is written (Devarim 30:6-8):
Hashem your God shall circumcise your heart and the hearts of your offspring, to love Hashem your God with all your heart and with all your soul, on account of your life. And Hashem your God shall place all these curses upon your enemies and those who hated you, who pursued you. And you shall return and hearken unto the voice of Hashem, and you shall observe all His commandments that I command you today.
In his commentary on Shir HaShirim 1:5, the Maggid explains this passage as follows. In the first verse of the passage, Hashem promises us that He will remove the foreskin-like shell that covers our hearts, and cure us of the spiritual malaise that now plagues us (see Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Dei’os 2:1). We then will sense the sweetness of Torah and mitzvos, just as we now sense the sweetness of worldly pleasures. The Torah says that we will love Hashem with all our heart, “on account of your life.” Just as we love physical pleasures because they bring us physical vitality, so, too, we will come to appreciate the sweetness of Torah and mitzvos because we will see how they bring us spiritual vitality. Nonetheless, we will receive reward, because our observance will be motivated not by the sweetness of the mitzvos, but rather by the wish to serve Hashem. Thus the passage above concludes: “And you shall return and hearken unto the voice of Hashem, and you shall observe all His commandments that I command you today.” Even though Hashem will lead us to sense the sweetness of His commandments, we will not focus on this sweetness. Rather, we will focus simply on carrying out Hashem’s command. This state of being is the apex of spiritual greatness.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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