Hear O’ Israel, HASHEM is our G-d, HASHEM is One. And you should love HASHEM your G-d with all you heart and all your soul and with all your might. (Devarim 6:4-5)
How can the Torah command one to love? Isn’t true that you either feel it or not? Apparently that’s not the case. Why does the requirement to understand the absolute unity of HASHEM precede the need to love HASHEM?
The Chofetz Chaim writes in “The Concise Book of Mitzvos” the following: The way to love Him is when we contemplate His deeds each according to his mental abilities and then it will cause His love to enflame in our hearts. This is the obligatory love that one should place all his thoughts to love HASHEM Blessed Be He! A person only loves The Holy One Blessed Be He according to the knowledge that he has of Him. According to the knowledge so will be the love, and if it is a little it will be minimal and if it is a lot it will be a lot!
How do we perceive the power and unity of HASHEM in His deeds? Let’s take a simple example we can all appreciate without having to be rocket scientists. Anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding of the periodic table of elements knows that everything in the universe that we perceive and us are made up of a jumbled mass of the same stuff- the same protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks and whatnots whirling at varied valences and at differing densities, from hydrogen to uranium. When any atom is split open, as we came to realize in the 20th century, oceans of tightly packed energy are instantly released.
What was is that impressed the life long 81 year old spokesman for atheism, Anthony Flew, to become a Deist this past year? He was overwhelmed by the “unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are necessary to produce life” and concluded that “intelligence must have been involved.”
A paper was recently published revealing the DNA genome for rice. Can you think of a more inert food type than rice? Well, half the world relies on it for their main food source. “The rice genome is a sequence of chemicals represented by symbols looking like this: ATTGTGTAGTAGTTCTT. That goes on for 389 million letters.” Like a Sefer Torah with some 300,000 letter, if one letter is broken or missing the whole scroll is rendered invalid, so it is that if one part of the sequence is wrongly transcribed or transmitted than rice is not produced. Not surprisingly, what has been found in the genes of every living thing on earth is a four letter digital code, from a piece of rice to Condalisa Rice. The imagination can run wild in this jungle gym of not just ideas. One can find the unity and genius and power of HASHEM (a four letter name in Hebrew) peaking out from every corner of creation.
The Chofetz continues that “included in this Mitzvah is to bring people closer to His service and to make Him beloved to others as Avraham did…” Why is this activity an extension of the Mitzvah to love HASHEM? When someone reads a book they like, or discovers a recipe, or a business opportunity they are very excited about, the first instinct is to want to share it with a friend. When somebody gets even a glimpse of “The Big Picture”, it is impossible to not want to share. It is simply- a symptom of love. Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.