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Posted on July 25, 2023 (5783) By Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein | Series: | Level:

You shall love Hashem your G-d will all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might.[2]

Is there a measurable way in which to do that? How do we even begin to fulfil this mitzvah? A midrash provides an answer.[3] “Make Him beloved to people. As the Torah continues, ‘As these words…should be upon your heart.’”

How do words upon our hearts translate into making Him beloved to others? And how does keeping the words of Torah on our hearts translate into others coming to love G-d?

The answer begins with a consideration of how geirim/converts make their way to the Jewish people. The bottom line is that they begin as nitzotzos of holiness that are deeply mired in kelipos, until they are released and elevated by tzadikim.

We’ve examined the importance of elevating fallen nitzotzos several times before. We’ve also explained how the spiritual core of anything owes itself to the dvar Hashem/ word of Hashem that is resident in everything, and how learning and davening – when focusing deeply on Him – touches the holy letters of the Torah, and elevates other things connected to those letters. That is what energizes the potential convert. Some tzadik touches the letters that are at the core of the would-be ger’s neshamah. That nitzotzos can break through the kelipah, and soar towards its heavenly Source. That is what happens on the hidden, spiritual level. In the revealed world, this means that the neshamah journeys to join the Jewish people, becoming a member through proper conversion.

What this requires, however, is stunning. The tzadik can have no effect upon the fallen nitzotzos unless he himself cambers down from his lofty position, and descends himself into the kelipah! This is the true meaning of, “From the depths, I call you, Hashem.”[4] The tzadik must be willing to wade into murky waters so that the nitzotzos there will be drawn to him, and elevated by his avodah. It gives Hashem great satisfaction, kivayachol, to see the lower realms become elevated and attached to Him.

This is imperative not only for the tzadik, but for all of us! Every oveid Hashem must connect himself to all people and things. As the gemara says,[5] “A person should not stand in a high place and daven.” This means that he must lower himself to the arena of ordinary human affairs.

The navi[6] spoke of “the new heavens and the new earth that I make;” the Zohar[7] explains that this refers to tzadikim who accomplish this through their new Torah insights. It is appropriate to think of “heaven” and “earth” in reference to things of this world. The “earth” refers to the physical, material aspects; “heaven” to the vial core of ruchniyus that animates the physical. When the tzadik throws himself into his Torah with great dveikus, he succeeds in creating new neshamos from the nitzotzos in the kelipos.

This, then, is the meaning of our pasuk, as understood by the above-cited midrash. How do we practically fulfill the mitzvah of loving Hashem? By involving ourselves with others, so that we can touch and elevate their hidden nitzotzos, and launch them on an upward trajectory towards their love of Hashem.


  1. Based on Meor Einayim, by Rav Menachem Nochum zt”l of Chernobyl
  2. Devarim 6:5
  3. I have not been able to find this midrash.
  4. Tehillim 130:1
  5. Berachos 10b
  6. Yeshayahu 66:22
  7. Zohar1 5a