Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky, for
"The Chumash of the Lubavitcher Rebbe"
"You shall return to G-d, your G-d
your heart and all your soul." (Deut. 30:2)
Thus, we are called to perform the commandment of teshuva
(repentance) with all our heart and soul. In contrast, we are commanded
to love G-d not only with all our heart and soul, but with "all
your might" (Deut. 6:5), implying a love that transcends our normal
emotive powers. Why does this difference exist between these two seemingly
"Love" is, of course, an emotion. The Torah
asks that our love for G-d not only be a function of our heart and soul,
but that it draw on the unlimited sources of connection to G-d that
emanate from a more essential place in our divine consciousness. This
is referred to as "all your might", the realm where deeply
rooted love for G-d exists.
"Return", on the other hand, is in its essence
an act of going beyond oneself. The individual's normal, operative self
is what put him in his present predicament of having sinned and needing
to return. He therefore needs to transcend this self and seek a deeper,
more essential layer of his identity where G-d means more to him than
the indulgences to which he has become accustomed. Once found, this
transcendent consciousness must be made his normative consciousness.
Thus, while the Torah bids us to increase our love of
G-d from normal to transcendent, it bids us to return to G-d by making
our transcendent relationship with him into our normal one.
Copyright 2001 chabad of california / www.lachumash.org
Rabbi Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky is a scholar, writer, editor
and anthologist. Originally from Los Angeles, he moved to Israel in
1977, and currently lives in Jerusalem. While living in Tsfat, he was
one of the three founders of ASCENT in 1983.