An Act of Love

Avraham Tzvi Schwartz

To love is to DO an act of love, while speaking and thinking words of love. It is an act of giving, whether we are giving our money, time or energy. It is an act of giving no matter which way we give it.

The Torah commands us to "love Hashem".[1] We commit ourselves to this mitzva twice each day in the Shema. How do we live up to our promise? By performing an act -- any act -- for Hashem. In our doing we give Hashem our gift. Moreover, and ideally, we wrap our deed with loving words and thoughts, and present it to Hashem.

Are we speaking of the loftiest of levels? Yes, but this is not as hard at it might seem. For we are also speaking here of living life to the full. TO DO right now in the maximum way -- with total concentration, strength, and for the sake of Hashem -- is not only to love Hashem. It is also a secret of happiness.

  One of Three

At any given time, we focus on one of three life-views:

·      What we have;

·      Who we are, and,

·      What we are doing right now.

Which one of them is the best? Number three.

When we think of "what we have", we begin also to think of what we don't have. This lack can sadden us, depress us, rob us of our joy. More importantly, to be only rich and comfortable without having any other importance is embarrassing. Therefore, we must move away from "what we have" and look instead at "who we are".

"Who we are" is much more than "what we have". For "what we have" is mostly what we received from others. Thus, its value is low. On the other hand, "who we are" takes into account all we have done to become all we are. It is a measure of our ambition, determination and courage.

Still, "who we are" also contains a downside. For, as much as we have accomplished, there is more we have yet to accomplish. So many other people have done all we have done, and more! Also, "who we are" is mostly about our past. It says little about our present.

Therefore, we need to concentrate on "what we are doing", on what we are busying ourselves with right now. Here lies our hope. Here lies our joy. Into our now, we can pour thought and energy, making it our Gift to Hashem. Within this present lies our real greatness. Thus, our Rabbis teach, "Whether one does more or less, he stands equally tall, when he does it for Hashem".[2]


[1] Devarim 6.5

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