“Love G-d with all your heart, with all you soul and with all your possessions”
(Shema- V’ohavto at Adoshem Elokecka b’chol l’vov’ch, uvchol nafsh’cho, uvchol m’odecha)
“With all your heart?” What does that exactly mean?
We should not let our love for ourselves get in our way of loving G-d. Our egos were created by Hashem to pull us closer to Him, not to rise above Him. A man who restricts his ego is a man who is trying to attain his true purpose in life- excelling in his serving G-d.
“With all your soul?”
The Rabbis tell us this means, “love Him even if He takes away your soul- even if you are required to give up your life for a kiddish Hashem.” Rabbi Dessler eloquently responds to this by saying, “some people do mitzvot in order to live, while others live in order to do mitzvot.” With that said, we do not disregard the one who does mitzvot to live, because he does have faith in Hashem, but his faith is ascertained based on Hashem providing him with all his needs. By creating such a relationship with Hashem, this person is treating his private life independent from Hashem. This is a flawed way of thinking, since to attain true unity with Hashem, one must be completely counting on the will of Hashem. In order to reach the complete unity with Hashem, he has to understand the mitzvah of kiddush Hashem, which essentially portrays that one’s life does not belong to him, but rather, his sole purpose is to service Hashem. Because a kiddish Hashem involves giving one’s life up at any moment, a person should recognize that life is a “vehicle for mitzvot, not that mitzvot are a vehicle for life” (Dessler 218). By recognizing this, his relationship with God will be unified.
“With all your possessions?”
Everything that Hashem has given us is to be used as a vehicle to perform mitzvot. By overvaluing and over identifying with possessions, one is creating an even larger barrier with Hashem, which is a form of idolatry. In order to live a life filled of unity with Hashem, a person must diminish his quench for possessions.