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We must serve G-d with our emotions

1:3 For the Love of G-d

1:3 For the Love of G-d

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1:3 For the Love of G-d
We must serve G-d with our emotions

"...Do not be like servants who serve their master for the sake of receiving a reward…" (Avot 1:3)

Love and Awe of Heaven

"Love of G‑d is the root of all the 248 positive commandments, which are drawn from there" and "Awe is the root of the 365 prohibitions…" (Tanya, chap.4) Although love and awe of G‑d are only two of the 613 mitzvot, they have a great effect upon the quality of one's observance of all of the mitzvot.

It is not intellectual understanding which motivates the performance of mitzvot, but emotional qualities of the heart. Only true love of G‑d will prompt a person to fulfill His mitzvot, the 248 positive commandments. Similarly, reverence for Him will restrain him from doing anything against G‑d's Will by transgressing the 365 prohibitions. Without the love of G‑d, a person's performance of mitzvot is not perfect…

The Arizal explained that a mitzvah without intention (i.e. precise awareness of what one is doing) is like a body without a soul. Love and awe permeate the performance of a mitzvah with fire and fervor. Without love and awe, it is not possible to perform a mitzvah for its own sake, and a person acts merely out of habit. Without the love of G‑d, a person's performance of mitzvot is not perfect; in the language of the Tanya, chapter 4: "One who fulfills them in truth…"

Chassidic texts explain that there are many different levels and types of love of G‑d. It appears from commentaries to this Mishna that the instruction to "be like servants who serve their master without intention of receiving a reward" applies to everyone, and every person is expected to achieve a love for G‑d which is unconditional - this is a true love which has no ulterior motives.

Love and Awe - Two which are Four

Love and awe each comprise two levels, called the lower and higher levels of awe, and the lower and higher levels of love. These four levels are alluded to in the Mishna. The order in which they appear follows the order which a person must follow in his service of G‑d: the lower level of awe; the lower level of love; the higher level of love; the higher level of awe:

"Do not be like servants…" - This alludes to the lower level of awe, where a person fears punishment of the blemish that will blight his soul through sin.

"…for the sake of receiving a reward" - This alludes to a higher level of love. When one achieves this level of love, one becomes aware that even the greatest reward for his service, whether this reward if spiritual or material.

"…without intention of receiving a reward" - This alludes to the highest level of love. When one achieves this level of love, one becomes aware that even the greatest reward for one's service is only a small "slice" in comparison to the value of the service itself.

"And let the reverence for Heaven be upon you…" - This alludes to the higher level of awe, awe of the majesty and exaltedness of G‑d, as well as shame to transgress in His presence. Be upon you - In fact, the higher level of awe is itself divided into two levels, that which is produced by his own efforts, known in Kabbala as "arousal from below"; and that which is bestowed upon man from Above, known in Kabbala as "arousal from Above". The latter is the essential aspect of higher awe. The Mishna states, "And let reverence for Heaven be upon you" - rather than within you, thus alluding to the level of awe which is bestowed upon a person from Above.

Rabbi Yekutiel Green has published many explanantions of Chassidic texts, especially in English, presenting concepts to those with minimal background.
Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory
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