"Love G‑d with all your heart, all your soul, and all your means" —Deuteronomy.
As a bird soars the skies on its two wings, so a mitzvah is carried upward upon wings of love and awe. Besides, loving G‑d is a mitzvah—one of only six that are applicable every waking moment.
Problem is, how do we grow wings? Meaning: If you don't love, what does it help to have a mitzvah to love?
As it turns out, we were born with wings—we just need some exercise to get them unfurled and flapping. We have an innate love of G‑d, but, as Maimonides writes, if you never think about G‑d it's hard to feel love for Him.
As it turns out, we were born with wings—we just need some exercise to get them unfurled and flappingSo what do you think about? Here's one meditation, as prescribed by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi:
- In the morning, before prayer, contemplate G‑d's greatness. Ponder the wonders of His creation. Imagine what it takes to get such a place up and running—out of absolute zilch—and then to sustain its existence at every moment.
- Next, ponder your own relative smallness, how insignificant you are next to such greatness.
- Now imagine how this unfathomably great Creator is putting everything aside (so to speak) to pay attention to your prayers, help you do your mitzvot, learn Torah with you, and generally carry you through life. His love for you is as infinite as He is.
- Repeat daily until attaining love.
Now you have the wings, send a few mitzvot flying. You have a purpose in this world—do it out of love! It's a lot more pleasant than grinding through life.
That's why love is a contagious mitzvah: When others see someone whose life is propelled by love of G‑d, they unfurl their wings to fly along with him.