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To Love G-d

To Love G-d

Spread Your Wings


"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:

  1. 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.
  2. Next, ponder your own relative smallness, how insignificant you are next to such greatness.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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Anonymous Berkeley August 29, 2017

Would the author please give the source of this quote: "As a bird soars the skies on its two wings, so a mitzvah is carried upward upon wings of love and awe."

thanks! Reply

Anonymous August 21, 2016

According to something you can always do What are the six commandments you can do every waking moment of your life Reply

Brachah July 17, 2015

Thank you Lovely to read just before Shabbat Reply

Anonymous July 16, 2015

This is very encouraging, and it makes one smile...Thank you for the very uplifting pointers! Reply

Madeleine Cohen Northbrook July 16, 2015

It is so important that we realize that Judaism is not a religion of laws only, but one of love for Hashem!! it might look as if we only have to follow laws (from the outside) let's all remember that all and every Mitzvah is for the Love of G-D!!! Reply

Anna TX March 17, 2014

Wings of Love As I sit here and read this absolutely wonderful material about God and love I am more than aware of a great and loving God who shares Himself with us in miraculous ways. I live in TX but originally came from the Mid-Atlantic where it seemed the physical world was incredibly beautiful. One thing that I really missed were woodpeckers. Those beautiful, silly little, noisy birds who always left a mess in my Grandmother's backyard next to her yellow jasmine bushes after they finished pecking away at their favorite trees. I must have been really missing MD and the native birdlife one day so I prayed for woodpeckers. It was an unreal experience when I returned to the front yard and saw two red headed woodpeckers soaring across my front yard! I called my son out so that he could see them, too and share in one of God's wonderful moments. The two birds only remained for a few hours and then left. I think God must have been having such a great time that day as He sent beauty and hope. Reply

Anonymous Philadelphia January 7, 2014

It's so important to me just now and all the time. When I have ever been hospitalized and scared , I found this internal switch in me to take care or advocate for the patient next to me who is worse off. It;s selfish because it takes my mind off of my own fears? Even angry and ready verbally assault someone because of accumulated stress and even physical pain, I find myself trying to offer support to people I perceive as needing it. I always thought I had no empathy and was that, reinforced by family and others growing up. But I was surrounded by it too. I get upset for hours at a time when I have been lashing out because of overwhelming stress, pain, or feeling the impulse control slipping from my being. I don't sleep or eat normally when this happens. Yes I take medication which is being lessened and controlled better and see and excellent cognitive therapist. I shudder about having to do this in a group after this past summer. Anger=Pain to me. Physical pain I have gotten better at but this needs help from HaShem. Reply

Rlee5454 Jacksonville, FL/USA June 28, 2012

Spreading wings Thank you for this practical exhortation. It's very easy to forget / overlook the obvious opportunities that G-d places before me each day. May G-d continue to use you and your articles to encourage others to continue in obedience to G-d!
Thank You again Reply

Kay Wonderley Aberglasslyn, NSW Australia August 20, 2010

To love G-d "You have a purpose in this world, doing it out of love it is a lot more pleasant than doing it out of a grind." That is a crucial perspective. I am really pushed in my chemistry studies at the moment, and I read this mitzvot after reading Psalm 25. I will continue all that I do out of love with G-d's help and the Torah's instruction. Blessed be He who has given us instuction on how to do life. Thank you Chabad for making this mitzvot clear and meaningful. Reply

Chani Philadelphia, PA June 29, 2009

Thank you for these "mitzvah minutes"! They're great for an extra push of spirituality in my day and provide great food for my soul! Reply

Julia Haifa, Israel June 29, 2009

G-d is learning also? I love this message today! thank you so much.

I was so surprised by the idea that G-d is learning Torah with us!

Does that mean that as i live life, G-d is also witnessing and learning about life?

WOW!!! Reply

Susan Weisfeld June 29, 2009

To Love God, Spread Your Wings Your message encourages me to share with you my daily inspiration -- a wonderful, simple lady who gave up all material things to serve God and take care of the poorest of the poor. She has passed on but not in spirit. When I think of mitzvot, she is my inspiration. I have a book of her meditations where she says, "Every Act of Love is a Prayer:" "Prayer in Action is Love and Love in Action is Service." My favorite is: "Everything is God's to give and to take away, so share what you've been given, and that includes yourself." One more:"Be happy now and if you show through your actions that you love others, include those that are poorer than you, you'll give them happiness too. It doesn't take much--it can be just giving a smile. The world would be a much better place if everyone smiled more. So smile, be cheerful, be joyous that God loves you." I find something in this book every day to inspire me and to give me joy. Reply

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