It is this love—this latter manner of love, which may be generated by contemplation—that Moses, our teacher, peace unto him, wished to implant in the heart of every Jew, in the passage, “and now, Israel…,”28

וְהִנֵּה, עִנְיַן אַהֲבָה זוֹ רָצָה מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ עָלָיו־הַשָּׁלוֹם לִיטַּע בְּלֵב כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּפָרָשָׁה: "וְעַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגוֹ'",

in the verse that speaks of G-d’s greatness, “Behold, the heavens belong to G-d, your L-rd…,” and likewise in the following verses that speak of G-d’s love for His people:

בַּפָּסוּק: "הֵן לַה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְגוֹ',

“Only in your fathers did He delight…. You shall circumcise.… With seventy souls [did your forefathers descend to Egypt, and now He has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven].”

רַק בַּאֲבוֹתֶיךָ חָשַׁק וְגוֹ', וּמַלְתֶּם וְגוֹ', בְּשִׁבְעִים נֶפֶשׁ וְגוֹ',

All the above inevitably leads to the first verse in the following chapter, namely:

“You shall love [the L-rd your G-d…].”29

וְאָהַבְתָּ וְגוֹ'".

Hence, [Moses] concluded his words in the later verse quoted above concerning this love, “…which I command you to do,”30

וְלָכֵן סִיֵּים דְּבָרָיו עַל אַהֲבָה זוֹ: "אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ",

Here, then, is the answer to the above query as to how it is possible to “do” or to create the spiritual emotion of love:

for this is a love that is produced in the heart through the understanding and self-involving knowledge of matters that inspire love.

שֶׁהִיא אַהֲבָה עֲשׂוּיָה בַּלֵּב, עַל יְדֵי הַבִּינָה וְהַדַּעַת בִּדְבָרִים הַמְּעוֹרְרִים אֶת הָאַהֲבָה.

However, if the verse is in fact referring to the kind of love that is created through contemplation, should it not first command one to contemplate? Indeed so, the Alter Rebbe now goes on to say:

And this he had commanded previously, in the first paragraph of Shema: “And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart,”31

וְעַל זֶה צִוָּה כְּבָר תְּחִלָּה: "וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם עַל לְבָבֶךָ",

so that through this [meditation], you will come to love G-d, as is stated in the Sifrei on this verse.32

כְּדֵי שֶׁעַל יְדֵי זֶה תָּבֹא לְאַהֲבָה אֶת ה', כִּדְאִיתָא בְּסִפְרֵי עַל פָּסוּק זֶה.

An expression of command (“which I command you to do—to love”) can thus be applied to this second type of intellectually generated love,

וְהִנֵּה, עַל אַהֲבָה זוֹ, הַשֵּׁנִית, שַׁיָּיךְ לְשׁוֹן מִצְוָה וְצִוּוּי,

It might seem that to command a person to experience love would be either fruitless or superfluous. Not so, however, with regard to the kind of love that is born of contemplation. Here, one can indeed be given a command:

namely, to focus one’s heart and mind on matters that arouse love.

דְּהַיְינוּ, לָשׂוּם לִבּוֹ וְדַעְתּוֹ בִּדְבָרִים הַמְּעוֹרְרִים אֶת הָאַהֲבָה.

But an expression of command is not at all applicable to the first kind of love, which is a flame that ascends of its own accord.

אֲבָל בְּאַהֲבָה רִאשׁוֹנָה, שֶׁהִיא שַׁלְהֶבֶת הָעוֹלָה מֵאֵלֶיהָ, לֹא שַׁיָּיךְ לְשׁוֹן צִוּוּי וּמִצְוָה כְּלָל.

Furthermore, it is the reward of the tzaddikim to savor a foretaste of the World to Come in this world.

וְלֹא עוֹד, אֶלָּא שֶׁהִיא מַתַּן שְׂכָרָן שֶׁל צַדִּיקִים, לִטְעוֹם מֵעֵין עוֹלָם הַבָּא בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה,

In the World to Come, the righteous bask in the rays of the Divine Presence: they delight in their perception of G-dliness. And it is this delight that tzaddikim enjoy in this world when they serve G-d with love.

Concerning this [level of love], it is written, “I shall grant [you] your priestly service as a gift,”33 as will be explained in its proper place, namely, where the Divinely bestowed gift of ahavah betaanugim is discussed.

שֶׁעָלֶיהָ נֶאֱמַר: "עֲבוֹדַת מַתָּנָה אֶתֵּן אֶת כְּהוּנַּתְכֶם", כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמָהּ.