What does it mean to "love G‑d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength?"


Simply put, this statement (from Deuteronomy 6:5) that we say twice daily in the Shema prayer means that our relationship with G‑d should impact us to the point where we dedicate:

  • our hearts, and specifically our animalistic passions, to harness them to serve Him. Developing a love for G‑d to the point that we are excited to fulfill His wishes, realizing that this is for our own benefit and good.
  • our souls, our very life-force; to be prepared to die, if necessary, to sanctify His name. Or, alternatively, to "kill" our ego and self-centeredness. At this point it's not about what's best for us, but an all-encompassing love that allows us to transcend ourselves.
  • our strength, which we use to make a living, to serving G‑d. Our love extends beyond our own person, it cause us to devote all our means to His service, as well.

As you can imagine, these words include multiple layers of meaning, so click here for more on "loving G‑d."

Rabbi Moshe Goldman for