We have previously learned that ahavah rabbah cannot be achieved through the necessarily limited avodah of sechel and middos (service of mind and heart).

However, the exertion itself, as opposed to the feelings that it generates, opens the gate of ahavah rabbah. The intensity of the son’s devotion kindles in the heart of the ‘father’ a redoubled love for his son, and as a result, the Father turns “face” to his son and reveals that which the son could not achieve by virtue of his own avodah.

Thus ahavah rabbah is really a gift from above. Practical implications of this in the divine service of the ordinary Jew will be discussed.

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