In this class we will discuss the role of mitzvos in eliciting אהבה רבה. As explained in Tanya, the root of mitzvah performance is love and awe (אהוי״ר), love comprising the motivating force for positive mitzvos and awe for negative mitzvos. Our love and awe are the product of mind and are therefore limited.

The will of Hashem, however, which is the source of mitzvos is limitless and thus our finite avodah in mitzvah performance draws down a power of infinitude (אהבה רבה) from above.

The Rebbe points out that in the days of Bayis Rishon (First Temple), positive mitzvos were sufficient to ignite אהבה רבה in Neshamos Yisroel. In the time of golus, however, אהבה רבה is elicited largely by מצוות לא תעשה.

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