Deut. 3:23 – 7:11
Rabbi Gary Pokras
“You shall the love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your stregth.” [Deut. 6:5]
What does it mean to love God with everything we have?
For years I have struggled to find the answer, and to be honest, I still do.
This week instead of offering my own interpretation, I would like to share a poetic reinterpretation of this passage from the Torah, which is commonly referred to as the v’ahavta in the worship service. It comes from the Reform Machzor for Yom Kippur, Mishkan HaNefesh (p. 189)
V’AHAVTA — WHEN YOU LOVE
When you love Adonai Elohecha body and soul
these things I ask of you will be possible:
To answer your children’s questions about Me
and believe your answers yourselves
To connect religion to your everyday
comings and goings …
when you hug them in bed at night
with tender words –Sh’ma Yisrael
or when you think to say Modeh Ani
in the rush of getting them up and out
in the morning
To be alert enough
to open doors for your children
in every waking moment
and when they dream.
And finally, to remember just why
all these things matter:
They matter because I, Adonai Elohecha,
brought you and your children out of Egypt
to be God for you.
I am your God.
And when you do these things
I will be your children’s God.