Day 31/50: Using Love & Passion Correctly

Day 31/50: Using Love & Passion Correctly

וָֽאֶשָּׂ֤א אֶתְכֶם֙ עַל־כַּנְפֵ֣י נְשָׁרִ֔ים וָֽאָבִ֥א אֶתְכֶ֖ם אֵלָֽי

I bore you on eagles’ wings and I brought you to Me.


In his sefer ‘Chayei Olam’ the Steipler Ga’on asks why Hashem created us with such strong taivos. Wouldn’t it be better if we were more able to resist temptation? 


The Steipler’s answer is profound. He writes that Hashem gave us wonderful character traits such as love, desire, passion etc., but as we have bechira (free choice), it is entirely our choice as to how we use those traits. Hashem wants us to use them to serve Him and to love Him. The stronger our desires are, the more passionately we should be seeking to serve Hashem. (As Chazal say, “One who is greater than his friend, his Yetzer is greater as well”).


The highest desire a Jew can have is to be “dovek ba’Hashem” – attached to Hashem. In its proper form, this desire is actually a ‘lust’ of some sort, as the Rambam (in Hilchos Teshuva 10,3) writes:


What is the proper love that we must have for G-d? It is to love G-d with an exceedingly great and intensely powerful love until the individual is constantly enraptured by it; he must be stricken like a lovesick person, whose mind is never free from his passion for a particular woman, with the thought of her filling his heart at all times, whether he be laying down or getting up, whether he be eating or drinking. Even more intense should the love of G-d be in the hearts of those who love Him, and this love should constantly absorb him, as we are commanded to love the Lord “with all your heart and with all your soul.” Shlomo Hamelech expressed this allegorically in the verse, “for I am sick with love.” (Song of Songs, 2:5). Indeed, the entire Song of Songs is an allegorical description of this love.

🌤️ Today I shall…

…try to focus the wonderful midos of love, desire and passion into my avodas Hashem.

For more on this beautiful idea see this article.