“Zeh Yitnu Kol Haover…”
[Torah Or p. 162]
This Parsha speaks of the Mitzvah of Machatzis Hashekel, giving the half-shekel donation to the Temple treasure. Our Sages explain that this half-coin donation held within its power the receiving of atonement for the sin of the Egel Hazahav.
But how can such a grave sin, the greatest sin in our history, be atoned for by giving such a mere small sum towards the Temple treasury? The Alter Rebbe explains that hidden behind the half-shekel donation is a world of service of G-d that was represented within the heart of the donor.
This service is the service of love. Loving Hashem is one of the basic fundaments of the Torah and Mitzvos, and on it is dependent much of our service of G-d. Love is the most fundamental ingredient that binds all relationships, including our relationship with Hashem. The purpose of religion is not just to follow G-d’s commands and obey His orders, but to create a relationship with Him.
Hashem yearns for the Jew to create this feeling of love for Him and desire to be attached to Him. Unlike a business relationship, in which the employer’s sole objective is for the employee to faithfully fulfill his tasks and not to create any emotional attachment to him, the purpose of the service Hashem gave us is specifically to gain an emotional attachment to Him.
The Maamar focuses on this love that every Jew is commanded to have for Hashem. Every Jew is obligated to love Him, irrelevant of background or spiritual state. How, though, does one achieve this love? How can one be commanded to have a feeling in his heart that he does not feel? This Maamar gives one the tools through which he can perform this great Mitzvah and achieve a loving relationship with Hashem.
For the complete Maamar click here