Dvar Torah Parshat Ekev 5769 2009

In the first paragraph of the Shema which we read last week we are charged to love Hashem: BECHOL LEVAVCHA UVECHOL NAFSHECHA UVECHOL ME’ODECHA, “with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might”. In the second paragraph of the Shema, which is extracted from this week’s Torah Portion, we read a similar directive but one aspect is omitted.

In this second paragraph we simply read that we are directed to love Hashem: BECHOL LEVAVCHEM UVECHOL NAFSHECHEM, “with all your heart and with all your soul”. (Deut. 11,13) Why is “with all your might” excluded?

The word ME’ODECHA or “your might” Chazal interpret to mean all your resources. When it comes to accepting Hashem and worshipping Him, which is the thrust of the first paragraph, one should be ready to go to the limit and if it requires spending exorbitant funds one must do so. The second paragraph talks about accepting the obligation of performing the Mitzvot. Here Chazal state there is a limit. One must not spend more than an additional fifth of the true price to perform a Mitzvah.

Hence in the second paragraph ME’ODECHA, “with all your might” is omitted. There is a limit to what you have to spend to perform a Mitzvah.

This is especially noteworthy as we approach the holiday of Succot and will be purchasing a Lulav and Etrog. We should be mindful of the fact that we are not permitted to overspend beyond the reasonable limits.

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