In this shiur, we look at the rest of the first paragraph of Shema. Some of the issues discussed are:
- Why do we say “Barukh sheim“?
- How can a person choose to fulfill the commandment to love Hashem? Can you choose an emotion?
- What does it mean to serve Hashem with our whole hearts? Two approaches to the idea of serving Hashem with the yeitzer hara (evil inclination).
- The progression outward of our ahavah, to levavekha (your heart), to nafshekha (your living soul), to me’odekha (all your resources), and its parallel in the subsequent mitzvos.
- Looking at the mitzvos in the paragraph as a tool for unifying religion and the “real world”. Religion as sanctifying life rather than a retreat from it.