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True Ahavas Hashem

GYE Corp. Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Chassidic Sefarim speak about how we are able to learn true Ahavas Hashem from Shechem Ben Chamor. The Torah uses four different descriptions for Shechem's infatuation with Dinah, in the following order:

It is interesting to note that the order of Shechem's "infatuation" with Dinah seems to diminish as the Pesukim go on. At first the Torah uses the Lashon of Deveikus, which means "one with" and "Completely Attached to". Then the Torah uses the word "love", then "desire", and lastly the word "Chafetz" is used, meaning simply "wants".

Perhaps in teaching us how to love Hashem, the Torah is first teaching us the nature of "false" infatuations so that we can fulfill the Pasuk "Ohavei Hashem, Sinu Ra". When it comes to "Ra" - the fleeting passions of the Yetzer Hara, the order of intensity diminishes quickly over time. As all addicts will tell you, the first time was the best. Often an addict will spend the rest of his entire life sunk into the addiction, trying to recapture that "first time". As we see in the Eulogy that Rabbi Twerski sent to Jack on this page, the addict writes: "You played games with me and teased me. You never did make me as comfertable as you did at first".

But when it comes to love of Hashem, the order is reversed. The first step is "Chafetz" where the person "wants" to get closer to Hashem. And if they "want" enough, Hashem helps them to find true "Cheishek" in Avodas Hashem. And that leads to "Love of Hashem", which ultimately leads to the highest Madrega - a complete Deveikus with Hakadosh Baruch Hu - as the Pasuk says "Ve'davakta Bo".

See also this page, for something beautiful along a similar vein.