In the first paragraph of the Shema we say you need to love Hashem בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך ובכל מאדך, to love Hashem with all your heart, soul, and resources. But in the second paragraph of Shema, it says “and if you listen to what I commanded you to do, to love Hashem בכל לבבכם ובכל נפשכם”. So basically, what happened to מאדך and why was it excluded in the second paragraph of Shema?

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    See Nefesh Hachaim for a deep explanation
    – robev
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 5:09
  • See Bᵊrakhoth 35b for the debate between Rabbi Yishma`el and Rashbi. It’s very interesting, and I think Rashbi’s opinion answers your question well: sefaria.org/Brachot%2035b Commented Apr 12 at 17:18
  • @QwertyCTRL. I’m familiar with the debate yeah. How do you see that it fits in here? What are you thinking? Commented Apr 12 at 18:31
  • Sorry, I mixed up the actual text of the Gemara with something I learned from one of my Rabbis. I’ll post it as an answer. Commented Apr 12 at 19:04
  • @QwertyCTRL. thanks looking forward Commented Apr 12 at 19:57

3 Answers 3


The Kli Yakar asks this question and answers based on the fact that the first parsha refers to a single person and this parsha refers to the tzibbur. He then explains why all the interpretations of מאדך don’t apply to a tzibbur:

ומ"ש בכל לבבכם ובכל נפשכם ולא נאמר ובכל מאדכם לפי מה שפירש"י שלכך נאמר בכל מאדך לפי שיש לך אדם שממונו חביב עליו מגופו, מדקאמר יש לך אדם ש"מ שדבר זה בלתי מצוי כ"א באדם אחד או מתי מספר שבטלה דעתם אצל כל אדם אבל לא בציבור כי לא שכיח הדבר שרבים יסכימו על דעה נפסדה זו. ולפי מה שפירש"י בכל מאדך בכל מדה שהוא מודד לך להרע או להטיב, הרי פרשה זו מדברת מזמן קבלת השכר והוא עת דודים ואין שייכת הברכה שעל הרעה לכאן כי אינה כפי הזמן אשר הוא עומד בו. ועוד נראה שאין צורך לומר כאן שיעבוד ה' בכל מדה שהוא מודד לו אפילו בזמן קבלת הרע, לפי שדבר זה כבר אמור הוא בפרשה זו שנאמר ואבדתם מהרה מעל הארץ וגו', ושמתם את דברי אלה על לבבכם. ר"ל שאפילו בזמן שצאן אובדות יהיו מ"מ יעבדו את ה' על כל פנים וישימו דבריו על לבבם וכן פירש"י (יא יח), וא"כ ענין זה אמור בפירוש לכך לא הוצרך לומר ובכל מאדכם

  • Wasn’t able to understand every single word but basically he says that the second paragraph is referring to the congregation as a whole, and since most people don’t value their money over their life we don’t say “me’odechem”? Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 4:13
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    Yes. Furthermore, according to the second interpretation of Rashi that it means to serve Hashem with all situations, good or bad, he explains that this parsha is actually discussing punishment and saying to continue serving Hashem, therefore it didn’t say it.
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 4:16
  • Please add translation -1
    – Moishe
    Commented Apr 14 at 14:40

Based on Ma'amar Basi Legani 5711/1951, inaugural discourse of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn T'zl (and his mission statement to our generation), which asks and answers this question.


When dealing with the lowest level of tumah/klipa, we must know that this is the stage where the evil becomes irrational. Our job therefore, is to match this intensity like for like, by becoming unreasonably good. Going beyond the letter of the law. This is going above reason, rather than below reason.

Definitions for loving Hashem

  • With all (i.e. both) of your hearts = with your good inclination and with your evil inclination
  • With all your soul = with your whole life, including giving it up literally if necessary ch'v
  • With all your extreme = with the power you have to be unreasonably loving

What is unreasonable loving?

Even loving with all of one's life, i.e mesirat nefesh,. involves a rational decision. When a person decides to give his life to something, or decides to give up his life ch'v, it can be because of rational reasons. Something being worth giving one's entire will and soul to, or something ch'v one cannot live without.

Loving with one's extreme (me'od means "a lot"; a step up from the "normal") isn't to do with reason. The Jew is so connected to Hashem that there's no rational thought involved, or reason or rational motivation. As the Alter Rebbe said

I want nothing at all! I don't want Your gan eden, I don't want Your olam haba... I want nothing but You alone.

This is called going "above reason", which is what is needed to match the tumah of irrational evil. This perfect, beyond reason closeness produces love and loyalty and a sincere desire to do what He wants for His sake, and His honour, and His pleasure alone, rather for the sake of the reward, or any other "sphere of intellect" matter.

Why is unreasonable loving left out of the second paragraph?

This level of loving is available to a tzaddik, which the first paragraph is talking about. Specifically, the highest level of Tzaddik, referred to as a Ben Aliya in Ch. 10 of Tanya i.e. a Tzaddik whose driving force is tzorech Gvoha, i.e. doing it purely because Hashem needs this from him, and not selfishly.

The second paragraph is referring to everyone else, and thus only requires loving Hashem with our yeitzers and b'mesirat nefesh.

Is that the end of the story?

No, and it's important to not leave the lesson unfinished.

The Frierdiker Rebbe writes (and the Rebbe in other places) that that used to be true, but today because of the galut, everyone needs to serve Hashem b'chol me'odecha, because we can't do the others! We just can't get our yeitzer hara to be good, and we don't want to give up our lives...

Rabbi Manis Friedman gives a way of looking at it. Once upon a time, we had many reasons to do mitzvot. If we were in the land, the open miracles and neviim, the tangible holiness that they brought, the tangible fear and love of Hashem... The further back we go in history, the more reasons we have. Even in the previous generations, the close-knit Jewish community gave plenty of good reason to be holy.

So, once upon a time, if you could find an opportunity to do a mitzva without an ulterior motive, you were a tzaddik. Nowadays, where we are at our lowest according to the Rebbe, why else would we do a mitzva?

The take away that I get from this is that nowadays we can find it in ourselves, if we look (and cultivate), the desire to do the mitzvot purely because it is necessary to Him that we do it, and He is important enough to us. This love is also meant for each other as well, and it is me'od and causes us to find others' flaws as tolerable as our own.

In so doing, we will invoke a love for us from Him, which will see past all our flaws* and thus usher in that great and happy day we all pray for every day, may it come speedly.

* see Derech Mitzvotecha Issur Sinat Yisrael, Mitzvat Ahavat Yisrael

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    Interesting I never heard that interpretation of meod before thanks for sharing Commented Apr 14 at 22:42

See Rabbi Shimʕon Ben Yoħai’s opinion in Bᵊrakhoth 35b. Summarized, Rashbi believed that a Jew should ideally spend literally all day learning Torah, as opposed to working a profession or a trade.

A difficulty arises when attempting to reconcile that idea with the second paragraph of Shema. The first part of the paragraph deals with the reward one receives for serving G-D with all his heart and soul. The reward includes abundant harvest for animals and people, rain in its correct season for maximum crop yield, and so on. The problem is, these only apply to someone who spends time working for food, not someone who spends all his time learning! How can Rashbi’s opinion hold the possibility of being true?

I learned an answer from one of my Rabbis that also answers your question: The first paragraph of Shema commands us to serve HASHEM with all our heart, all our soul, and all our possessions. The second paragraph deals with the reward we get for serving HASHEM with all our heart, all our soul, and… that’s it!
It may be that the second paragraph is specifically dealing with the reward of one who serves HASHEM with his entire self, but not with his possessions (to his fullest potential). Such a person obviously has some attachment to his belongings; therefore, HASHEM rewards him for what he does do, with extra possessions.
However—according to this interpretation of Rashbi’s reasoning—one who serves HASHEM with both his person and his possessions, as enumerated in the first paragraph of Shema, is rewarded in some other manner; one that doesn’t necessitate his working a field, and which allows him to continue studying Torah constantly.

  • Wait I’m a little confused. If you don’t serve Gd with your possessions, why would He reward you with extra possessions? Isn’t it a bad thing what you’re doing? Commented Apr 14 at 1:49
  • You do serve G-D with your possessions. Just not at your absolute fullest, which is a very difficult level difficult to achieve. People like this—most people, actually—have a normal emotional connection to possessions, and are therefore rewarded with more possessions to enjoy. People at the uncommonly high level of removing any emotional connection to material possessions, have a different reward. Commented Apr 14 at 14:25

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