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The verse of Devarim 6:5 reads: Love HaShem your G'd, with all your heart bechol levav'cha, with all your being uvechol nafshecha, and uvechol ... meodecha.

If I'm correct it's the only place in the whole Tenach where the exact rendering of * uvechol meodecha* occurs, whcih I used to translate as something like: and with all more you have (within you); Meodecha literally, from Meod-very, meaning your total commitment-all you have/are.

The phrase 'with all your heart and all your being' whether it's in singular or plural or whatever tense, seems to be referring to loving HaShem, Teshuvah, Doing Mitzvot, Serve (worship) HaShem and believing in general. All fundamental things which should indeed be done with once's heart and soul.

But why is it when it comes to loving HaShem the term meodecha is added? What makes love different that it needs our meod?

  • Is the question that " seemingly all other mitzvos don't require your "meod" why is it that loving Hashem does require your meod – mroll Jun 10 '16 at 8:35
  • Yes indeed, and in the same view, why is it that the other mitzvot don't require meod – Levi Jun 10 '16 at 9:16
  • @mroll While the exact term "me'odecha" is not used, the term "me'od" is used regarding the mitzvah to guard your own life (in Devarim, near beginning of parshat Va'etchanan.) I read somewhere that it's the only mitzvah of which the Torah uses the term "me'od". – DanF Jun 10 '16 at 13:20
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It is not that "love" of Hashem different, it is that the willingness and understanding of what Hashem means that causes us to belong to Hashem needs the complete subjugation of one's יצר (both טוב ורע) to the conscious determination as to what one's purpose in life is. We need to do this, not through fear, not through duty, but through the free willed exercise of our being, which is called love. That is why the Shma expresses this in three terms that are twined together.

The threefold cord will not be cut

That is why we needed the three patriarchs to develop our minds and our souls.

Rav Hirsch also says

בכל לבבך ... both the יצר טוב and the יצר הרע are to be used to serve Hashem

Yea, in truth, none of our inclinations are in themselves good or bad. All of them, the most sensuous of the sensuous ones, the most spiritual of the spiritual ones become good or bad according to whether or not they are usedwithin the limits, and for the purpose Hashem has allotted to each one of them, or misused, going beyond the limits, neglecting the purposes, or changing them for other purposes which Hashem has set for them.

Raav Hirsch continues regarding our existence

בכל נפשך ... not to think that this remaining in His proximity would be bought at too high a price by giving up the whole existence here below for it.

Rav Hirsch brings the story of Rabbi Akiva from Berachos 61b as an example of this concept.

ובכל מאודך: ... using all one's means in the service of Hashem as well as in renouncing every gain or acquisition which can only be obtained or kept through transgression of Hashem's laws.

... For מאד is not really only one's wealth of money but altogether the complex of all means for accomplishing anything and so comprises everything which the management of Hashem's Love measures out to us.

  • Why doesn't the verse says or add something like, with all you neshama or with all your ruach? Why these three? And why not just levavcha uvechol nafshecha like in other verses? – Levi Jun 10 '16 at 9:37
  • @Levi judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/ask – msh210 Jun 10 '16 at 13:24

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