Ramba"m lists love of God as the third positive commandment in his Book of Commandments. It includes the following line, which somehow relates the comprehension of God with joy and the ultimate purpose of loving Him. I am not confident that the punctuation here (from the very reliable he.wikisource.org) is accurate. What does this line correctly mean?

היא הציווי שנצטווינו על אהבתו יתעלה, והוא: שנתבונן ונסתכל במצוותיו וציווייו ופעולתיו, כדי שנשיגהו ונתענג בהשגתו תכלית התענוג - וזוהי האהבה המצווה [עלינו]‏

  • Forget about punctuation. Worry about the translation.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


A few lines further down he spells it out more: שבהשתכלות תבוא לידי השגה, וימצא לך תענוג ותבוא האהבה בהכרח - contemplation will lead to understanding, then to enjoyment, which will necessarily result in love. In Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah (2:2) he spells it out further: love of Hashem means pining for His closeness like you would for your beloved (whose company you enjoy). Without that feeling of joy - if you just study the mitzvos and Hashem's actions and so forth as a dry academic subject - how will that lead to love of Him?

  • This is anecdotal, but being in a good, joyous mood, isn't it just soooo conducive to love? Purim tonight! Let's test that theory :)
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 11:30

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