Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Love for God burns of itself.”

A story is told of a hasid who had worked as a merchant in the marketplace and eventually became a hasidic master.

He was once seen wandering through the marketplace mumbling to himself, “A meter of cloth costs a ruble and a half, a meter of cloth costs a ruble and a half.”

Someone explained that he was repeating this to himself because if he did not do so, he would forget it.

When a person is entirely engaged, mentally and emotionally, in a completely different world, if he does not make space, if he will not remind himself and awaken, repeatedly bringing the matter into his consciousness, the matter will become forgotten and erased from his soul.

So when a person is “in love” with God, and “in her love you will always be intoxicated” (Prov. 5:19), it is not his love for God for which he must make room in himself, of which he must remind himself.

Love for God burns of itself, grows and spreads and rises of its own accord.

Rather, this person must take care to keep strong, to stay alive and not be entirely consumed.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz