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“If you will walk in My laws (My decrees) and My mitzvos you will guard/observe and perform them.” (26:3)

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Mitzvah observance is the prime focus of this parsha. This pasuk presents a refreshing perspective on mitzvah observance. Many individuals desire to fulfill the mitzvos to the highest degree in order to achieve an unparalleled relationship with Hashem. The Sidduro Shel Shabbos posits that the words, “And My mitzvos you will guard,” suggest an orientation to mitzvah observance that can be summed up with one word — yearning. One should possess an inner longing to observe mitzvos to the point that he anticipates the opportunity for performing a mitzvah with love and increasing desire. This type of devotion symbolizes an overwhelming love for the Almighty.  This catalyzes Hashem’s positive response. Indeed, one who loves someone yearns for the moment when that love can be expressed and reciprocated.

Horav Levi Yitzchak M’Berditchev, z.l., differentiates between the individual who demonstrates great devotion and enthusiasm while performing a mitzvah and the individual whose mind is constantly preoccupied with mitzvos.  One who is forever thinking about opportunities for mitzvah performance exhibits a deep love for Hashem. The Berditchever contends that he who is always looking for a way to perform a mitzvah is included in Chazal’s axiom, “He who intends to perform a mitzvah, but did not see his wishes achieve fruition as a result of an accident, it is considered as if he actually carried out his intentions.”

The rationale behind this idea is simple.  People who are constantly seeking ways to perform mitzvos actually desire to see Succos or Pesach last a whole year.  “Unfortunately,” these yomim tovim are time-bound and last only 7/8 days. Thus, he is not able to perform the mitzvah as a result of the parameters of the calendar. The potential in the mitzvah ends after only a few days due to the constraints of time. However, due to his overwhelming desire to serve Hashem, it is viewed as if he performs the mitzvah all year! The rule is simple; the message is profound.  One who seeks to become intimate with his Master waits enthusiastically, seeking new avenues for mitzvah performance. Thus, he strives to achieve greater heights in his relationship with Hashem.

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