Moshe came, summoned the leaders of the people
LOVE IN ACTION.
Moshe had the people come to him and thus himself had to walk to the burning bush to come closer to HaShem. The prophet Samuel, on the other hand, went to the people and thus merited having HaShem come to him.
R' Chaim Shmuelevitz says that this teaches us that our relationship with HaShem has much to do with our relationship with people.
What he figured to himself was that we cannot claim to love God while remaining indifférent to the plight of those made in His image. In the mind of the Rabbi, the two situations mentioned above concerning Moshe and Shmu'el challenge us with, "As Moshe and Shmu'el treated the people, so did HaShem treat Moshe and Shmu'el." What would it look like if that were to happen to any one of us?
We sometime think that our love for HaShem and our love for people around us are two separate things. But what does it mean when we are told, "You are to love Adonai with all our heart, being, and resources"? (Deut 6:4). Does HaShem need physical affection? Is He insecure so that he always needs to be reminded that we love Him, as if He couldn't see what was in our hearts?
Yeshua Himself gave us a clue on how to answer these questions by juxtaposing this elementary commandment from Deuteronomy (Deut 6:5) with the other one from Leviticus, "Love your neighbour as yourself. (Lev 19:18)
In essence, the practical application of loving God is to love our neighbor like ourselves. It is really as simple as that. HaShem does appreciate the worship, the emotional prayers, the affirmations, the testimonies of faith, but really, the most effective way to tell Him "I love you", is to do actions of love towards those made in His Image; to imitate Him and show as much love as He's shown unworthy "us" to others who may also seem to us unworthy.
HaShem is a great "psychologist." He knows about our ego. We all love ourselves. We give ourselves great leverage and forgiveness. We can find a never ending supply of excuses to use as absolutions for our misdeeds. That's why the Torah then tells us to treat others in the way we treat ourselves.
Yeshua had much to say about that. As He taught on the mountain, He said,
Forgive us what we have done wrong,
as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us.
And furthermore He said,
For the way you judge others is how you will be judged --
the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you.
James, the brother of the master, concurred with R' Chaim Shmuelevitz when he said,
The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.
John also added,
We ourselves love now because he loved us first. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen. Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too.
We probably don't mind loving as long as it is within our circle. We all love within our own circles but we might find it difficult to love outside of our cultural or intimate entourage. Yeshua challenged us with that, reminding us that even non believers do that. Actually, even animals love their own. But Yeshua's sample of love and care transcended culture, race, religion, and politics. He spoke to the Roman officer (Rom 8:5-7); healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman (Mat 15:21-28); and even went all the way to filthy, pagan Decapolis to heal a man afflicted with a demon (Mk 5:1-20).
He called us to follow His example. When praying to the Father He said,
Just as you sent me into the world,
I have sent them into the world.
To act and live this way is the one and only proof that we have been regenerated in Yeshua, that old things are passed away and all things are become new (2 Cor 5:17). Paul admonished the mixed congregation (a congregation made up of Jews and Gentiles) in the following words,
The new self allows no room for discriminating between Gentile and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, foreigner, savage, slave, free man; on the contrary, in all, the Messiah is everything. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive. Above all these, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together perfectly;
Here is something else from Rabbi, Chayim "The Midrash says that Shmu'el got his great love for other people from a garment his mother lovingly made for him and which he always kept with him."
Here is how Paul puts it to the Colossians,
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive. Above all these, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together perfectly;
May we ourselves put on this garment of
And like Shmu'el with his mother's garment, always keep it with us.
As we ensample this in our lives towards others and also towards our children, we provoke tikkun Olam (repairing the world) not only for our generation but for that of our children and that of our children's children's, as Rabbi Chayim says,
"The love we show our children implants in them a deep feeling of being loved which, in turn, allows them to love others."