"Now, Israel…." (Deut. 4:1)

The name "Israel" represents the lofty aspect of the victor in battle, he who is "tried by both man and G‑d and emerges victorious" (see Gen. 32:28). It is specifically "now", during the present order, that the G‑dly soul is referred to as "Israel" in terms of its victory over the animal soul. In the World to Come, however, when physical reality reveals its true G‑dly source and this battle will no longer be necessary, the Jewish people will no longer be referred to by this name. Therefore the verse states, "Now, Israel…."

"And you who are attached to G‑d, your G‑d, are alive, all of you, today." (Deut. 4:4)

The eternal life of the angels is due to their superior level of fear of Heaven….

A person could very well imagine that the deeper and more complete relationship he forges with G‑d, the more their own individual "life" and personality will be diminished. The Torah here teaches us that the opposite is actually the truth. Our true life and vitality are directly commensurate with the depth of our attachment to the source of all life, G‑d. The Maggid of Mezritch explains that the eternal life of the angels is due to their superior level of fear of Heaven.

"You have been shown - in order to know - that G‑d is G‑d; there is none other than Him." (Deut. 4:35)

Every Jew "sees" within his deeper self and believes fully that there is none other than G‑d. However, this intrinsic connection is not enough. A person should also use his intellect to come to a conscious understanding and knowledge of this eternal truth. Only then can he internalize it fully.

"I stood between you and G‑d…." (Deut. 5:5)

Homiletically, this may be interpreted to mean that it is a person's focus on himself, his "I", that ultimately stands between him and a deeper and fuller relationship with G‑d.

Adapted from Likutei Torah 4:38a; Siddur im Dach, p. 164; Likutei Sichot, vol. 4, p. 1170
© 2001 Chabad of California/www.LAchumash.org