The Rambam, R’ Yosef Albo and the Ramchal in Derech Hashem all focus on three key Jewish Principles.
1) Hashem who always has and always will exist, created the universe
2) Hashem communicates to man via prophecy, and through prophecy He gave us the Torah
3) Hashem supervises and guides the world based on our actions
Although it’s relatively easy to understand the above principles at some level intellectually, the real goal is to internalize and live with them on a constant basis.
The Ramban in his classic commentary at the end of Parsha Bo, connects our performance of mitzvos to these three principles:
When one does a simple mitzvah like mezuzah and thinks about its importance, he has already acknowledged G-d’s creation of the world, G-d’s knowledge and supervision of the world’s affairs, the truth of prophecy and all the foundations of Torah.
From a practical point of view, we can use every brocha on a mitzvah, such as the brochas on washing our hands, learning Torah, Tallis and Tefillin to internalize the three principles:
Before saying the brocha and performing the mitzvah be aware:
a) Hashem, the creator of the Universe is the One who commanded this mitzvah through the prophecy of the Torah
b) Hashem commanded and wants me to fulfill this mitzvah, and through this act I am fulfilling Hashem’s will
When we say the brocha we can have in mind:
Baruch Atah Hashem – Hashem, who always has and always will exist, is the creator of the universe
Elokeinu Melech HaOlam – Hashem is the Ultimate Authority and guiding force of the world
Asher Kid’shanu B’mitzvosav – Hashem separated, elevated and sanctified me, as part of the Jewish people, with His Torah instructions to fulfill the commandments
V’tzivanu Al – And He particularly commanded me with this particular mitzvos, which I am about to perform
The process of internalization involves performing the mitzvos with these thoughts again and again. Through this repeated process, the three most important Jewish Principles will become ingrained.
This is what spiritual growth is about. Try it for yourself. You won’t regret it.
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