Summer vacation: Despite everything, a time for love

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Love. This is one of the words that appears the most in this week's Torah portion. We speak of love 8 times, as in the following passages: "To walk in His ways and to love Him," "It was your fathers alone that HaShem desired in His love for them," If, then, you obey the commandments that I command you this day, loving HaShem your God."

Here Rashi explains a general principle that is associated with our relationship with God and with other people: "Don't say: 'I am doing this to receive a reward,' but rather everything you do, do it with love, and in the end honor will come."

Rabbanit Yemima MIzrachi explains that this is the essential Torah portion for summer vacation, for the period when the family is cramped together, when you hear "I'm bored," and endure other July-August challenges. One of the biggest enemies of love is honor. The expectation to receive applause. The perpetual desire that others will say thank you and give you credit. Yet here the parasha announces the winning recipe for these days: love, love, love. This is the time to shower it on everyone without measure, simply to give. A moment before everyone returns to school, to work, to their routine, during all the kids' nagging and waiting in line, despite the sun, the crowds, the chaos outside and the mess at home: "Everything you do - do it with love."

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