Hashem says: It doesn’t work this way; I don’t just give presents. I also want something from you. What will you give Me? Then the person says: What can I give to You Hashem? I have nothing to give to You. Me, I don’t have anything. I’m poor and destitute. I’m not wise. I don’t understand. You give a person knowledge. You give everything. Everything is by You. I have nothing.
But there is one thing that you can give. Only you can give [it]. And this Hashem can’t give. In no manner can He give [this]. Only you can. This isn’t Hashem’s. This He doesn’t have and He’s lacking, and this He wants from you – Emuna (faith). That you believe in Him and await Him and connect yourself to Him, and bind yourself to Him – this is the part that you give; then you create the vessel so that He can give to you.
And this is what the forefathers did. They saw nothing, nothing, nothing; they only believed, and believed, and sacrificed themselves and stood up through tests. They made this great, wondrous vessel. They just prepared vessels, and vessels, and vessels. The forefathers suffered. They had harsh suffering. What did Yaakov Avinu say at the end of his days? “Few and bad were the days of my life.”
The Jewish people are coming out of Egypt. In a little while, it will be good for them. They will have the manna. They will have the quail. They will have the well. Clouds will accompany them. Afterwards, they will reach the land of Israel. They will have wondrous things. But what did the forefathers have? They had nothing; they just invested, invested, and invested. They made the vessel and did this for all generations, until the coming of our righteous Mashiach. Because the Kadosh Baruch Hu doesn’t give for free. He say: I want you to give Me the vessel.
“And I pleaded to Hashem at that time, saying” (Devarim 3:23)
Parashas “Va’Eschanan” is named after the prayer and supplication of the man of G-d, Moshe Rabbeinu a”h. Our Sages teach us (Taanis 2a): “What is service in the heart? Prayer.” The intention is that a person’s prayer should come from within his heart, from within his soul and with holy fervor, and all his organs should participate in his prayer, an aspect of “All my bones say, Hashem, who is like You?” A prayer like this is called “Avoda” (service), as is brought in the name of the Baal Shem Tov on what is written, “Come, you and all your family to the ark” (Breisheis 7:1) – that when a person speaks words of Torah or prayer, he should put himself into the words that come out of his mouth, and focus on each word. And from here is a lesson to every person, that one needs to pray with all his strength, so that his prayer and himself won’t be two different things, rather both of them one essence, as King David a”h said, “I am prayer” – my entire being is prayer – all my 248 organs and 365 sinews are prayer to Hashem (according to “Kedushas Levy”).
“And Hashem commanded us to perform all of these statutes, etc, so it will be good for us all of the days, to sustain us as on this day. And it will be for us tzadaka (charity), because we will be careful to perform this entire commandment before Hashem our G-d, as He commanded us” (Devarim 6:24-25)
“And it will be for us charity, because we will be careful to…as Hashem commanded us.” It appears to be extraneous words. The Gaon, the Chasid (the Gaon of Vilna) said that at the beginning of the verses the father says to his son, “Because we were slaves…” — therefore, we are obligated to serve Hashem more. “…it will be good for us all the days, to sustain us as on this day.” So he says to his son. Even though it’s for the sake of receiving a reward, because the son doesn’t understand the true purpose. But the man himself, who knows that it’s forbidden for us to serve for the sake of receiving a reward, he needs to bequeath it into his heart like this, “And it will be for us charity, because we will be careful to perform this entire commandment…as He commanded us” – without any other thought.