We are beginning siman 17, where the Chayei Adam discusses performing mitzvos out of ahavas Hashem. The Chayei Adam writes that a person should perform mitzvos due to their love of Hashem, and not because of any direction or benefit. In the same way that in the relationship between a parent and child, or a husband and wife, the relationship is not based off of what each side gains, but because they want to give to the other, Hashem made a chesed that we can give, as it were, Hashem through performing mitzvos. Sometimes a person has responsibilities which they would like to discharge as quickly as possible. A child may want to do their homework as quickly as possible so that they can get it out of the way and go have a good time. A person should not perform mitzvos in such a way that the mitzvos seem to be a burden. The Bach discusses this concept in regards to davening. The Bach understands that when the MIshnah says that a person should not make their tefillah kevah, it refers to a person davening because they have a responsibility which they would like to discharge and complete. The Bach understands that a person would not be yotzei tefillah if they davened in such a manner, because tefillah is the process of desiring a relationship, and this form of tefillah demonstrates the opposite. If a husband told his wife that he is only doing things for her because he has to, it would not build a relationship, and would likely only hurt it. The Chayei Adam adds that a person should desire to do mitzvos as a vehicle to do Hashem’s ratzon. Hashem expresses His ratzon through the mitzvos. If a husband knows what his wife wants, he will do it even before she asks in order to make her happy. Even if she asks him to do something, he does not do it purely because he was asked, but out of a wish to fulfill her ratzon. The same is true about our relationship with Hashem, in that a person should want to perform mitzvos even if Hashem did not command us, simply because it is Hashem’s will. The Mesillas Yesharim discusses this idea as a high level of ahavas Hashem. It is not a level of ahavas Hashem which an average person will necessarily reach in the near future, but it is something for which to strive. A person should strive to realize that every time they perform a mitzvah, they are expressing an opportunity to show their love and care of Hashem, and how much they desire to serve Him and fulfill his ratzon. If we would approach mitzvos with that attitude, it would change how we perform a mitzvah. When a person recites a lesheim yichud, besides for the kabbalistic impact which is discussed in the lesheim yichud, a person says they are about to perform the mitzvah b’dechilu u’rechimu, with fear and love, because a mitzvah is an opportunity to express our love for Hashem. Summary A person should strive to perform mitzvos out of ahavas Hashem, that is, out of a desire to perform mitzvos simply because it is Hashem’s ratzon.