Q. Sefer Haikrim writes that true love is only when it is undivided and totally dedicated only to one entity. He thus explains the closeness and following of Hashem Echad, He is the only One with Veahavta, you shall love Him, in the parsha of Shema.
Shev Shematsa (introduction) further explains why before the Akeida, Hashem instructed Avraham Avinu to; ‘Take your son, your only one, whom you love.’ Then after he successfully passed the test, Hashem said to Avraham; ‘For now I know that you are a G-d fearing man, and you did not withhold your son, your only one, from Me.’ Now, Hashem omitted the words; ‘whom you love.’
All the above indeed as said poses an incredibly difficult and exceptionally challenging question.
What is the Torah telling us? We should not love our spouses, our children, or our parents? What about other things in life we like and love, maybe some special food, a nice abode, a great vacation, etc. etc. Is that all forbidden since our love should be totally dedicated and undivided to Hashem? Could we survive that?
A. The answer must be that what the Sefer Haikrim refers to as the true love that has to be undivided and totally dedicated to Hashem, also includes all the rest of other loves. These are not separate feelings and emotions, but are a part of our recognition of Hashem’s love and care for us and also is an integral component of appreciating Hashem’s goodness and love. All these are the cause and reason for our thanks and love to Him.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld