27 May 2018

Basic Concepts: "Fear of Heaven"

13 Sivan 5778

Our God is the King over all kings and Lord over all lords. He created all that is by His spoken word. How can one not stand in awe of Him?
When Israel stood facing Mount Sinai and witnessed the revelation of Him Whose word brought the world into being, they trembled with fear....

Confronting G-d's greatness and Torah, a person is obligated to stand in fear and trembling, shuddering and dread, as did Israel at Sinai, for G-d said to Moses (Deut. 5:26), "Oh that they had such a heart as this to fear Me and keep all My commandments for all time, that it might go well with them and with their children forever!"

Fear of G-d! A basic, fundamental commandment without which the world cannot endure.... 

King David said, "Serve the L-rd with fear, rejoice with trembling" (Psalms 2:11)....

King Solomon, wisest of all men, concluded his great work, Ecclesiastes, with this sage advice: "The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear G-d and keep His commandments, for that is the whole duty of man."

...Our sages [taught]...that the  whole world's purpose is just so that man will know G-d and that this knowledge will imbue him with fear and reverence. With his egotism thereby subdued, he will accept G-d's yoke upon himself.

And that is "the whole duty of man," the whole reason man was created. Because of this King David said (Psalms 111:10), "The fear of the L-rd is the beginning of wisdom, good understanding have all those who follow this." He further said, "Happy is the man who fears the L-rd, who delights greatly in His commandments" (Psalms 112:1). Likewise, his son Solomon said, "The fear of the L-rd is the beginning of knowledge" (Prov. 1:7).

The beginning, the first essential element in a person's wisdom and knowledge, if he is to understand what his task is and where he is going, is the fear of G-d, vanquishing his ego and accepting G-d's yoke. If one merits this, the whole world is his. Otherwise, better he was never born. Without fear of G-d, wisdom is nothing but conceit and a tool to self-advancement. Even one's Torah lacks holiness, modesty and purity, and without these it is not Torah.   
[Or Hara'ayon, Chapter Two: "Fear of Heaven," pp. 34-36]
We should experience at least as much awe and reverence before HKB"H as we would if called to stand before the principal, the boss, or a judge in a court of law. He is all of these things and much more!

However, the thought occurs to me that in this generation, even these symbols of authority inspire little fear among the people. There is so much chutzpah in this generation that it will be very difficult to grasp this basic concept. 

Many are like Pharaoh who said, "Who is Hashem that I should heed His voice to send out Israel?"

That is one reason why, at the end of history, HKB"H is once again showing His hand openly so that all of mankind will know what "fear and awe of G-d" is!

"More than 10 inches of rain has fallen in Oman's third largest city Salalah, with the deluge amounting to three years of its typical rainfall in one day."

"Signs are appearing in our skies that the atmosphere is changing as predicted with the grand solar minimum. Rare anti-solar arcs over Norway, Cyclone over Yemen and Oman, Green flashes in UK and Norway. Hawaii has blue flames as the Earth cracks and methane ignites...."

On the other hand, even with the truth staring them in the face, they still might not get it...

Is humanity visiting anarchy on this planet?


  1. Tomer Devorah Thank you as ever for continuing to tell the Truth

  2. So many people are afraid of the concept of fear. The Alter Rebbe in Tanya writes that fear and love are the two wings for the mitzvot. And that fear is the only basis for performing the 365 prohibitive commandments of the Torah. There are different levels of fear described in Tanya.

    Basic fear is animal level fear, such as a dog would fear getting hit. This is not a bad thing to fear getting a maka from Haashem. Certainly I would think that most baalei teshuvah would start at this level of fear.

    Higher level fear is awe of Hashem's greatness. Almost a fear that would inhibit one from uttering a prayer in the presence of One so great. Would you be tongue tied if you met a world leader? Would you be tongue tied if you met the King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe, the One who knows your secret thoughts?

    A most subtle fear is the fear of hurting Hashem, as a son would not want to do wrong to cause pain to his loving Father. This, in my mind, is a fear mixed with love, such a beautiful sentiment. Since Hashem is everywhere, he is with us when we do wrong, and he is pained by our pain and the pain we cause others, Heaven forbid.

    Love and joy and ecstasy are great, but only built on a solid foundation of fear will they last in an enduring and dignified way.

    Shalom to Klal Yisrael.