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Parsha Mitzvot-Eikev-Mitzvah 430-Concept 5-Awe

Mitzvah 430/Concept 5-The Book of Awareness – The Laws of the Foundations of the Torah- 5.You Shall Be in Awe of God.


Notes and Sources – Introductory Comments:

The step of fear is the first of all those in the service of God that Moses said that a Jew must develop. “Now, Israel, what does God, your Lord, require of you? Only to fear God, your Lord, to go in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve God, your Lord, with all your heart and with all your soul, to observe the commandments of God and His decrees, which I command you today, for your benefit.”

Moses speaks of fear before “going in God’s ways,” and love and service and even keeping the commandments. Fear of God is the first and primary step in the total picture of service of God.

Moses speaks of fear as if it were simple; “only to fear.” The Talmud says that for Moses it was relatively simple to work on his fear of God

; he had seen God with more clarity than any human being before or after. For the rest of us, especially for those of us who live in modern times with all its demands and challenges, fear of God is almost impossible to develop to the degree demanded, but it is still the first and most important step in service of God.

The Redemption is often described in terms of the fear that it will strike in all those who hurt the Jews and went against God’s wishes. God’s revelation at the time of the redemption will cause fear in all of creation. This is described in numerous verses that speak of the redemption; how creation itself will shake and tremble in front of God. Fear is obviously more than another commandment; it will be the reality of the world at the time of redemption just as it was for the Jews at the Revelation at Sinai. That revelation was to inspire us to live with a high degree of awe and transmit the experience together with the Torah from one generation to the next. We will discuss the redemption and the transmission of fear from generation to generation.

We will also thrash out the difference between fear and awe. Fear is a lower level of the Mitzvah than is awe.

We will use the laws of fear and many sources in the Bible, its commentaries, Midrash, Talmud, Kabalistic and Chassidic thought to develop a clear idea of what are the commandment’s demands and what are the steps we can take to achieve it. In the process, we will describe fear in terms that are far removed from the way we live our lives. It will be as if we were discussing something almost impossible to develop as part of our personalities. However, we must have a clear picture of the highest levels of fear in order to develop a clear image of what we can achieve. We must know what the greatest thinkers through the ages have aspired to in their service of God so we will at least know how elevated some people were in their service of God. I don’t want to romanticize those people. However, at the very least, we must be in awe of the demands of the commandment to be in awe of God.

The Mitzvah to be in awe of God demands that at every moment we are aware of God’s greatness and our insignificance. With that humility in mind, each second we must remember that God is present in all of creation. We must view everything we do, say and think in terms of how that behavior reflects on God Who is immediately present. We have to constantly examine everything we have done, and ask ourselves, “Is this how I would have behaved in front of a powerful king with power over every detail of my life and in fact, my life itself?” I believe that this is the level of awe that is demanded of us. This is the awe that was simple for Moses, who was prepared at every second to speak “face to face” with God. This is the same awe that is the first step in true service of God. This is the awe to which we must aspire, no matter how challenging.

One of the levels of service of God is saintliness; the ability to intuit God’s will based on His commandments and laws. A saintly person does not need everything to be spelled out for him in black and white. He knows how God wants him to act in every situation. The Saintly person studies the commandments in order to understand their concepts and be able to apply them to all life situations. Our intention as we study the 613 Concepts is to understand the concepts well enough to train ourselves to think of how God would want us to act in every situation. I hope that our study of this Mitzvah will train us to think of new ways to express our awe of God and to incorporate it into our already complicated lives.

We will now go to the sources of the law and its development in Jewish Thought in order to understand the commandment and flesh out strategies to achieve this highest level of awe.

First Draft Outline:(With Corrections)

I. Source

  • Verses

“God, your Lord, shall you fear, Him shall you serve, and in His name shall you swear.”

IV. Basic Laws

  • Study

“This means that you shall not break one of the negative commandments.”

Fearing Torah scholars will lead to awe of heaven because people will listen to the scholars if they fear them and the scholars will guide the people to fear of God, as it says; “And the nation feared God greatly and Samuel.

“The fear of God is the hatred of evil.”

Included in this Mitzvah is that one should be fearful of ever saying God’s Name without fear and trembling, even when in prayer or study. One should be careful not to mention God’s Name even in other languages without proper respect and should use euphemisms rather than one of His Names.

XIX. The Importance of Awe

“He is stating that God commanded me (Moses) to teach you the Torah and the commandments, the statutes and the ordinances that you might perform them in the Land, and so that you might fear the Eternal, your Lord, for the main purpose of all the commandments is the fear of the Lord.”

“God commanded me (Moses) that you should learn the commandments and perform them in order that you should merit and fear the Eternal, your Lord, in order to keep His commandments, you, your son, your grandson for all the days that man shall exist upon the face of the earth forever. For in return for the performance of the commandments you will deserve to have children who fear the Lord and they will survive upon the face of the earth forever.”

“You must remember that He is the Master of the land and that you are only strangers and temporary inhabitants of His land. Even the generations that did not see the great actions of God will fear Him when they learn the commandments from you who did see them.”

This is the true fear about which it is said; The Holy One, Blessed is He, has in His world only one treasure: The treasure of fear of heaven.”

“Let His holy ones fear God.”

If someone wants to be counted as a “holy one” before God, he must fear God.

VII. Fear and Wisdom

“and He said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of God is wisdom, and refraining from evil is understanding.”

“Through the fear of God you will merit to understand hidden matters that are impossible to understand in the natural course of things, because if one fears God, He will grant him wisdom.”

“God created human intellect in such a manner that it is impossible for a person to understand the essence of Wisdom on his own. He must be taught by a Wise man in the secrets of Kabbalah. He should believe that through the fear of God in his heart he will believe in the concepts of deep wisdom that have been taught to him and he will use them, which is the essence of wisdom.”

The first word of the Torah is the commandment to fear God because it says; “Bereishit,” and the verse says; “Reishit Chochmah, Yirat Hashem,” “the beginning, reishit, of wisdom is fear of God.

” This commandment is the gate through which to enter to the heights of holiness, and it is for this commandment that God created the world.

“Know the Lord of your father, and serve Him.”

First know Him, and only then serve Him. Once you study Torah you will get to know that He is Ein Sof beyond any knowing. You will serve Him without attempting to know anything other than the fact He is beyond your comprehension. That is true service. You must reach a point at which you realize that it is useless to try to understand Him.

V. Fear and Awe

  • Fear of Punishment in this World
  • Fear of Punishment in Heaven
  • Fear of Sin
  • Awe

There are times when the fear of exaltedness is insufficient to prevent someone from sinning. He may need fear of punishment to stop him from sinning. As the sages say;

“He should remember the day of death to stop himself from sinning.” A person must know when to use the different types of fear.

God created punishment in order to assist those who have not yet reached the highest level of fear to at least have fear of punishment.

A person should begin each day with fear of punishment and then reach for fear of God’s exaltedness.

When we are aware enough of God’s presence to experience fear we should be aware enough to face the awe of God’s greatness and our insignificance.

The fear that is alluded to in the first word of the Torah is the fear of the Ein Sof, the Infinite Being, beyond human comprehension, the same being that was expressed in the first force of creation. A person who is aware of God as Ein Sof will reach true awareness and unlimited awe. He will become unlimited himself.

XVI. Using God’s Name

“Only because you fear Him can you swear in His name.”

“Once we were instructed to love Him, the Torah commands us to fear Him so that we shall not sin and be punished.” “You can only swear in My name if you possess the qualities of Abraham, Joseph and Job.” “Or Scripture may be stating that His awe will be so great upon you that His very Name will be an oath to you, so that even when you wish to confirm something you will swear by His Name even to your disadvantage and you will not misrepresent.”

“Who can swear to his detriment without retracting.”

“God, your Lord, shall you fear, Him shall you serve, to Him shall you cleave, and in His Name shall you swear.”

“He trembles before My Name;”

when someone reaches the level of awe he trembles simply before God’s Name. When he hears God’s Name he is aware of God’s presence and trembles. This is why so many of the verses that speak of fear of God also speak of swearing in His name. Only someone who trembles before God’s Name, should swear in His name.

XVII. Rejoicing in Awe

He must also think upon the lowliness of man and upon his inferior quality, which is attributable to his attachment to this world, and especially to all the sins that he has ever committed. When he considers all of this, it will be impossible for his heart not to fear and tremble when he speaks in front of God and mentions His Name and attempts to find favor in His eyes. This is why King David said; “Serve God in fear and rejoice in trembling;”

we must stand in fear and awe, and rejoice that we have reached a level at which we can experience the awe.

We must rejoice when we experience awe because we have reached that level and because it allows us to reach ever higher levels of attachment to God. Awe comes from awareness. When we have reached the level of true awe, then God will lift us up higher and will reveal secrets of His Wisdom and Presence.

We rejoice in awe because the verse says; “A God that is mighty in the great council of the holy ones and greatly feared by all who serve Him;”

the angels tremble before God. They are closer to God because they are not limited by physical bodies. They stand closer to God and can more easily envision His greatness. Therefore, they fear God more than a human being possibly can. Yet, we can still stand before God and speak to Him. The angels fear even to praise Him and we can stand in front of the Creator and ask for our personal needs.

We rejoice in awe as King David would sing before God, “I will bow down to the sanctuary of Your Holiness in fear of You.” David could actually imagine the sanctuary of God’s holiness in Heaven. When he would pray, David could see the highest places, and would bow as if in another world. His awareness of God took him to higher places. His fear and awe uplifted him. They allowed him to attach to the sublime and reach places even higher than the angels.

XXI. Fear and Sight

Yirah, fear, comes from Re’iyah, to see. This is the essence of wisdom, to penetrate all the covers that hide God’s truth and to see the True Existence, which leads to fear.

Fear and Sight

Fear and sight are both the same letters, to teach that one who sees the greatness of the Creator will achieve awe and humility before God. There are two ways to see and achieve fear: The first is to see with his mind the exaltedness of the Creator from the perspective of our low world. This idea is described in the Talmud when it discusses the seven heavens and the distance of five hundred light years between each heaven. Then one reaches the angels called Chayot and then one must go higher and higher. When someone considers the height of God’s holy creations, then reaching higher and higher to the throne of God, he will achieve the awe of God’s exaltedness. This is the fear from above to below.

The second type of sight that leads to fear comes from seeing what happens in this world; each lower creature is frightened of the one which is higher. The mouse fears the lion which fears man, who fears the more powerful person. Fear rises in order of power. This is the fear of going from the lower world and up. A person can reach fear of God, this way too; God is the Highest Being.

The second type of seeing which leads to fear is accessible to all people. The first type, from above to below, is seeing with the intellect and is only accessible to someone who wants to learn about God and to know Him and is driven to understand the most hidden things.

VIII. Different Levels

  • Levels in the Tikkunei Zohar

It is important to note that the Ramchal speaks of fear in two contexts; once from the perspective of developing saintliness and the other, which is a higher level of fear/awe in the framework of awe of God. We cannot reach the true level of awe until we have developed the awe that is part of saintliness.

The Steps of Basic Fear

Included in the fear of God is; 1) humbling oneself before God, 2) feeling shame in approaching Divine Service and 3) honoring the Mitzvot, God’s Name and His Torah.

Fear of Heaven

Morah Shamayim, Fear of Heaven, is particularly apt for expressing the awe which is the essence of Fear. That sense of awe derives from an awareness of distance. I stand in awe of that which must forever be beyond my ken, the One Whose otherness is absolute. The term shamayim conveys just this sense of distance. Hirsch explains Shamayim , heaven, as the absolute and unbridgeable “thereness.”


When we are aware enough of God’s presence to experience fear we should be aware enough to face the awe of God’s greatness and our insignificance.

The fear that is alluded to in the first word of the Torah is the fear of the Ein Sof, the Infinite Being, beyond human comprehension, the same being that was expressed in the first force of creation. A person who is aware of God as Ein Sof will reach true awareness and unlimited awe. He will become unlimited himself.

No Other Fears

“It is known from all the holy books that one should not fear anything other than God, the Creator of all worlds. One who truly fears God will naturally come to a state in which he fears nothings else, for all the fears in this world are only to stimulate more fear of God, which he should turn into awe. It will be impossible for him to fear anything for someone who is in awe of the Creator. It is also known that one who has the awe of heaven on him draws onto himself the holiness of God and comes to a state of attachment, to the point where his physical existence does not matter to him and he attaches only to God.

“God is with me, I will not fear anything else, what could a human possibly do to me.”

It is impossible to achieve the highest form of fear, which is the fear of God’s exaltedness, awe, unless a person has no fear of death or giving up his life for God.

God says, “Do not fear,”

only to one who fears heaven in truth.

Fear of Sin

“What was written of Job is greater than what was written of Abraham. Of Abraham it is written, ‘You are a God fearing man.

’ But of Job it is written, ‘A whole-hearted and upright man who fears God and shuns evil.


“Job made a fence about his matters and distanced himself from anything that might lead to sin.”

“Job was stringent with himself and did not look even at an unmarried girl.”

Levels of Fear

The lower levels of fear of God are called, External Fears, because in essence, they are no different from the normal fears of life and the world. Fear of God that is awe, an awareness that He is unlimited, is called Internal Fear. There are times that God will send an external fear in order to nurture Internal Fear. Such as when Jacob was frightened that Esau would come and kill him. That is an external fear. God made it happen in order to push Jacob to higher levels of Internal Fear.

The verse says, “Praiseworthy is the man to whom God does not ascribe iniquity;

” the explanation is a person who has reached the high level of; “I have set God before me always,

” there are times when his mind wanders for a second from God, which God would consider an iniquity for such a man. As Rashi says, “I have placed His awe before me constantly.” This is also as is explained in the Shulchan Aruch that, “I have set God before me always,” is a great principle of the Torah.

Certainly, The Holy One, Blessed is He, Who fills the universe with His glory, stands above each person and sees him. A person who is aware of that will immediately be filled with fear and humility.

This is how I have explained the verse, “Now Isaac came from having gone to Beer-Lahai-roi;” Isaac is the attribute of fear and he came from “Be’air,” (the well,) the place from which he drew constant awareness in his mind, “Lachai Ro-i,” the place where the “Chai Olamim,” the One Who lives forever, would see him and grant him Divine Providence.


“At the end of twelve months he (Nebuchadnezzar) was walking atop the royal palace of Babylon. The king exclaimed and said, “Is this not the great Babylon, which I have built up into a royal house with my powerful strength for glorification of my splendor!” While the words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven, “To you, King Nebuchadnezzar, we say: the kingdom has departed from you! We are driving you from mankind, and your dwelling will be with the beast of the field; they will feed you grass like oxen; and seven periods will pass over you, until you recognize that the Supreme One rules over the kingdom of man and He gives it to whomever He wishes.” At that moment the decree befell Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from mankind, he ate grass like oxen, and his body was washed by the dew of the heaven, until his hair grew like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ talons. At the end of the seven periods of year, I Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes to heaven, and my senses returned to me. I blessed the Supreme One and I praised and glorified the Eternal One, Whose rule is an eternal rule and Whose kingship is for all generations. All the inhabitants of the earth are reckoned as nothing; and He acts according to His will with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth; there is no one who can stay His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You Done?’”

It is ironic that Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed God’s home, was given the opportunity to experience true fear/awe of God. God took care of him even when he was a beast. Nebuchadnezzar knew that God was caring for him even while he was suffering. When he was restored to his full senses, he sand and expressed that the world is nothing. God is everything. The Zohar says that this is the highest level of fear.

Levels of Fear

The two lower levels of fear are: serving God because of fear of suffering in this world and in order to receive blessing and protection. This also is an acknowledgement of God’s power. The next highest level is to serve God for the reward of the World to Come and because of fear of Hell. This is a higher form of acknowledgement of God’s power and hence a higher level of fear.

The level of Nebuchadnezzar is considered the third level, and highest level of fear.

The Tikkunei Zohar begins with a fifth level of fear. It does not say that it is a continuation of the previous Zohar and it does not say what the first four levels are. The fifth level is one who learns Torah in order to merit fear. This is what is referred to in the Mishna as “someone whose fear precedes his wisdom.

The sixth level of fear is based on the verse; “The faith of your times will be the strength of your salvations, wisdom and knowledge; fear of God – that is man’s treasure.”

The Talmud explains

that each phrase in this verse refers to one of the six Orders of the Mishna; “the faith” is the Order of Seeds, because planting demands faith that something will grow. “Your times,” refers to the Order of Times. “The strength,” is the Order of Women. “Your salvations,” is the Order of Damages. “Wisdom,” is the Order of Holiness, and “knowledge,” is the Order of Purity.   The end of the verse teaches us that if the person has fear, then his Torah will be valuable, a treasure, to him. Without fear of God, his Torah will be worthless.

The Zohar is teaching us that he must study each of the six Orders with the intention of its power, and must study it with fear of God. It is sometimes difficult for one who has achieved tremendous wisdom to fear God. Some of the worst sinners in the Bible were the greatest scholars, such as Yeravam ben Nevat. It is possible for much knowledge to lead someone astray. It is essential that as one reaches higher levels of wisdom he increase his fear of God to protect him as he studies.

The seventh level of fear is referred to in the verse; “Fear God, you, His holy ones, for there is no deprivation for his reverent ones.

” Those who sanctify themselves, the holy ones, in matters of this world, will have no deprivations, because God will send them Divine abundance of spirituality and physical blessings. One who does not do what is just and righteous with his money, will be deprived of what he has. If he has fear, he will have no lacking in torah, if he is a Torah scholar. Without Torah there can be no fear, just as without fear there can be no Torah. If he has fear and torah there will be no deprivations in his soul or good deeds. All his deeds will be for fear and Torah and they will nourish his body so that he will have no deprivations at all.

The eight level of fear is to be ashamed to sin before God. “The result of humility is fear of God, wealth, honor and life.”

He will have life in the Garden in Eden.

The ninth level of fear is described by the verse; “Grace is false, and beauty vain; a woman who fears God, she should be praised.”

This is the level of King Hezekiah who understood that he only reached the levels he did with the help of God.

The tenth level of fear is the fear that comes as a result of love.

This is why Maimonides always explains awe as a development of love.

Fear of Sin

“One who conceals his sins will not succeed, but he who confesses and forsakes them will be granted mercy. Praiseworthy is the man who always fears, but he who is stubborn of heart will fall into misfortune.”

The second type of fear, fear of Divine Majesty, consists in one’s withdrawing himself and abstaining from sin because of the great honor of the Blessed One. For how can a simple human being abide the doing of what is opposed to the will of the Creator?

This consists in a person’s constantly fearing and worrying that some trace of sin might have intruded itself into his actions or that they contain something, great or small, which is inconsonant with the grandeur of God’s honor and with the majesty of His Name. Here we see the strong relationship between fear of sin and fear of Divine Majesty; their common concern being that one do nothing in opposition to God’s great majesty.

There is a distinction between them however, which sets the fear of sin apart and gives it its distinct name: The fear of Divine Majesty obtains only during the performance of a deed, during Divine service, or upon the materialization of an opportunity for sin. That is, when one is standing in prayer or engaging in Divine service, he should feel ashamed and degraded; he should quake and tremble before the Supreme Majesty of God. Or, when there is an opportunity to sin, and he recognizes it as such, he must keep himself from sinning so that nothing be done contrary to the honor of God.

The fear of sin, however, obtains at all periods and times. At every moment one must be afraid of going astray and doing something or part of a thing in opposition to God’s honor. Hence, the expression, “fear of sin,” the essence of the fear being that sin not enter into and involve itself in one’s actions, whether through an intentional act, weakness, oversight, or any other means. That is why the Sages say that the “man who always fears,” is referring to matters of Torah.

Even when one does not see a stumbling block before him, his heart must tremble within him that he is threatened by one hidden at his feet. About such fear, Moses, our Teacher, said, “And so that His fear be upon your faces, that you not sin.”

This was Moses’ explanation of the revelation at Sinai. The Jews were terrified. Moses explained that they had to see God’s Presence in such a powerful way so that they would learn to live every second with an awareness of that great Presence and think of everything they did and said in terms of that Presence; did it reflect properly on God’s Presence. We tend to think of our sins as black marks against us. We forget that each sin was damaging to the Presence of God in this world. We acted as if God were not present. We acted in a manner that one would not if they were fully aware that they were acting in front of God. Moses wanted the Jews to understand how to see the world from the perspective of God’s Presence, not from their perspective. This is the central element in fear; that a person constantly fears and tremble until the fear can no longer depart from him. In this manner he will certainly avoid sin, and any sin that he might commit will be accounted accidental. “And to such I look; to the poor, to the broken in spirit and to those who tremble at My word.”

“Princes pursued me for naught and my heart feared at Your word.”

We find that the majestic, exalted angels constantly fear and tremble before God’s greatness; the Sages say by way of analogy, “What is the source of the stream of fire? It is the sweat of the holy creatures.”

The angels respond in this manner because of the fear of the Majesty of God, which is constantly upon them, and which causes them anxiety as to any possible failings on their part.

Whenever and wherever the Divine Presence manifests itself there is trembling, tumult and fright. As Scripture states; “The earth shook; even the heavens dripped…before God.”

And; “Is it for them that You tore the heavens, that You descended, that the mountains flowed before You?”

How much more so, then, should human beings tremble and quake in the knowledge that they stand always in the presence of God? As Eliphaz said to Job; “What is man that he would be found pure? Would one born of a woman be found righteous? He does not put trust in His holy ones and the heavens are not pure in His eyes”

“He puts no trust in His servants and invests not His angels with light. Much more so dwellers in houses of clay…”

In the words of Elihu; “At this, too, my heart fears and is moved from its place, hearing the clamor of His voice…”

This is the true fear which should always be upon the face of a person and never depart from him.

One must worry about each thing he is doing in the present. He must also worry about each thing he did in the past. Bava ben Buta, for example, would sacrifice a provisional guilt offering every day.

Job, after his sons’ parties, “arose and sacrificed burnt-offerings according to the number of them; for Job said, ‘Perhaps my sons have sinned’’

II. The Binding of Isaac

  • Fear in Action
  • Man above Angels
  • Isaac as the Paradigm of Fear

“Now I know that you are one who fears the Lord;” (God said to Abraham 🙂 from now on I have what to answer the Satan and other nations who wonder what is My special love for you. I can explain it now that all have seen that you fear the Lord.

Until this point, Abraham’s fear of the Lord was in potential only; it was not expressed in action until this great deed. Now it is known in action, and Abraham’s merit was complete.

The angel said to Abraham; “Now I know that it is just that God has made you greater than the angels.” (The Sages say that the righteous are greater than the angels.) “I see that your fear of the Lord is greater than mine, and you are deserving of greater heights. You fear the Lord through your own actions and development, I fear the Lord because of my closeness to Him.

Why was Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac considered an expression of fear and not love? The fulfillment of a positive commandment is an expression of love, not fear. Fear is what prevents one from breaking a negative commandment (as Nachmanides explains in his commentary on the Ten Statements,) Why would God say that “Now I know you fear the Lord?” He should have said, “Now I know that you love the Lord.”

Was not Abraham’s willingness to be thrown into a furnace of fire, without being commanded to do so by God, a greater expression of fear of God than the Binding of Isaac, which was upon God’s instruction? Why is Abraham given greater merit than Isaac? Did not Isaac suffer more?

When Abraham immediately responded to God’s instruction and prepared to offer his son whom he loved, which seemed to go against everything he believed about God, that was an expression of the deepest love. He showed that he was willing to do anything in the service of the God he loved so much.

But that was not the main test; Abraham had already shown that when he was willing to be thrown into the furnace of fire.

Because you were so prepared to kill your son for me, and you were hesitant to stop even after the angel spoke to you. You wanted this expression of highest love, but you stopped your expression of love for me because I told you to stop, which is a negative commandment, you showed that you fear me.

There are times when fear of God can place a limitation on our expression of love. This applies in our generation when many people are discovering their “own paths to God,” ways to express their deep love of God. Fear of God limits those expressions. Fear of God demands that even the expressions of love be as God has commanded, according to the system.

When Isaac was on the altar ready to be sacrificed to God, he experienced being nothing in front of God. His being was nothing. This is how he experienced true fear of God. His self did not interfere in his relationship with God. This is emulating the Godly attribute of “Tzimtzum” withdrawal of presence. God withdrew His presence from this world so that we could exist with Free Choice. Fear of God demands such Tzimtzum of us. The more we can withdraw from our selves, the more we can experience true fear of God. Any act of Tzimtzum is a step towards fear of God. If someone withholds themselves with other people; in the face of their insults, for example, or putting their needs before his, he is practicing for the Tzimtzum necessary for fear of God.

III. The Temple in Jerusalem

  • Named at Binding of Isaac
  • Completion of Mishkan
  • Completion of Temple
  • Laws of Behavior in Temple

“David and the entire House of Israel were playing before God with all kinds of cypress-wood instruments – with harps, lyres, drums, timbrels and cymbals. They came to the threshing floor of Nacon, and Uzzah reached out to the Ark of God and grasped it, for the oxen had dislodged it. God became angry at Uzzah and the Lord struck him there for the blunder; and Uzzah died there by the Ark of the Lord. David was upset (with himself) because God had inflicted a breach against Uzzah; he named the place Perez-Uzzah (Breach of Uzzah), (which is its name) to this day. David feared God on that day, and he said, ‘How can the Ark of God come to me?’ So David refused to move the Ark of God to himself to the City of David, and David diverted it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.”

David thought that it was impossible to be adequately careful with the Ark’s holiness.

Fear and the Beit Hamikdash

When Moshe and the Jews completed the Mishkan and stood before it; “The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of God filled the Mishkan. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting, for the cloud rested upon it, and the glory of God filled the Mishkan.”

When King Solomon finished the construction of the First Temple, the verse says; “And it was as the Kohanim left the Sanctuary, that the cloud filled the Temple of God. The Kohanim could not stand and minister because of the cloud, for the glory of God filled the Temple of God.”

In both cases, when human beings finished the construction of a house for God they could not enter the structure they had built. They merited being able to use their hands and their creativity to build a place where God would rest His presence, which is the greatest accomplishment for a human being. They had succeeded in making a place for God in this world. They had expressed their tremendous love of God. But they had to understand that once it actually became the house of God it became too great for them to enter. They had to understand that once God actually rested His presence on the building it became greater than anything they could imagine. They could have lost awe for God in using their efforts to build a house for Him. They had to be reminded that even though it was through their efforts the building still demanded their awe.

The awe of God is also expressed in the laws of how we must treat the Temple

and its boundaries. We must guard the Temple area.

We may not leave the Temple area unguarded.

Those who are impure may not approach

. We cannot wear shoes or carry a wallet, walking stick or purse on the Temple mount.

The awe of God is not reserved for the Temple; similar laws of awe and respect apply to a synagogue or study hall: One may not sleep or even drowse off while in a synagogue. One who does will lose his Torah learning.

One may not have casual conversations in a synagogue. In fact, if someone sneezes, others may not respond with a blessing.

The laws that deal with the respect we must show the Temple, synagogues and Houses of Study are recreations of the experiences of Moses and King Solomon when they were unable to even enter the structures they had built. These laws are all expressions of awe of God and His home.

The awe of God’s home extends to holy objects. “Rabbi Yochanan said, ‘Why did Ahab merit reigning twenty two years despite his being so wicked? He was granted this gift because he honored the Torah which was written with the twenty two letters of the Hebrew alpha-bet. He referred to the Torah as “Desire of your eyes.”

There are strict laws regarding how we must treat a Torah Scroll; one who rides from place to place should not put a Torah scroll into a sack, place the sack upon a donkey and ride upon it, but he should carry the scroll in his lap.

It is also forbidden to sit upon a bed on which a Torah scroll lays

as it is forbidden to throw away any sacred writings.

It is even forbidden to place copies of the Prophets on top of the Five Books of Torah.

These things were prohibited so that we would learn from them and add them to the honor of the Name of God. These are all tools to practice fear and awe of God.

XIV. Fear at the Time of Redemption

  • Fear of God’s Justice
  • Fear as a reaction to the blessings for the Jews

“May the Lord bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear Him.”

The people at all the ends of the earth will say; “See how God has blessed and given greatness to those who feared Him!”

When God will bless us then all the people at the ends of the earth, who did not hear of His glory and greatness, will fear Him.

When God will bless us, those who live at the ends of the earth will fear Him because they will see that He watches over everything and responds in kind.

“Israel saw the great hand that God inflicted upon the Egypt; and the people revered God, and they had faith in God and Moses, His servant.”

By way of the Truth, the verse is stating that the great hand, which is the attribute of justice  that God exercised upon the Egyptians, became revealed to them, since it was there inflicting punishment upon the Egyptians. This is like the verse, “And upon the earth He made you to see His great fire.”

This is the right hand which “dashes in pieces the enemy.”

It is the arm of the Eternal concerning which Scripture says, “Awake, awake, put on strength, arm of the Eternal. Are You not it that dried up the sea?

VI. Transforming Fear into Awe

  • Warsaw Ghetto

In his derashah for Rosh Hashanah, while Rabbi Shapira makes no mention of the events of the day (the Warsaw Ghetto) one can clearly hear their echo. His theme is fear; fear of punishment, fear of God, and, most of all, the sublimation of all fears into awe before the Creator

. He writes: “God created the entire universe so that it should fear Him, as Scripture states, ‘And God has made it, so that they should fear Him.’

Even forgiveness exists so that we might have the fear of Him. For when a person is stained by sins, because of which he is made to suffer powerful and bitter torments, God spare us!, it is difficult to have true fear of God, which is standing in awe of His greatness and the glory of His excellence. Fear in essence is awe of the greatness of God…All our cries at this time are nothing other than the revelation of His kingdom, as well as our acceptance of that kingdom. Even our own personal requests, our petitionary prayers are, in a sense, a revelation of His kingdom, a praise to Him…; even the requests regarding our personal needs which we address to Him are evidence that we recognize His sovereignty, blessed is He, which reveals itself to us at this time.

The fear of death should be sublimated into awe of the presence of God.

Rabbi Shapira analyzes the various types of fear of God, and stresses that “fear of punishment” must be elevated to the more sublime “fear of God’s grandeur,” or awe. He reminds his listeners that “the fear a person feels is an extension of the Fear to be found in the sefirah of Gevurah that has been transmitted and invested…” in this worldly form. He continues; “Now that ‘every head is sick and every heart is faint,

’some people may deem it inappropriate to speak of Hasidism, penitence, and various levels of divine awe, for it seems enough of an achievement to fulfill the commandments on their simple operational level. Such a person, however, is in error. First, because even now, we must serve God with all levels of service. Second, the truth is just the opposite; while one who entertains such thoughts of fear/awe for the divine, may be momentarily uncertain about his own spiritual situation, and perceives various flaws within himself, nevertheless, after such moments of introspection he feels elevated and joyful, for such fear is indeed pure. The hymn Y-ah Echsof

refers to such a state as “the pleasantness of Your fear,” it is a supernal fear, which elevates the person.

” The state of continual spiritual awareness and introspection which Rabbi Shapira calls “pure fear” engenders a paradoxical sense of grace and sweetness; furthermore, it enables the individual to control and suppress the mundane fears that beset him. By combating the understandable tendency to lower one’s spiritual standards at a time of great difficulty, Rabbi Shapira suggests that the individual can elevate himself and transcend his situation.

XII. The Role of Forgiveness in Fear

“For with You is forgiveness, that You may be feared.”

You have not given the power of forgiveness to any other being, in order that a person will not rely on anyone other than You.

When people know that You forgive they will repent and abandon their sins. If you did not forgive, people would not fear You, and would behave according to their desires.

We fear God only because it is possible for Him to forgive us. If there was no possibility of forgiveness, we would not fear him; we would give up hope on a relationship and feel that all is lost because of our sins. “How long will you waver  rebellious daughter? For God has created something new on earth; a woman courts a man.”

What did the prophet mean when he referred to the Jews this way?

“Will you hide from Me, that you are ashamed to return to Me because of your way?”

Rashi understands the rebellious daughter to mean a child who is lost and is ashamed to return to the parent.  This is a child caught up in her own rebellion and is convinced that the relationship cannot be repaired. The phrase refers to all who are lost only because they are ashamed to return. We often see people who want to return to God but are convinced that they are too distant to repair the relationship. There are far too many kids who have rebelled and want to return but are too ashamed to do so. There are people who fell away and want to come back but they are convinced that it is impossible to undo all their damage. We were able to repent and prevent the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. We didn’t believe that Teshuva was possible; we gave up on the relationship and lost all fear of God. We could not even think of Him. Therefore, we are reminded that “With You is forgiveness,” so that we do not lose hope and fear.

There is a difference between the forgiveness granted by God and that granted by a human being. A person will forgive based on the behavior of the person asking for clemency. He will see if the person who has wronged him regrets his behavior or is deserving of some mercy. The forgiveness is based on the recipient of the pardon. God is different; although He examines the recipient it is His very nature to be forgiving. The absolution comes from Him. It is based on God, the forgiver, not the recipient. In fact, it is impossible for the world to exist if God does not forgive, as the Midrash says; “Abraham said to God, ‘If You desire pure justice the world cannot exist. If You desire the world there can be no pure justice.’”

God must be a forgiver in order for the world to exist. Furthermore, God can absolve the sin as if it never happened, something a forgiving person cannot do. A person who forgives easily will not be feared; people will simply rely on his pardon. The fact that we must turn to God for forgiveness when we have sinned against His greatness and exaltedness, causes us to fear Him.

XIII. Fear and Trust

“God desires those who fear Him, those who hope for His kindness.”

God favors those who fear Him. The verse explains that it refers to those who await His kindness and do not rely on their own power. Those who rely on themselves remove the fear of God from themselves.

God desires that we do not attempt anything on our own, but we wait instead for God to provide through His great kindness.

“I am at peace, relaxed and unafraid like a child nursing from its mother.” Thus said David, King of Israel, surrounded on all sides by enemies, plagued by the most devastating tragedies within his own family, a man burdened by sorrows beyond bearing. He was at peace, relaxed and unafraid. He knew the secret of Yichud. Knew that nothing, nothing at all, can or will happen that is not willed by God. No place for questions, none for complaints. All, all is willed by God. Only by God. There is none other. We are in his hands, in his hands alone. No questions. No complaints. No worries. That is Yichud.

XV. Fear and the Attribute of Gevurah

“But his bow was firmly emplaced and his arms were gilded, from the hands of the Mighty Power of Jacob – from there, he shepherded the stone of Israel.”

By way of the Truth, this blessing is similar to the blessing Jacob gave earlier to Joseph’s sons. The “Mighty One of Jacob,” is the Lord of Truth. He is never referred to as the Mighty One of Abraham or of Isaac, only of Jacob, or of Israel

. The greatness and strength of God are expressed from the hands of the attribute of the Mighty One of Jacob. “Shepherded the stone of Israel,” is the stone that is referred to in the verse; “The stone the builders despised has become the cornerstone. This emanated from God; it is wondrous in our eyes.”

It is called the stone of Israel, as the Sages have said, this refers to the entire Congregation of Israel

. The stone is the cornerstone, that completes the building. The concept of the shepherd is that strength and power rise in the right hand of the Holy One, Blessed is He, as it is written; “Rays of light came from His hand; and there His hidden strength was revealed.”

This means to say, that His Hidden Strength is in His right hand, and hidden is the strength that rises and is hidden in the place from which He emanates. This is what is meant in the verse, “And the foundation that Your right hand has planted, and the son whom you strengthened for Yourself.

IX. Practices of Awe

  • Include review of earlier ideas

“This alludes to the fear we must have for Torah scholars.”

“Job made a fence about his matters and distanced himself from anything that might lead to sin.”

“Job was stringent with himself and did not look even at an unmarried girl.”

Honoring Scholars:

“Through the fear of Torah scholars one will easily merit the fear of God.”

Fear of Losing High Level of Spirituality

“Even one who has reached such levels that God’s Name is upon him, must live in fear that he can lose his status through sin.”

Prayer in Awe

The chief aspect of fear of God is the fear of His exalted nature. A person must be mindful, when praying or engaged in the performance of a mitzvah that he is standing before the King of Kings. This is what the Talmud means when it says; “And when you pray, know before Whom you pray.”

It is easy for a person who prays regularly to get into the habit of praying and to forget before Whom he is praying. Even someone who usually does not pray but is in a desperate situation and he cries out to God, must remember that he is crying out to the Almighty.

God listens to us directly when we pray. We are literally standing before God without any separation. When we pray we have direct contact with the Creator of the Universe. It is essential to remember that we are having a private conference with God. He controls the universe, billions of planets, stars, animals and billions of people, but He is listening directly to us. Prayer is the greatest opportunity for a human being. Who would not revel in the prospect of a one on one meeting with the Creator of the Universe? When we are aware of the power of prayer to initiate this intimate meeting with God we should be overcome with fear and awe. We should fear the fact that we are speaking with God, Who knows all our imperfections, sins, and mistakes. We are meeting with the Being Who has demanded much from us that we have not done. We are calling on the Ultimate Judge despite our imperfections, and despite the fact that we have not fulfilled all His commandments. We are praying to Him because we know that He is All-Powerful, and has the ability to answer our prayers. How can we be anything other than terrified in front of God, the Creator, the All-Knowing, the Ultimate Judge and the All-Powerful? If we truly believe in prayer and its effectiveness and power we should automatically remember before Whom we stand, and be humble and ashamed of our shortcomings, and fearful of their consequences.

During Prayer:

The Ramchal

says; “My God, I was sorely ashamed and humiliated to lift, my God, my face to You.”

This type of fear must first grow in the heart before it manifests itself in the body in the form of a bowed head, a bent body, lowered eyes and the folding of one’s hands as a little servant before a great king. This is described in the Talmud; “Rava would fold his hands and pray, saying, ‘I am like a servant before his master.’”

The Ramchal says that we must first reach the level of true fear before we act out humility with our bodies when we pray. However, Halachah has standardized these physical actions when praying as tools to lead to fear. We stand with our hands over our hearts, with our head bowed; our body slightly bent and lowered eyes in order to practice humility when we pray

. The Ramchal was concerned that by making this standard it would lose its effectiveness. He felt that a bowed head had to be an expression of true fear, not something that could lead to fear. Although we practice the law, it is important to remember the Ramchal’s concerns. We should at the very least be aware that we are using these actions as tools to practice humility and fear before God.


The fear of God must be expressed and practiced through honoring His commandments and Torah. The Sages taught us about the dignity and preciousness of Mitzvot when they said; “This is my God and I will beautify Him,

” beauty yourself before Him with Mitzvot; with beautiful Tzitzit, beautiful Tefillin, a beautiful Torah scroll, a beautiful Lulav…”

We honor the Mitzvot by beautifying ourselves and the objects of Mitzvah as an expression of our awe of God. We would dress in our finest clothing if we had an opportunity to meet with a king. We would have the most beautiful table set for an important visitor. If we are aware of the presence of the King of Kings we will do whatever He asks of us in the most beautiful way. The Sages are teaching us that by making our Mitzvot beautiful we are beautifying ourselves before God. He sees that we treasure and honor His commandments. We do not buy the most beautiful Etrog in order to have the best Etrog in the congregation. We search for the finest Etrog in order to honor God as an expression of our awareness of Him and the importance of His commandments. We do not put on the easiest Tzitzit; we wear the most beautiful Tzitzit in order to honor the Mitzvah and to be beautiful in the eyes of God. The performance of a Mitzvah is not enough; it must be honored and beautified.

Does God Need Our Honor?

When we deal with the concept of honoring God we are confronted with an important question; God has no needs. Would not honor be superfluous to God? Do we not believe that God is above such things? Human beings are interested in honor. God is not. Why is it so important to honor His commandments?

The prophet Malachi addressed this issue; “If you offer a blind animal to be sacrificed, it is not evil in your eyes. Present it to your governor. Will you find favor with him? Will he be gracious to you?”

Malachi is teaching us that we should not consider honoring the Mitzvot from God’s perspective; God does not need the honor. We must look at it only from our perspective and how honoring the commandments will lead us to higher levels of awareness of God, and hence to awe. If we would imagine each of our acts of observance as they would be perceived by a king of flesh and blood, we would train ourselves into the proper level of fear in performing the commandments. “Would the governor find favor?” is even an expression found in Jewish law. We speak of how to bring certain sacrifices to God and we say, “even though they are fit for human consumption, ‘would a governor find favor?

Meaning we cannot treat God with less respect than we would a human ruler.

This idea of acting with honor because of us, and not because of God is found in many commandments. For example; there are laws that describe how much our bodies we are allowed to reveal when we go to the bathroom. Now, God knows what we look like naked; He sees us everywhere. It does not make a difference to God how much He can see because He sees all even if we are fully dressed. It is important only for our perspective; if we act in with the awareness of how we would behave in front of a human king, we will be reminding ourselves of the constant presence of God. We will be training ourselves in fear and awe.

Included in the concept of awe is the necessity for cleanliness and purity during occupation with words of Torah. This requirement goes so far as to cause thinking of Torah in unclean places or even when one’s hands are dirty to be prohibited. We must have enough awe of God and therefore His Torah that we would not dare even think of words of Torah if our hands were dirty or if we were standing in an inappropriate place to study Torah. The awe of God extends to awe of the Torah in our minds.

XVIII. Transmitting Awe

“So that you will fear God, your Lord, to observe all His decrees and commandments that I command you- you, your child, your grandchild – all the days of your life, so that your days will be lengthened.”

“Only after you have made your awe of heaven a part of the deepest parts of your heart will you be able to transmit it to future generations.”

XV. Acquiring Fear

“You must know that even your awe of God comes only with help from above. If the Holy One, Blessed is He, does not help him, he will not achieve it.”

“The keeping of the commandments leads to fear of God, as it says in the Talmud, “A mitzvah, at the time you are occupied in it, will protect and save you from the Evil Inclination.’

Fear helps one guard all the statutes and laws. It will lead one to fulfill all the commandments in the Torah. It will also lead your children to be involved in their observance as they will see in their parents. Your fear of God will then bring merit to others.”

We have the challenge of being aware of standing before God even though He cannot be seen.  It is a difficult challenge for a person to create a true picture in his heart, for he is entirely unaided by his senses towards this objective. However, someone who is possessed with sound intelligence will, with a little thought and attention, be able to implant in his heart the truth of his actually communicating with God, of his imploring and entreating Him and being heard and listened to by Him. This is another reason why Maimonides says that awe of God only comes through awareness of Him and His greatness. The awareness necessary for prayer cannot come in a vacuum. It will result only from someone who has dedicated himself to learning about God and making Him a very real part of his life. This Mitzvah follows from the previous Mitzvot; they taught us about God and His existence and Majesty.

After having implanted in his heart that he is standing before God, he must give thought to the majesty of God, His being elevated and raised above all blessing and praise, above all forms of perfection that his mind can envisage and comprehend.

Reflect on two things: The Divine Presence is found everywhere. The second is; “Know what is above you; a seeing eye, a listening ear and a book in which all of your deeds are inscribed.”

When Isaac was on the altar ready to be sacrificed to God, he experienced being nothing in front of God. His being was nothing. This is how he experienced true fear of God. His self did not interfere in his relationship with God. This is emulating the Godly attribute of “Tzimtzum” withdrawal of presence. God withdrew His presence from this world so that we could exist with Free Choice. Fear of God demands such Tzimtzum of us. The more we can withdraw from our selves, the more we can experience true fear of God. Any act of Tzimtzum is a step towards fear of God. If someone withholds themselves with other people; in the face of their insults, for example, or putting their needs before his, he is practicing for the Tzimtzum necessary for fear of God.

X. Practical Tools

  • Use the Practices
  • Fear of God in While Living in a Western Society
  • Second Paragraph of Shema
  • Touching Tefillin
  • Learning about God
  • Prayer Card

XI. Fear and Love

  • Debate
  • Fear through love

“It is known that all those who love God, fear Him. There are those who fear but do not love. It is clear that fear is included in love, and that is why it says here that we shall fear God, after it said that we should love God, in order to teach us that fear is included in love.”

The tenth level of fear is the fear that comes as a result of love.

This is why Maimonides always explains awe as a development of love.

Abraham, the paradigm of kindness, achieved fear at the end of his life, as a result of the intense love he had for God.

Fear and Love:

דתניא רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר גדול העושה מאהבה יותר מן העושה מיראה שזה תלוי לאלף דור וזה תלוי לאלפים דור הכא כתיב לאלפים לאהבי ולשומרי מצותי והתם כתיב ולשומרי מצותיו לאלף דור התם נמי כתיב לאוהביו ולשומרי מצותיו לאלף דור האי לדסמיך ליה והאי לדסמיך ליה


1 Deuteronomy 10:12-13

2 Berachot 33b

3 Deuteronomy 6:13; this is the source verse according to Maimonides; Laws of Foundations of the Torah 2:1

4 Ibn Ezra, Deuteronomy 6:13

5 1 Samuel 12:18

6 The Gates of Repentance; The Third Gate # 156

7 Proverbs 8:13 See The Gates of Repentance, The Third Gate #218

8 Sefer Chareidim; Positive Commandments that are in the Heart  #4

9 Ibn Ezra, Deuteronomy 6:2

10 Nachmanides, Deuteronomy 6:2

11 Seforno, Deuteronomy 6:2

12 Berachot 33b

13 Psalms 34:10

14 Job, 28:28; Job’s Paean to wisdom

15 Metzudat David, Job 28:28

16 Malbim, Job 28:28

17 Psalms 111:10

18 Zohar, Volume 1, 11b

19 2 Chronicles 28:9

20 Degel Machne Ephraim; Lech Lecha

21 Berachot 5a

22 Pri Ha’Eitz; Balak

23 Pri Ha’Eitz:Netzavim

24 Pri Ha’Eitz; Michtav Laz

25 Degel Machane Ephraim; Bereishit

26 Rashi, Deuteronomy 6:13

27 Nachmanides, Deuteronomy 6:13

28 Psalms 15:4

29 Deuteronomy 10:20

30 Malachi 2:5

31 Rashi, Deuteronomy 6:13

32 Psalms 2:11

33 Psalms 89:8

34 Chevlei Mashiach, Chapter 3, page 16

35 Degel Machane Ephraim; Balak

36 The Path of the just, Chapter 24; Concerning the Fear of Sin; “for it can be achieved only by one who has already acquired all of the previously mentioned traits.”

37 The Path of the Just, Chapter 19; The Divisions of Saintliness

38 Shelter Amongst the Shadows, Rabbi Moshe Eisemann, page 55

39 Degel Machane Ephraim; Bereishit

40 Ma’or Vashemesh, Parashat Beshalach; “v’od”

41 Psalms 118

42 Pri Ha’Eitz; Korach

43 Genesis 15:1

44 Tanna D’Bei Eliyahu, Chapter 25

45 Genesis 22:12

46 Job 1:8

47 Bava Batra 15b

48 Avot of Rabbi Nathan 2:5

49 Avot of Rabbi Nathan 2:5

50 Degel Machane Ephraim; Vayishlach

51 Psalms 32:2

52 Psalms 16:8

53 Orach Chaim 1:1

54 Daniel 4:26-32

55 Zohar, Volume 1, 11b

56 Zohar, Volume 1, 11b

57 Avot 3:9

58 Tikkunei Zohar 5a

59 Isaiah 33:6

60 Shabbat 31a

61 Tikkunei Zohar 5a

62 Psalms 34:10

63 Tikkunei Zohar 5b

64 Proverbs 22:4

65 Tikkunei Zohar 5b

66 Proverbs 31:30

67 Tikkunei Zohar 5b as explained by the Matok Mi’Devash.

68 Tikkunei Zohar 6a as explained by the Matok Mi’Devash

69 Mishnah Torah; Laws of the Foundations of the Torah 2:2, & 4:12

70 Proverbs 28:13-14

71 Berachot 60a

72 Exodus 20:17

73 Isaiah 66:2

74 Psalms 119:161

75 Chagigah 13b

76 Psalms 68:9

77 Isaiah 63:19

78 Job 15:14-15

79 Job 4:18-19

80 Job 37:1-2

81 Keritut 25a

82 Job 1:5

83 Rashi; Genesis 22:12

84 Nachmanides; Genesis 22:12

85 Seforno; Genesis 22:12

86 HaKetav V’Hakabbalah; Genesis 22:12

87 Kedushat Levi;Toledot

88 2 Samuel 6:5-10

89 Metzudat David, 2 Samuel 6:9

90 Exodus 40:34-35

91 1 Kings 8:10-11

92 Mitzvah/Concept 304; Mishnah Torah; Laws of the Temple

93 Mitzvah/Concept 305; Mishnah Torah; Laws of the Temple

94 ibid 306

95 ibid 326, 327, 328;Laws of Entering the Temple

96 Mishna Berachot 9:5

97 Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah 246:16

98 ibid 17

99 Sanhedrin 102b

100 Berachot 18a

101 Moed Katan 25a

102 Eruvin 98a

103 Megillah 27a

104 The Path of the Just, Chapter 19

105 Psalms 67:8

106 Rashi, Psalms 67:8

107 Ibn Ezra Psalms, 67:8

108 Metzudat David, Psalms 67:8

109 Exodus 14:31

110 Deuteronomy 4:36

111 Exodus 15:6

112 Isaiah 51:9-10

113 Nachmanides, Exodus 14:31

114 The Holy Fire, Nehemiah Polen, Jason Aronson Publishers,1999, page 37

115 Ecclesiastes 3:14

116 Aish Kodesh, Derashah for Rosh Hashanah pp.3-8

117 The Holy Fire p. 38

118 Isaiah 1:5

119 of Rabbi Aarom of Karlin 1736-1772

120 Aish Kodesh pp. 143-146

121 The Holy Fire page 38

122 Psalms 130:4

123 Rashi, Psalms 130:4

124 Ibn Ezra, Psalms 130:4

125 Jeremiah 31:21

126 Rashi, Jeremiah 31:21

127 Bereishit Rabbah 39:6

128 Malbim, Psalms 130:4

129 Psalms 147:11

130 Metzudat David, Psalms 147:11

131 Malbim, Psalms 147:11

132 Rabbi Chatzkel Levenstein, Ponivezer Mashgiach

133 Genesis 49:24; the blessing of Joseph

134 as in Isaiah 1:24

135 Psalms 118:22-23

136 Midrash Tehillim 109; The Congregation of Israel was always despised by the other nations.

137 Habakkuk 3:4; Habakkuk is expressing his regret for his “erroneous utterances” protesting God’s strict judgment against the sinners of Israel.

138 Psalms 80:16

139 Nachmanides, Genesis 49:24; see also Sefer HaBahir #148 & 193

140 Ba’al Haturim, HaKetav V’Hakabbalah, Deuteronomy 6:13

141 Avot of Rabbi Nathan 2:5

142 Avot of Rabbi Nathan 2:5

143 Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov; Deuteronomy 10:20

144 Rabbi Moshe of P’shavresk; Or Pinei Moshe, Deuteronomy 10:20

145 Berachot 28b

146 The Path of the Just, Chapter 19; The Divisions of Saintliness

147 Ezra 9:6

148 Shabbat 10a

149 Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim; 95:1-3

150 Exodus 15:2

151 Shabbat 133b

152 The Path of the Just, Chapter 19

153 Malachi 1:8

154 Succah 50a

155 Deuteronomy 6:2

156 Rabbi Shmuel of Slonim, Divrei Shmuel; Deuteronomy 6:2

157 Rabbi Yosef Moshe of Zalvazitch; Brit Avraham; Deuteronomy 6:2

158 Sotah 21a

159 Haamak Davar, Deuteronomy 6:2

160 Avot 2:1

161 Kedushat Levi;Toledot

162 Rabbeinu Bachya, Deuteronomy 6:13

163 Tikkunei Zohar 6a as explained by the Matok Mi’Devash

164 Mishnah Torah; Laws of the Foundations of the Torah 2:2, & 4:12

165 Me’ah Shearim, Fourth Gate

166 Sotah 31a


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