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Six Constant Mitzvot: Orach LaTzaddik: Fear of Heaven

The 26th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Eliezer Lippa (ben Elimelech) of Chelminik, Poland (1813). The son of the Rebbe Reb Meilich, he wrote Orach Latzadik.


The students of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai requested his blessing before he died. “May you fear Heaven as much as you do another human being.”

Is that all?

“I wish,” he said, “people hide from other people when they sin, and forget that God sees all.”

How could Rabbi Yochanan bless them with Fear of Heaven when the Talmud teaches that all is in the hands of Heaven except for Fear of Heaven? Plus, his students were among the greatest Rabbis? Did he suspect that they lacked Fear of Heaven?

Reb Lippa explains a number of verses from Psalms and Proverbs, and concludes:

We see how far a robber will go to plan and strategize so he can rob a house without being caught. Rabbi Yochanan was blessing his students with the ability to use the same approach to serve God; strategize the best way to achieve your objectives. Plan and think through every step. Use your Fear of Heaven to plan your good the same way a robber, who fears being caught by other people, will plan every one of his moves.

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