Tuesday, October 07, 2008

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Fear and Joy - How can it be?

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

On Yom Kippur we come before G-d with great fear. After all He is the judge of the entire universe and on this day we are being judged for everything we did. Nothing is hidden from Him.

But there is lower level fear and there is higher level fear. Lower level fear is when we are afraid that someone or something is going to hurt us. When we stop and think about what we really deserve for what we did, this will bring lower level fear. Higher level fear is not like this at all. Higher level fear is awe. When we think deeply into the nature of G-d we are so taken by His greatness that we are almost in shock.

These are the first two steps we take on Yom Kippur; lower level fear when we think of the possible punishments that we deserve and then awe when we think of the greatness of G-d.

Then, once we have repented of our sins and truly regret having done them, promising not to make those same mistakes again, G-d forgives us for everything we did against Him. When we understand G-d’s forgiveness the awe turns into joy. Who wouldn’t be happy when they are judged, found guilty, and then forgiven?

Have an awesome happy Yom Kippur.

A video of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's blessing, Birchas Hatmimim, which was regularly given to all yeshiva students before the Kol Nidre (evening) service. The following took place Erev Yom Kippur 5747/1986...

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