Tuesday, November 26, 2013

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What is the Best Way?

by Reb Gutman Locks


     A rabbi came up to me at the Kotel looking for encouragement. He has an important position in the largest yeshiva in Jerusalem. He works extremely hard and is very well learned in all of the Talmud. And he is oh so very strict with himself! His problem was that one day last week he overslept, and he slept through the time when it was most proper to say the morning Shema. For someone like him, this was a very big mistake, and he was feeling down that he failed to say that prayer in the proper way.

     I asked him if his young son had an accident and wet his pants, would he hit the boy? He answered, of course not. “But he wet his pants!” I insisted. “Why don’t you hit him?” and I answered my own question, “Because he is only a little boy, and no one does only good.” I told him, “You have ‘Malkeinu’ (our King), but you do not have ‘Avinu’ (our Father).” He did not listen to me. He is still down on himself because of his slight, understandable, sometimes can happen, slip.

     So what is the best, most proper way to address G-d? Is it Avinu or Malkeinu? What is the highest way to relate to Hashem? We are told that it is best to assume the spiritual position of a son, and consider Hashem to be our Father.

    There is lower level love, and there is higher level love. There is lower level fear, and there is higher level fear. Lower level love says, “I love you, come to me... I want you.” Higher level love says, “I love you... what can I do for you?” Lower lever fear worries about punishment, and higher level fear is Awe.

     We are told that each of these types of love and fear have their proper time and place in the service of Hashem, but that higher level fear is the ultimate. But, then why is serving as a son the best way to serve? Serving as a son is a service of love.

     A son both loves and respects his father. When the ultimate experience of Revelation happens (please G-d it will happen for all of us right now), one sees the most Awesome sight possible. It is indescribable, but here are a few descriptive terms that apply; Holy, Ultimate Awe, Glory, Recognition, Fulfillment, Gorgeous Love, Nullification of Self, Urgency, Overwhelming, Desire to Cleave…

     And when the Experience closes all too quickly as it always will; Tears of thankfulness, humility, amazement,…

     And then; Yearning, serving, loving…

     We can serve Hashem as a slave, as a friend, or as a son. All of these are most exalted titles given to our Forefathers. But only the service of a son has the immense love and Awe that fully encourages this experience to happen. Ultimately It happens only by His Kindness, but we have to do what we can to deserve that kindness.   


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