Thursday, June 04, 2015

// // 1 comment


​   by Reb Gutman Locks   



    A commenter writes; "The main thing is that we instill fear of G-d in each generation of children."

      If we are to take this source as it surely seems to be saying, then this has to be one of the biggest mistakes Torah teachers could ever make in their entire lives.

     There is lower level fear, and there is higher level fear. Lower level fear is apparently what this source means when it says we are to teach children to fear. Lower level fear is the type of fear one feels when you walk into a dark alley in a nasty neighborhood, or when you are walking down the street and suddenly a group of hooligans is walking toward you. "Yikes! I better get out of here!"

    Teaching this kind of fear of G-d to children is a crime.

    Higher level fear is awe. Higher level fear is what overtakes you when you are blessed to see that Hashem is truly present. You immediately raise your head and try to merge into the glory that accompanies such a blessing. Your heart reaches up and tries to kiss the source of the great Wonder. This is the type of fear we should try to teach our children, not the lower fear.

     If this is too grand, then there is also lower level love and higher level love to teach the children. These levels apply to both love of G-d and love of another person. Either of these levels of love is fine. Lower level love says "I love you, come to me. I want you." The child is taught to love G-d and to want to see that G-d is present in his or her life. Higher level love says, "I love you. What can I do for you? How can I help you?" The child is taught to serve G-d by following His Torah.

     Our children should be shown that Hashem is our loving, awesome heavenly Father, not a vengeance seeking deity looking to deliver punishment.

     The difficulty is, as always, the only way our teachers will be able to share these levels of understanding is for them to first attain them themselves.  

1 comment:

  1. Fear of G-d should be about respecting the relationship. Be in awe when looking around us, and feel blessed to have what we have. Hashem gives us, and sustains us. We don't want to hurt that connection, but keep it healthy. The fear is disconnecting. So we do what we need to do to keep the connection strong. With love, our soul wants to be close with the Source, so we have prayer and learning mitzvos. We need both. With love, we express our desire to be with Hashem. And with fear or awe of G-d, we remember that we need to do things properly to keep the connection healthy


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