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Parshat Ekev: Rav Kook on ‘Fearing God Fearlessly’

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In Parshat Ekev — Moshe Rabbenu continues to recount the tumultuous history of Israel and the significant contribution of the Torah’s ‘mitzvot-commandments’ in directing Israel in the path of goodness and holiness. In one central passage he summarizes the conclusion that we must draw from all this:

“And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God request of you?

Only to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His paths, to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and soul, keeping the LORD’s commandments and laws, which I am enjoining upon you today, for your own good.” (Dvarim 10:12)

The first step in this spiritual journey is ‘יראת השם-Fear of God’. This is a concept and a requirement that can be very misunderstood. It’s true meaning and application must be clarified.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook reflects on a Talmudic midrash as he teaches us about the right and wrong way to fear God. The Midrash states:

“Abayeh used to say: One must always be עָרוּם........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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