The greatest and most important Mitzva for building a person is love, as it is said in the Torah (Leviticus 19:18): “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” and “from love of the creatures to love of the Creator.” But this is the second Mitzva; not because it is less important, but in order, it comes after the Mitzva of fear. You see we build love on top of our ego, over our nature. Therefore, first of all, we must build fear within us toward the characteristic of love and bestowal. And only after this can we build the characteristic of love within us.
From “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 202: Rabbi Shimon took him and kissed him. This is to say he created a spiritual connection with him called a “kiss,” one of the three levels of connection: “embrace,” “kiss,” “Zivug.” Rabbi Pinchas came and blessed and kissed him. “Blessing” is an additional level of connection. And he said, “It must be that the Creator has sent me here. This is the fine Light that I was told was integrated in my house, and which afterwards will illuminate the entire world.” Rabbi Elazar replied, “Certainly, this fear must not be forgotten in all the Mitzvot, much less in the Mitzva of love—fear should be attached to it. And how is it attached? Love is good on one side, when He gives him wealth and bounty, long life, sons, and nourishments and then fear should be evoked—to fear lest he will cause the sin and his fortune would turn on him. It is written about that, ‘Happy is he who is always fearful,’ for fear is included in love.”
There cannot be love without fear. Fear is imperative, for based specifically upon fear, exactly to that degree, love can be maintained. Fear is the foundation of love.
The question is must I entirely finish with the level of fear to be able to go on to love? Or can I get a little fear and build love above it that will require me to develop a new fear above it? Do the states of fear and love alternate one after the other on the levels of the 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, with fear and love consecutively alternating? Or is it that only fear is felt first and only after that love begins?
Sometimes it happens this way and sometimes the other way. We reach the level of Bina and after that the level of Hochma and along with this we build our relationship to the level of Keter. After we build the level of Bina, we build the level of “love,” Hochma. We must also develop Hassadim to pass from simple faith to complete faith. “Complete faith” means that Ohr Hochma is clothed within Ohr Hassadim. So existence on the level of Hassadim can be like the life of “a person living in the forest.” He doesn’t have a shirt, but he is happy with his lot because he has Hassadim, complete Hassadim. But he doesn’t have love, a connection with what is higher. He has only risen above his desire, but he still cannot reach connection with the Divine.
After this he builds a link with the Creator, from the middle of the level of Bina and above. But for this, within himself he must develop Ohr Hassadim within which can be clothed Ohr Hochma.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/11/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam