How Can We Be Afraid Of Someone We Love?
Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 203: …Since fear is a Mitzva that contains all the Mitzvot in the Torah, as it is the gate of the faith in the Creator.
And according to the awakening of one’s fear, the faith in the Creator’s guidance is in him. Hence, the fear must not be forgotten in each and every Mitzva. It is especially so with the Mitzva of love, meaning that fear must be evoked along with it, since the fear is actually united in the Mitzva of love.
This is why he explains that the fear must adhere to love. And how does it adhere to it? Should fear also be evoked at that time as one evokes the complete love?
Must we even awaken fear at that time when complete love is awakened? Here he repeats the two sides of love, whether in Din or Hesed, and the success of his ways. He says that one must evoke fear on both sides of love, that during the Hesed and success of one’s ways, fear of the Creator should be evoked, lest the sin will cause his love of the Creator to chill. By that, he includes fear in love.
The Mitzva of fear is not terror and fear of the Creator; rather, it is fear that I don’t love Him strongly enough. In other words, I am not afraid of Him; we are not talking about this. Fear like this exists only below the Machsom, below the spiritual world. And only levels of love are found above the Machsom.
I am not afraid of the Creator and I am going towards Him. But I am afraid that my love for Him will not be great enough because I might become confused and make a mistake. That is, this is fear of judgment, of punishment. Fear like this doesn’t exist in spirituality because I have already risen above beastly fear. Rather I am afraid of giving him less satisfaction than what is possible. This is the only fear.
I am always afraid that I will not love the Creator with complete love; perhaps it’s possible to give Him something further and I will not do this, I will not notice an opportunity, I will not be sensitive enough. Fear like this is a mechanism for increasing the love and for ascent on the entire ladder of levels. We go half of the way acquiring fear to the level of Bina. And after that, there are levels of love, and in this second half of the way, we feel twice the fear.
But as is understood, this fear will never be egoistic as it is under the Machsom, for their own welfare. Fear will always be in regard to the one who is loved.
Also, on the other side of love, during the harsh Din, he should evoke fear of the Creator and not harden his heart or stray his mind from the Din. By that, he includes the fear in love, as well. If he does so, he is always in complete love, as it should be.
In regard to the integration of fear in love on the side of Hesed he brings the verse, “Happy is he who is always fearful.” He explains the word “always” to mean that even when the Creator treats him favorably, he should fear Him lest he will cause the sin.
This raises the question, how is it possible to be in fear all the time? Of course, this fear is not egoistic, but is above the ego. It’s necessary to be afraid all the time, meaning to search for what else I can add to my love so as not to detract from it. If we were to behave this way in our world, in relationships between people, in the family, then our lives would be wonderful!
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/11/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
The Long Path To Fear
Anatomy Of Fear And Love
The Fear Of God Is His Treasure
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