Question: How is it possible to distinguish between fear and trembling?
Answer: In general, fear is a lower state, something relevant to our beastly body, our desire to receive. In contrast, trembling is felt according to the characteristic of bestowal, with regard to the Creator.
I work within my desire to receive. If I am afraid of phenomena within my desire to receive, this is called “fear.” If I suspect and am afraid about whether I will be able to bestow to the friends and through them to the Creator, this is called “awe.”
The difference between fear and awe is in this, that fear is a natural phenomenon that appears and takes place in me naturally as a result of the fear of the desire to receive if it will receive pleasure, and in this there is no difference between a person and a beast. And awe doesn’t depend on me, but in how will I receive the Light that Reforms? It brings me awe.
Fear is awakened in me naturally, by itself, whereas awe is the result of the influence of the Upper Light, the luminary, from awareness of the greatness of the Creator. That is, the main difference is that fear comes to me from nature and awe is above nature, under the influence of the Light that Reforms.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/4/14, The Zohar