Awe and Fear

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2 Responses

  1. Neil Harris says:

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this post for a while, but I needed to find some time to actually think about it.

    The end of “point 2” is something I’d love to read/learn more about. Yir’ah being a “stretch of emotional space” is pretty much untapped, in my opinion.

    I recently heard (in an mp3 shiur from Rabbi Shmuel Silber from Baltimore)that using the word “fear” as a translation for yir’ah poses a big problem. Fear implies something that we want to separate or withdraw from. The example he gave was fire. If your hand gets close to a flame you are afraid that you’ll get burned. When we are in a relationship with Hashem (or anyone we love) the last thing we want to do is be in a state of “fear”, since we don’t want any type of separation.
    That’s why the word “awe” is better, even though I think it’s an antiquated word.

    • micha says:

      The whole point of the post is to really get away from fear vs awe. To think like the Torah intends, and to really relate to HQBH with yir’ah, we have to learn to think in its own terms. Yir’ah as a primary concept, not as a set of emotions.

      The next post in the series is already in the works. So whatever points I failed to make this time, I still have a chance to reinforce later. But until I get out what yir’ah is, as opposed to what some of its alternatives are, I am stuck talking around my point.

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