A key element of our relationship with G-d is the amplitude of the fear we have of the Creator. By fear, I mean a real sense of fear which seizes us when we think about G-d. The number of levels is infinite and the more we fear Him, the closer to the truth we are.
To summarize in its simplest form the infinite scale of degrees, it is possible to distinguish two main categories of fear of Heaven: the fear of punishment and the fear of G-d Himself.
An outward fear
Fear of punishment is often our primary motivation when we want to break a commandment and that ultimately ... we don't. This can be compared to a car driver who doesn't want to stop at a "Stop" signal, but still immobilized his vehicle by fear of the police.
This fear of punishment is also the reason why we can live in our societies. Even if life is increasingly difficult, violent and dangerous, it would be worse if there were no police and prison.
When we are afraid of ending up in Hell if we do not respect G-d's will, this is in the same category. We follow Hashem's will for fear of being punished rather than true love of the Creator.
That is why this type of fear is not of a very high level: there is a outward fear of G-d. More than G-d Himself, we are afraid of receiving a punishment. Even if it is not always easy to feel that fear, it is good to know that there is another type of fear, whose level is much higher.
A fear filled with love
If we reflect on G-d's greatness, on His generosity and His infinite goodness, we begin to fear one thing: To sadden Him because of our actions. This can be compared to a child who makes sure to do exactly what his mother asked him by fear of making her sad. In this case, the concept of punishment is not relevant: the child knows that he will not be punished if he fails to do what he asked. He knows that he will only have hurt his mother. This is from that idea that he is afraid.
When we think of silly things, we sadden Hashem. The Master of the world created us for one reason: that we should follow His will. When we think rather to follow ours, it causes Him grief. If we avoid to follow our own path so as not to be the cause of His pain, we fear fear Him with love. This fear of Heaven is of an extremely high level and happy is the person who feels it.
To love G-d means to do everything in our power to avoid to cause Him grief. Whatever the punishment, our motivation to follow His will should always be our desire to give Him satisfaction. If you do not often feel this kind of fear, do not be alarmed: you're not alone! We should turn to G-d and ask Him to open our eyes.
"It is full of e-love for you I want to be! This is so hard to achieve this level! I beg you: help me! "
This Dvar Torah is dedicated to the recovery of Harald ben Miriam.
To dedicate a Dvar Torah, click here.