Mussar Yirat HaShem/Fear God 2

Yirat HaShem

Part 1


And now, Israel, what does The L-rd your G-d Require of you, but to fear The L-rd your G-d, to walk in all His Ways, and to love Him, and to serve The L-rd your  G-d with all your heart and with all your soul. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10.12


יִרְאָה יְהֹוָה

Yirat(Fear) HaShem (The L-RD)


Everything is in the hands of heaven except the fear of heaven. Talmud Megilah 25a

The Holy One, blessed be He, has in His treasury nought except a store of the fear of heaven, as it says, the fear of the L-rd is His treasure? Talmud Berechoth 33b  Isaiah 33.6


וָדָ֑עַת vdaatand knowledge (Daat is a part of the Sefirot)

תכְמָה chochmah – wisdom

יִרְאַ֥ת yirat – fear

יְהֹוָ֖ה HaShem


Wisdom and knowledge; fear of the L-rd, that is His Treasure. Isaiah 33.6


Every man who has knowledge of Torah but has no Fear of G-d is like a treasurer who has been handed the keys of the inner chamber of the treasure but not the keys to the outer one, how shall he get into the treasure…. The Torah is only a Gate for the Fear of G-d.  Hirsch Commentary on the Torah Deuteronomy  page 175


Jerusalem, or Yerushalayim in Hebrew, is derived from the words yirah and shalom

The end of the matter, everything having been heard, Yirat (fear) G-d and keep His commandments, for this is the entire man.Kohelet (Ecclesiates) 12.13

Praiseworthy is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly desires His Commandments.Tehillim (Psalms) 112.1

And He said to man, Behold, the Yirat (fear) of the L-rd is Chochmah (wisdom) and shunning evil is understanding Iyov (Job) 28.28


The beginning of Chochmah (wisdom) is the Yirat (fear) of the L-rd, and the Daat (knowledge) of the holy ones is Binah (understanding)  Mishlei (Proverbs) 9.10


Moshe Chaim Luzzatto writes that there are two levels of Yirah:

yirat ha’onesh where onesh means punishment and yirah clearly means fear.  Fear of punishment for ones sins.

yirat ha’romemut, where romemut means elevated or exalted. Awe of G-d. Mesillat Yesharim (Path of the Just) Feldheim page 168


In Devarim (Dueteronomy) 31.8 Moses told Joshua

And the L-rd, He Goes before you; He Will be with you, He Will not fail you, nor forsake you; fear not, nor be dismayed.

Moses is reassuring Joshua that G-d Will Not Leave him, He, Joshua, will not be alone on his journey.


Moses received the Torah from HaShem on Mount Sinai, he taught it to Joshua and all the Israelites.  He wanted them to understand the magnificence and awesomeness of being given the Torah.  However he also cautioned them to be sure to follow all the Words of the Torah so that they would maintain the closeness to the Almighty.


Consider how clearly it is stated here that the only object and aim of all the Words of this Law (the TORAH) is to [make man] Fear the Glorious and Fearful Name? That this end is attained by certain acts we learn likewise from the phrase employed in this verse: If thou wilt not observe to do . . . that thou mayest fear? For this phrase clearly shows that fear of G-d is inculcated [into our hearts] when we act in accordance with the positive and the negative Commandments.  Moses Maimonides Guide for the Perplexed  3.52


Rebbe Nachman reveals the true nature and experience of Yirat Hashem, Fear of G-d, which is the essence of Divine Service. The path to this ultimate goal requires faith and trust, prayer, hitbodedut (intense meditative prayer) study, and connecting to Hashem via the mitzvot.


Genuine Yirah (fear) is living with the consciousness that only Hashem Controls and directs the events of our lives and the events of the world. This authentic Yirah liberates us from baseless fears and false worries which tend to dominate our inner being—if we let them. Accordingly, true Yirat Hashem liberates us from the bonds of the unreal and allows us to reach our true spiritual potential.  Likutey Moharan 15

Blessing and Peace

Rebbetzin Revi Belk