Tanya, Chapter 42, Class 10

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HaRav Shneur Zalman Miliadi, | updated: 17:24

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In describing earlier the fear a Jew should possess for G‑d, the Alter Rebbe said that it should be similar to the fear felt “when one stands before a king,” for G‑d is omnipresent and observes all man’s actions.

A question arises: When one stands before a king, he is not only being seen by the king, but he is also looking at him, and this helps him to stand in fear of him. In the analogue, however, this is not the case: though G‑d, the King, sees him, he fails to see G‑d.

The Alter Rebbe will now respond to this question by saying that there is yet another means by which an individual may awaken within himself the fear of G‑d — by being able to “see” the King. For by observing heaven and earth and all the created beings that people them, and realizing that they all derive their life from G‑d, he will have fear of Him.

ועוד זאת יזכור כי כמו שבמלך בשר ודם, עיקר היראה היא מפנימיותו וחיותו ולא מגופו, שהרי כשישן אין שום יראה ממנו

In addition to this, one should remember that, as in the case of a mortal king, the fear of him relates mainly to his inner essence and vitality and not to his body — for when he is asleep, though his body does not change, there is no fear of him,

This is because while he sleeps his inner essence and vitality are in a state of concealment. Clearly, then, they are the main reason for fearing a king while he is awake.

והנה פנימיותו וחיותו אין נראה לעיני בשר, רק בעיני השכל

and, surely, his inner essence and vitality are not perceived by physical eyes, but only by the mind’s eye,

על ידי ראיית עיני בשר בגופו ולבושיו, שיודע שחיותו מלובש בתוכם

through the physical eyes‘ beholding his body and garments, and knowing that his vitality is clothed in them.

This in turn leads the beholder to fear him.

ואם כן

And if this is so, then surely in the analogue as well, not only is the king seeing him, but he is seeing the king as well, and this causes him to fear G‑d. Moreover,

ככה ממש יש לו לירא את ה׳ על ידי ראיית עיני בשר בשמים וארץ וכל צבאם, אשר אור אין סוף ברוך הוא מלובש בהם להחיותם

he must truly likewise fear G‑d when gazing with his physical eyes at the heavens and earth and all their hosts, wherein is clothed the [infinite] light of the blessed Ein Sof that animates them.





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