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August 21, 2016 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Ekev

This week’s Torah portion says “what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord.” (Deut. 10:12). The Talmud says that this is a minor matter for someone like Moses, but maybe not for the rest of us.

Arama sort of agrees and sort of doesn’t.  He says fear can mean three things:

  1.  Terror, which is pretty easy even for an animal.
  2. reverence – “that which recognizes superior moral or intellectual qualities in someone whom one confronts.”  This is doable for the devout, less so for the rest of us.  So this sort of fear is what the Talmud contemplates.  Arama suggests that such reverence is “the ultimate demand that can be made of any human being.”  Even though intellectual awareness of God’s superiority is easy, “constant awareness of this reverence seems more than can be reasonably expected from any individual.”
  3. An awareness of possible bad consequences if one fails to take precauations against known dangers- thus, fear of being punished for violating the Torah.  This seems to me like a more intelligent version of (1).
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