Take It To Your Heart
“Whoever among the servants of Pharaoh feared the word of Hashem chased his servants and his livestock to the houses. And whoever did not take the word of
Translation is a risky business.
When you translate a concept into another language, you put it into a set of cultural assumptions that may well be inimical to the concept itself.
A case in point is the Hebrew concept of Yirat Hashem. Literally translated, Yirat Hashem means “fear of
In the view of Judaism, however, Yirat Hashem, fearing G‑d is the beginning of wisdom.
But what does
This week’s Torah portion reveals the essence of Yirat Hashem.
In the seventh plague, the Torah describes the Egyptian reaction to the news that
Ostensibly, the opposite of “feared the word of Hashem” in the first sentence should be “And whoever did not fear the word of
The essence of Yirat Hashem is paying attention.
Try this experiment.
How many times a day do you glance at your wristwatch? Let’s say you look at the time twice an hour, maybe three times. Let’s assume that you get up at seven and go to bed at midnight. So, on average, you look at your watch some 50 times a day — 50 times a day, seven days a week. Let’s say your watch is two years old. So you’ve looked at your watch approximately 35,000 times.
Now, without looking, can you tell me what’s written on the face of your watch? Chances are that you left something out, or got something wrong.
You can look at the same thing, day in, day out, but if you don’t pay attention, you’ll never really see it.
It’s the same with Yirat Hashem. You can know there’s a
You can think that being an angry person is a very bad thing, but unless you internalize this awareness, until it becomes instinctive, you will carry on being Mr. Angry for the rest of your life.
Every day we say in the prayer called Aleinu, “… and you should know this day and take to your heart that Hashem is the only
The essence of fearing
- Based on the Sfat Emet and other sources
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