Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, October 12, 2019 

Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

We are told in Scripture (repeatedly) not to fear anyone but God.  The phrase “fear not” appears over 80 times in the Bible.  In the Torah reading for last Shabbat we read… Deuteronomy 31:8 Adonai—He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be discouraged.”

The Hebrew word for “fear” is “Tirah.”  “Lo Tira” means do not fear.   Certain fear that is connected to caution is appropriate.  I call it the “hot stove concept.”  We don’t touch the hot stove because we have a healthy fear of getting burned.  To never go near a stove is an example of an unhealthy fear.  

What we are told not to fear is what men can do to us.  We are also told not to fear Satan and his minions.   The same verse tells us to fear God.  Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.

How do we “fear God?”  We respect and reverence what He commands.  It’s less complicated than we think.  The Lord’s prayer offers the answer.  “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:10b)  How is God’s will done in heaven?  Immediately and without question. 

The opening morning prayer of every Jewish person goes like this (it’s a quote from many places in the Bible),”Raysheet Chachma Yirat Adonai.”  The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

God gets the last word today (and any other time He wants it)….  Ecclesiastes 12:13 A final word, when all has been heard: Fear God and keep His mitzvot! For this applies to all mankind.

Shabbat Shalom (again).