What does God ask of each us? Moshe tells us. “…only to fear God….” (Devarim 10:12). Could it be that simple? Maybe it depends on what “fear” means to you. Moshe is definitely not suggesting that we go through life trembling—actually the opposite. The Hebrew word is “yira” and is sometimes translated as fear and other times as awe or reverence. Either way, it seems that the answer is awareness or mindfulness regarding God’s presence in our lives. Moshe is asking us to be aware that God loves and cares about each of us very deeply. If we only make that awareness a pronounced part of our consciousness. Do you ever think of Judaism as the religion of love? It is. What do you think?
This Shabbat at Adat Shalom Synagogue, our Torah Study continues as part of the soulful services in the Shiffman Chapel with insights interspersed between aliyot. It would be great to see you there.
I dedicate this week’s Torah note to the memory of my father, Bennie A. Magy, Bentziyon ben Avraham v’Elke z”l whose Yahrzeit is today, the 22nd of Av. Yirat Shamayim was a value he taught me. The memory of the intensity of his davening remains with me as does his meda of Ahavat Yisrael.