What Does It Mean To Fear Hashem?

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Ask around and often you will hear that your friends and family – those closest to you – often belive with complete conviction that fearing Hashem means one lives in terror of the Above and is deprived of having a relaxed, fun time. Such thinking is incorrect. That is not how Hashem wants us to live. An individual is not supposed to be walking around afraid and unable to enjoy life.

Let’s ponder a scenario: When a parent is walking up a hill holding their child’s hand with extreme tightness, they are not holding on with insurmountable strength because they fear their own offspring. A parent takes these actions because they have an incomprehensible amount of love for their child and would never wish for them to stumble and get injured. Such a situation is how one can think of the concept of standing in fear of the Almighty. The dread is more of a sense of be scared of losing something that holds high value or significance. In essence, this corresponds to a special connection shared with our Creator.

So, being G-d-fearing has little if anything to do with being anxious, restless, or apprehensive throughout one’s day. Having a trepidation for Hashem concerns deeply caring and valuing our relationship with Him to the extent that one takes intense care of their actions, where they venture, and with whom they spend time. One is not living in fear; instead, a person is making choices that keep that awe-inspiring relationship with G-d strong.

In short, being frightened or alarmed of Hashem’s existence is not about holding an inherent terror. Rather, such a notion encompasses emotions of love and a mindset of respect. Moreover,  this idea helps ensure that one firmly retains their special bond with the Divine.

R’ Yaakov Rahimi of Lakewood, N.J. has created a storm in the Jewish world bringing back many unaffiliated young men and women to the pathways of Hashem through Chazaq, TorahAnytime, NCSY, BJX, and Partners in Torah. R’ Rahimi is a graduate of Deal Yeshiva, and learned in Beth Medrash Govoha, his hometown, becoming a very close talmid of Rabbis Yeruchem Olshin shlit”a, and Yitzchok Sorotzkin shlit”a. R’ Rahimi partook in the Sephardic halachic project Mishnah Berurah Tiferet. The rabbi can be reached at, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.