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Friday, May 4

Fwd: The Weekly Shtikle - Acharei Mos / Kedoshim

(Sorry, Kedoshim only. It's late.)

    Amongst the numerous mitzvos mentioned in this week's parsha is the mitzvah to fear one's mother and father. This is the complement of the mitzvah to honour one's father and mother. The gemara (Kiddushin 31b) teaches that the mitzvah of honour refers to those things which you are to perform for your parents such as to help sustain them when they are in need and the mitzvah of fear is a prohibitive one which includes refraining from contradicting them or sitting in their place. The midrash (Sifra Kedoshim 1:4) stresses the importance of the mitzvah of fear by explaining that the Torah demands a fear of one's parents and a fear of HaShem - indicating that they are of equal importance. There are a many cases where the concept of fear is discussed. What is it that specially connects these two instances?

    Malbi"m writes that there are two types of fear. One is the absolute fear "of" something, "yir'ah es..." in Lashon HaKodesh. And the other is fear "from" something, "yir'ah mi..." in Hebrew. Fear of something is a true fear and awe of that entity. Fear from something, however, is merely a fear of what that entity may do to you, a fear of punishment, for instance. This is to an extent a second-degree fear and is a lower level of fear than the former. What connects fear of HaShem and fear of parents is not simply the use of the same term. It is this special manner of fear, a fear "of", which is demanded of us for both parents and HaShem. [Although the word "es" does not appear in this pasuk, it is implicit according to the grammatical structure of the pasuk.] The only other times we find this kind of fear, adds Malbi"m, is in reference to kings or great sages, to whom HaShem has apportioned from His fearfulness. This is what links the fear of parents to the fear of HaShem.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka
WeeklyShtikle@weeklyshtikle.com

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