Vayak'hel: Chapter 32

"fear your Elohim"


Rabbi Shimon opens with, "You shall fear Hashem your Elohim; Him shall you serve," and, "but you shall fear your Elohim (lit. 'from your Elohim')." He says that 'from your Elohim' means from that place that is connected to and surrounds the inner brain from inside. We read that this is the Shechinah named Elohim, and there is a fire around it. There are three kinds of fire. The first receives fire gladly, and they love each other. In the second the brightness, the Shechinah, is seen; this fire gladly dwells within the first one. The third fire surrounds that brightness, and in it lies the fear of judgment. On the left side is the fear of punishment, but this must be joined with love that is drawn from the right. Rabbi Shimon says that we should not be afraid of strange deities. After this he talks about love, saying that He who worships with love joins the high place above, the holiness of the World to Come that is Binah and the right side that is Chesed of Zeir Anpin. Nothing has power over the level of fear but love.