8 Kislev 5767, November 29, 2006

Pay attention, open up and allow HaShem to speak His Words of Living Torah directly into your mind and heart...
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2006 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

Everything is in the Hands of Heaven except the fear of Heaven.  The fear of Heaven is not what one feels, but rather it is what one does. 

While Heaven speaks to our hearts, in the end, we must choose our actions.  While Heaven arranges the outcome of all circumstances, we must nonetheless contribute our part, by doing the right things at the right times. 

One who sits back and does nothing, expecting Heaven to act, for them and instead of them, has cut off Heavenís hands, and assists in thwarting the Divine Plan.  All too many have died waiting for Heaven to act; all too many have died while Heaven waits for us to act.

Correct behavior is the right thing to do.  Therefore, correct behavior is called righteousness.  Righteousness is in our hands to perform.  Heaven does not call one righteous unless one acts with righteous deeds. 

It is not enough to declare oneself righteous because one performs rituals of service to Heaven.  Heaven is not impressed by our feeble attempts to please it.  Heaven is impressed when we act righteously, by doing the right things towards one another, by behaving properly with our fellow human beings.  By doing what is right, in deed, not just in word, this is what Heaven smiles upon.

Some righteous actions require of one a sacrifice.  One must give of oneself, of oneís comfort, of oneís energies in order to perform what might be a difficult although necessary task.  Righteousness does not question such self-sacrifice.  On the contrary, such giving is considered honorable and is performed with great pride and desire. 

True fear of Heaven is shown by what one does, by the level of self-sacrifice that one makes.  True fear of Heaven recognizes the non-negotiable value of righteous deeds and shirks not from performing the most uncomfortable and the most unpleasant of tasks. 

Often the fear of our fellow man tempts us to overrule our fear of Heaven.  When this occurs, proper behavior is not performed and immorality and evil run rampant.  The weak proclaim with a hollow voice their fear of Heaven, yet all the while, they do nothing substantial to turn the tide in favor of righteousness.  This is not the fear of Heaven but rather the fear of men. 

Heaven frowns upon manís fear of other men, and indeed punishes such weakness by allowing the fear of others and forces of evil to dominate. The weakness and hypocrisy of those refusing to do what is necessary shall be their very undoing.  Heaven allows this to happen all because the fear of Heaven is perverted and instead of righteous deeds being performed, all that is done is the speaking of hollow words. 

The hypocrite is recognized as the one full of many words.  The truly righteous is recognized as the one who says little but does much.

Shalom, Ariel Bar Tzadok

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