Sichos In English   Holidays   Shabbat   Chabad-houses   Chassidism   Subscribe   Calendar   Links B"H

     Sichos In English -> Books -> Women -> Through the Eyes of a Woman

Publisher's Foreword To The First Edition

Rosh HaShanah: The Significance of Being Alone

Rosh HaShanah: A Rebbe's Fear

The Sixth of Tishrei: Yahrzeit of Rebbitzin Chanah

Erev Yom Kippur: The Inside Story of Kreplach and Lekach

Sukkos: The Fruits of Togetherness

Sukkos: Turning a New Leaf the Symbolism of a Lulav

Shemini Atzeres Simchas Torah: Departing but not Separating

Bereishis: Making Light of the Creation

Noach: Looking at Yourself Through Others

Lech Lecha: Bringing and Being Brought Closer

7th of Cheshvan: Brave New World

Chayei Sarah, 19th of Kislev, Chanukah: Three Flashes of Light

The Ninth of Kislev: On Interconnectedness

The Nineteenth of Kislev: How the End is Wedged in the Beginning

Yud-Tes Kislev: Chassidus

Chanukah: Light a Lamp for a Friend in the Dark

Chanukah: Is it a Mitzvah to eat Latkes?

Chanukah: Light, not Might

Vayigash: Don't Just Sit There. Do Something!

The Tenth of Teves: Bearing Up, and Giving Birth

Vayechi: A Priest in G-d's Sanctuary

Shmos: Egyptian Heads and Jewish Heads

24th of Teves: The Passing of the Alter Rebbe

Va'eira: Blood and Frogs

Beshalach: Approaches to Life

At the Shluchos Convention 5749 (1989): The Women's Convention of Emissaries

Parshas Shekalim: Fire Insurance

Tetzaveh: The Essence of Moshe Rabbeinu

Purim: The Future of Purim

Purim: The Malady and its Cure

Purim: Living and Loving

Purim: The Dynamics of Revelation

Pesach: The Importance of Little Things

Sefiras HaOmer: Counting [on] the Omer

Sivan: As One Man

Shavuos: The Philosophy of Sleep

Shavuos: Receiving the Torah? No, Giving it!

Tidbits on Torah: A Treasure Beyond Compare

Behaalos'cha: The Lamplighters

Shlach / 28th of Sivan: The Rebbe's Arrival in the U.S.

Chukas: The Value of Life

The Twelfth of Tammuz: Neshamah Resolutions

The 17th of Tammuz: The Good Within

The Three Weeks: From Galus to Mashiach

Matos-Masei: Life's Journeys

The Nine Days: Curtailing, Joyfully

Vaes'chanan: Know Him in All Your Ways

Tu BeAv: On the Way Up

Eikev: Bread from Heaven

Eikev: The Reward for Keeping Mitzvos

Re'eh: Seeing Is Believing

Re'eh: The Laws of Kosher Animals

Re'eh: Living in Eretz Yisrael

Elul: Your Fellow Jew's Gashmiyus

Shoftim: A Spiritual Refuge

Nitzavim-Vayeilech: Taking a Stand on Moving Forward

Brief Themes: Random Thoughts Extracted from Shiurim

From HaYom Yom: Sample Readings from the Rebbe's Calendar

Through the Eyes of a Woman
A Chassidic Perspective on Living Torah

Rosh HaShanah: A Rebbe's Fear

by Nechoma Greisman, Edited by Rabbi Moshe Miller

Published and copyright © by Sichos In English
(718) 778-5436     info@SichosInEnglish.org     FAX (718) 735-4139


Add to Shopping Cart   |   Buy this now
  Rosh HaShanah: The Significance of Being AloneThe Sixth of Tishrei: Yahrzeit of Rebbitzin Chanah  

Hundreds of hours of audio lectures, on 9 CD-ROMs!

In the Chabad machzor for Rosh HaShanah, right before the section which begins with the word "HaMelech" (i.e., before Yishtabach and Barchu in Shacharis) the following story appears in small print:

Once, as the holy rabbi, Reb Aharon of Karlin (one of the great disciples of the Maggid of Mezritch), was about to recite [the prayer beginning with the word] "Hamelech" -- he fainted. Later, when he was asked what had happened, he replied that he had been meditating on the words in the Talmud [which were spoken by Vespasian, but which Reb Aharon of Karlin understood metaphorically as spoken by G-d]: "If I am the King, why did you not present yourself before me until now?" Now, what answer could we possibly give?

On Rosh HaShanah, maybe not everyone spends the entire period in the right frame of mind. But if one stops to think for a moment that this is the Day of Judgment, HaShem is reviewing all his deeds from the past year, and one might be on the debit side, then he may think he is in for some punishment. When one gets into that frame of mind, and seriously thinks of all of the negative thoughts and deeds he's done in the past year, then what could happen? His heart can begin to pound from fear of the possibility of punishment that might come to him. One feels like a child who is called to the principal's office, waiting his turn while the principal is on the phone, and he doesn't know what is going to happen or what is going to be said. That fright or terror can actually be felt; little children can get stomach aches and headaches from this fear. There is a feeling of fear that is literally felt in the body. Similarly, the fear of HaShem should not be the kind of fear that is abstract and purely intellectual -- it should be a fear that you actually feel in your heart in a physical way.

However, fear does not only have to mean fear of punishment. Those of you who have studied mussar before you started studying Chassidus, may know that there is a difference in emphasis between the two schools. Both schools, Chassidus Chabad and mussar, have the identical goal -- to inculcate people with love for HaShem, with a will to fulfill the mitzvos, and to go on the right path. However, there is a difference in the means and approach utilized by the two schools.

The approach of mussar emphasizes the dire consequences of a life that does not accord with the Torah; Chassidus portrays the other side of the coin -- the good, the light, the beauty of a life that does accord with Torah.

The Rebbe says a person should not think of fear in the sense of the fear of punishment. Jewish thought does not view G-d as vengeful or spiteful, like someone who is always out to get you with a big stick, looking to catch you if you slip. The Rebbe explains that fear -- yirah -- has many different degrees. Two of these are expounded in chassidic teachings at great length. They are called yereh boshes, and yiras haromemus. Yereh boshes means a bashful fear. When you come to appreciate how HaShem is kind to the undeserving (which you learn by studying Chassidus), you may start to feel ashamed that you do not behave as He expects you to. You may think of where you are and how you sometimes resent doing the things HaShem is asking, which are so small compared to that which He gives to you. If you think about this seriously, you come to the realization that you really are so far from where you should be. You come to a feeling of embarrassment: "Oy, look at the way I am, in relation to HaShem, and compared to the way I should be." This shame is called yereh boshes.

The other type of fear is called yiras haromemus, and that is more like a feeling of awe, of seeing how great HaShem is and how small I am. Both of them are variations of the concept of fear, but they are not the same thing as saying, "I'm afraid I'm going to be smacked." What kind of fear Reb Aharon of Karlin experienced I do not know, but it was certainly not fear of punishment -- he was a righteous tzaddik who certainly did not succumb to his Evil Inclination. Why then did the Alter Rebbe include this story in the machzor? To indicate to us what type of fear is expected of us. Not fear of punishment, but yereh boshes, and yiras haromemus.


  Rosh HaShanah: The Significance of Being AloneThe Sixth of Tishrei: Yahrzeit of Rebbitzin Chanah  
     Sichos In English -> Books -> Women -> Through the Eyes of a Woman

Current
  • Daily Lessons
  • Weekly Texts & Audio
  • Candle-Lighting times

    613 Commandments
  • 248 Positive
  • 365 Negative

    PDA
  • BlackBerry
  • iPhone / iPod Touch
  • Java Phones
  • Palm Pilot
  • Palm Pre
  • Pocket PC
  • P800/P900
  • Moshiach
  • Resurrection
  • For children - part 1
  • For children - part 2

    General
  • Jewish Women
  • Holiday guides
  • About Holidays
  • The Hebrew Alphabet
  • Hebrew/English Calendar
  • Glossary

    Books
  • by SIE
  • About
  • Chabad
  • The Baal Shem Tov
  • The Alter Rebbe
  • The Rebbe Maharash
  • The Previous Rebbe
  • The Rebbe
  • Mitzvah Campaign

    Children's Corner
  • Rabbi Riddle
  • Rebbetzin Riddle
  • Tzivos Hashem

  • © Copyright 1988-2009
    All Rights Reserved
    Sichos In English