Jewish law is an ongoing training regime in willpower. Can you eat this and not that? Can you exercise spiritually three times a day? Can you rest one day in seven? Can you defer the gratification of instinct? To be a Jew means not going with the flow, not doing what others do...Read More
How can i use my
free will responsibly?
וְכַאֲשֶׁר תִּתְנַהֵג בְּמִדַּת הָעֲנָוָה לְהִתְבּוֹשֵׁשׁ מִכָּל אָדָם, וּלְהִתְפַּחֵד מִמֶּנּוּ וּמִן הַחֵטְא – אָז תִּשְׁרֶה עָלֶיךָ רוּחַ הַשְּׁכִינָה, וְזִיו כְּבוֹדָהּ, וְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם הַבָּא
Also, when you act humbly and modestly before everyone, and fear God and (fear) sin, the radiance of His glory and the spirit of the Shechina (Divine Presence) will rest upon you, and you will live the life of the World to Come!
The nature of man is to be fearful of everything- fearful of the unknown, of crime, of competition, of sickness, of pain, of death, etc.
If man is so prone to fear, why is he not as instinctively afraid of the Almighty, the most powerful force on earth?
Hashem removed man’s ability to intuitively perceive His magnitude in order to give him His greatest gift of bechira chofshit, free choice.
Consequently, man must actively seek out and pursue knowledge of the Divine. That is the only way to acquire the appropriate amount of fear in order to be motivated to choose good over evil.
King David says:
“If you seek it as you do silver and search for it as for treasures, then you will understand the fear of Hashem and attain knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2: 4-5)
(Adapted from A Letter for the Ages, pages 54-55)