Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Is Love all you really need...?

This week we read the Tochacha in shul.

Moshe is goading the Jews to stay true to Hashem and the Torah.

What always bothered me was the positive (reward) to negative (punishment) ratio in this warning.
Haven’t we all been taught the importance of positive reinforcement?

This day and age when punishment is frowned down upon and here we have 1 page of rewards and 3 pages of pretty graphic punishment.

I’ve noticed often times I’ll really reach a spiritual high..I’ll daven good...feel a connection...and 10 minutes later it’ll disappear. Why does that happen..?

A quick peek around Blogworld will confirm..lottsa talk of Love...often accompanied with a resigned sigh at our inability to consummate that love..

I’ve come to realize that Love without Fear is not worth much.
If you bribe a child not to do something’ll only work as long as the bribe is more exciting to the child than what he’d like to do.
If there was no fear of getting caught or the thought of hurting someone at all...there would be a lot more adultery in the world. Love can only work as long as you’ll never encounter anything that you’ll like more even if just temporarily.
Love can work if it’s backed up by Fear.
You can try goading a child with candies all days to no avail..the threat of one slap will get em running. That’s not ideal..but that threat will keep us in line.
The Steipler once said..the reason for to instill fear into human hearts. We live in a time with so little fear.
Especially concerning our love of Hashem no matter how deep and still abstract.
Hence all the threats of punishment.
We all feel our stomach tightening and chest thumping when we hear of someone young with cancer or a tumor..the realization for an instant that there is something to fear.

Only then can we reach the higher ideal of fear..which is the fear of ruining the love we share.