Dreaming of Moshiach

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fear of Heaven

When Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai fell ill, his disciples went in to visit him. When he saw them he began to weep. His disciples said to him: Lamp of Israel, pillar of the right hand, mighty hammer! Why are you weeping? [+/-] show/hide text

He replied: If I were being taken today before a human king who is here today and tomorrow he is in the grave; if he is angry with me; it does not last forever, if he imprisons me; it's not forever and if he puts me to death; I can persuade with words and bribe him with money, and I would weep.

Now that I am being taken before the supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, who lives and endures forever and ever, whose anger, if He is angry with me, is an everlasting anger, if He imprisons me imprisons me forever, if He puts me to death puts me to death forever, and I cannot persuade with words or bribe with money - there are two paths before me; one leading to Paradise and the other to Gehinnom, and I do not know which I shall be taken, shall I not weep?

They said to him: Master, bless us.

He said to them,: May it be [G-d's] will that the fear of heaven shall be upon you like the fear of flesh and blood.

His disciples said to him: Is that all? He said to them: If only [you can attain this]! You can see [how important this is], for when a man wants to commit a transgression, he says, I hope no man will see me.

May the merit of the Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai, zs'l protect us all, Amen.



והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו