Monday, October 8, 2007
Higher Levels of Yirah & Clarification of "The Biggest Chiddush"
I was learning Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh vol. 2 (Chapter 16 and Bilvavi Vol. 4, chapter 1), and I think that his explanation of the 5 types of Yirah, as outlined in the Mesilas Yesharim, shed some more light on his statement that if one isn't consciously Daveik to Hashem in this world, he will not truly be Daveik to Hashem in the next world (that we have discussed earlier here and here).
He explains the difference between the two highest levels of Yirah, Yiras Haromemus and Yiras Chait. He says that Yiras Haromemus is greater than the three lower levels of Yirah because it is focused on fear of doing anything wrong against Hashem, whereas the three lower levels all focused on different levels of fear centering around one's self. However, Yiras Haromemus means that the person is only Daveik to Hashem when he is learning or doing Mitzvos, but not when he is doing divrei reshus. I have come to the understanding that when Rav Shwartz is speaking about being Daveik to Hashem, Deveikus here means a constant consciousness of Hashem's immediate presence. When the person who has attained Yiras Haromemus is davening, doing a mitzvah, or learning, he feels the immediate presence of Hashem. This consciousness automatically results in a fear of doing anything to wrong Hashem. This is the level of Yiras Haromemus.
On the other hand, Yiras Cheit is the constant awareness of Hashem's immediate presence, even when doing "divrei reshus," mundane things. In this context of this explanation, though, I think that I have gotten more of a handle of how the Bilvavi seforim define Deveikus. It is not necessarily an emotional feeling (serenity, pleasure, fear, excitation, etc.), but rather it is a constant consciousness of Hashem's immediate presence.
He says that if one does not have know this experience of constant awareness of Hashem's immediate presence, then he will be at a loss when the time for reward comes. When all of the other Tzaddikim are sitting and enjoying the radiance of the Divine Presence while pointing, k'vayachol, at Hashem and saying, "This is the G-d that we have hoped for!", this person will not know what to make of the whole situation (Brachos 17a: צדיקים יושבין ועטרותיהם בראשיהם ונהנים מזיו השכינה... זה ה' קוינו לו".) Since he has no personal experience with the Divine Presence (though he's lived a life of Torah and Mitzvos) he will have the experience of not really being sure that the G-d that everyone is "pointing" at is really the G-d he's been hoping for. Hashem will be somewhat of a stranger to him. (Although he will be rewarded for every mitzvah and every word of Torah, this will still be his experience when it comes to Hano'oh mi'ziv Hashechina.)
May this deeper understanding of the meaning of Deveikus with Hashem and this sober understanding of what our foucus and goal should be in life, may we be zocheh to attain the Deveikus with Hashem that Rav Shwartz describes!
(Picture courtesy of techno.blog("Dion")