The Love and Fear of G-D
The Love and Fear of G-D, is the most important factor in serving Hashem. Without this factor, one cannot be reassured of a long and faithful relation with the creator of the Universe.
The two loftiest means we have of drawing close to G-d, we’re told, are to love and fear Him wholeheartedly. But as we’d said, we can experience different sorts of love and fear (see 1:4:8).
At bottom, though, we love G-d best when we love Him for Who He is, in all His Glory (i.e., unconditionally) rather than for all the great good He grants us (i.e., conditionally, and only occasionally). We’ll expand upon loving Him the next time, but for now let’s touch upon the idea of “fearing” Him, which is a notion that many people are troubled by.
What troubles them is that they just can’t fathom the thought of G-d as being fearful. “He’s G-d,” they say “and He loves me, so why should I be afraid of Him? He’d never do me harm!”
On the one hand, their instincts are quite good, for G-d does indeed love us all. But on the other, they sell G-d short. For G-d Almighty is capable of razing heaven and earth, and of transforming everything we know to nothing we can imagine. So, frankly, His potency should shake us, if not out-and-out frighten us. Nonetheless, Ramchal makes the point that that sort of reaction is less than ideal.