Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Test for Yirat Shamayim (The Fear of Heaven)

I heard the following story from a well known rabbi here in Jerusalem recently:
When I was a young man and still a bachelor, I met a girl that I was really enthusiastic about. I was seriously considering marrying her. She was a religious girl, but a certain doubt was preventing me from popping the question: How do I know if she is truly God fearing?

I decided to consult my master and teacher, Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah HaKohen Kook zt"l. After presenting my question, he told me, "See what her attitude is regarding Torah scholars. This will give you a good indication as to whether she is truly a God fearing person."

Armed with this piece of advice I met this girl once again. I asked her, "What do you think of Rabbi X?"

"He's senile", she answered.

"And what about Rabbi Y?" I continued.

"Rabbi Y? Such, a primitive person!"

Needless to say that this was the last time that we went out.

So there you have it! A good way to differentiate between one who is "religious" and one who truly fears God is to check how he/she relates to Torah scholars.
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