Habad: The Hasidism of R. Shneur Zalman of Lyady

By Roman A. Foxbrunner | Go to book overview

5
Love and Fear

Judging from Tanya alone, Love, Fear, and the apprehension of God's unity from which, ideally, they were to flow, are the foundations of RSZ's conception of Service. Thus, in the introduction to Part 2, which itself was originally intended to serve as an introduction to Part 1, 1 we read: "It is well known that Fear and Love are the roots and foundations of the service of God. . . . And the first thing that arouses Love and Fear, and their foundation, is the pure and faithful belief in His Unity." 2 RSZ apparently reasoned that after contemplating his acosmic doctrine of unity in Shacar ha-Yihud, one could then proceed to arouse the requisite emotions with the aid of Sefer shel Benonim, most of which is actually a systematic exposition of the various types of Love and Fear that one can experience. 3 The terms and concepts of this exposition are taken from Hovot ha-Levavot, Sefer Hasidim, Sefer Rokeah, Zohar, Sefer ha-Ikarim, and Reshit Hokhmah. 4 Certain theoretical refinements derive from the Maggid and possibly the Besht. The basic framework, however, is clearly Maimonidean. 5 Yet despite all this indebtedness, RSZ's approach contains original organizing elements that transform his eclectic borrowings into a distinctive, cohesive system.

One such element is his insistence that the only Service worthy of the term avodah -- which not only denotes a specific commandment or set of commandments but also connotes the proper fulfillment of all the commandments -- is Service motivated by (both) Love and Fear. For RSZ these emotions are not only "a stimulus to zealous and properly motivated performance of the commandments," 6 they themselves constitute that motivation. Love and Fear not only enhance Service, they are the sine qua non of Service, for without them man cannot

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Habad: The Hasidism of R. Shneur Zalman of Lyady
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Transliteration and Spelling xi
  • 1 - Teachers and Teachings 1
  • 2 - Man in God's World 58
  • 3 - Ethical Ways and Means 110
  • 4 - Torah and Commandments 137
  • 5 - Love and Fear 178
  • 6 - Conclusions 195
  • Excursuses 203
  • Notes 221
  • Glossary 289
  • Selected Bibliography 295
  • Index 301
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