Fear of G‑d is a very liberating mitzvah.

Think of it this way: Two forces set the stage for your act upon this earth: Love and fear. The smallest things in life are those you love and fear the least; the big things, those you love and fear the most.

With love, you set your goals. With fear, you set your boundaries. One who fears failure is bound to take no risks. One who fears others is banished from his own self. One who fears life has no room to breathe.

The Torah liberates us by declaring there is only one thing to fear—not failure, not others, not even death itself. The only thing to fear is the One who stands beyond and yet within all things, the one we call G‑d.

With love, you set your goals. With fear, you set your boundariesWhat is that fear? It may be a simple fear that, "If I do those things He does not like, the consequences will not be good." Or—for the one sensitive to the love for G‑d innate within his soul—fear is the fear of separation from that love and that oneness, as a small child who is afraid to be separated from his parents. For those who ponder G‑d's infinite greatness and the wonders of His creation, fear is a sense of awe and amazement, spontaneously affecting all the senses, taking life up to a whole new level.

Sometimes the word "awe" is a more apt description; sometimes the word "wonder." In all these forms of fear, however, there is one common thread: The awareness of a reality beyond your own that defines and directs all you do. In that way, each form of true fear of G‑d is an escape from the bounds of your own ego to become absorbed within a greater whole—an escape that the greatest love cannot provide. For love is a commentary on the nature of the one who loves, whereas fear, awe and wonder are exclusively about the One who is feared.

What if you don't have that sense of wonder, or even awe, or even fear? You can make time each day to ponder your relationship with G‑d, to become acutely aware of His awesome and loving presence. Once that awareness finds a fixed place in your heart, all you do will fall in place, with joy and pleasure. You will be free.