In the light of what has already been said on the subject of the lower kind of fear, one will clearly understand the Talmudic comment on the verse: "And now, O Israel, what doth the Lord thy G‑d require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy G‑d." [The Gemara asks:] "Is fear, then, such a small thing?" [And the Gemara replies:] "Yes, in the case of Moses it was a small thing," and so forth.

At first glance the answer is incomprehensible, for it is written: "What doth the Lord require of thee?" [not of Moses], The explanation, however, is as follows: Each and every soul of the house of Israel contains within it something of the quality of our teacher Moses, peace unto him, for he is one of the "seven shepherds" who cause vitality and G‑dliness to flow to the community of Jewish souls, for which reason they are called "shepherds." Our teacher, Moses, peace unto him, is the sum of them all, and he is called "the faithful shepherd." This means that he brings down the quality of da'at (knowledge) to the community of Israel that they may know the Lord, each according to the capacity of his soul and its root above, and its nurture from the root of the soul of our teacher Moses, peace unto him, which is rooted in the Da'at Elyon (Higher Knowledge) of the Ten Sefirot of Atzilut, which are united with their blessed Emanator, for He and His Knowledge are One, and He is the Knowledge....

In addition and beyond this [general influence to the community as a whole] there descend, in every generation, sparks from the soul of our teacher Moses, peace unto him, and they clothe themselves in the body and soul of the sages of that generation, the "eyes" of the congregation, to impart knowledge to the people that they may know the greatness of G‑d and serve Him with heart and soul. For the service of the heart is according to the dart (knowledge) as is written: "Know thou the G‑d of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind." Bat regarding the future [Messianic Era] it is written: "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me...."

However, the essence of knowledge is not the knowing alone, that people should know the greatness of G‑d from authors and books; but the essential thing is to immerse one's mind deeply into the the greatness of G‑d and fix one's thought on G‑d with all the strength and vigour of the heart and mind, until his thought shall be bound to G‑d with a strong and mighty bond, as it is bound to a material thing that he sees with his physical eyes and concentrates his thought on it. For it is known that da'at connotes union, as in the phrase "And Adam yada (knew) Eve...."

This capacity and this quality of attaching one's "knowledge" to G‑d is present in every soul of the House of Israel by virtue of its nurture from the soul of our teacher Moses, peace unto him. Only, since the soul has clothed itself in the body, it needs a great and mighty exertion, doubled and redoubled:— First is the wearying of the flesh, the crushing of the body and its submission, so that it shall not obscure the light of the soul, as has been mentioned above in the name of the Zohar, that "A body into which the light of the soul does not penetrate should be crushed," which is accomplished by means of penitential reflections from the depths of the heart, as is explained there.

Next is the exertion of the soul, that the service shall not be burdensome to it, to exert its thought to delve into and reflect upon the greatness of G‑d for a long and uninterrupted period, the measure of which is not the same for every soul. There is the naturally refined soul which, immediately it considers the greatness of G‑d, attains a fear and dread of G‑d. As is written in the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, sec. I, that "When a man reflects that the great King, the Supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, with Whose glory the whole world is full, stands over him and sees his actions, he will immediately be overcome with fear...." There is a soul that is of lowly nature and origin, coming from the lower gradations of the Ten Sefirot of Asiyah, which cannot discover G‑dliness by contemplation except with difficulty and forcefulness, especially if it had been contaminated by the sin of youth, for the sins interpose,... (as is explained in Sefer Chasidim, ch. 35). Nevertheless, by dint of forceful effort, when his thought greatly exerts itself with much vigour and toil and intense concentration, immersing in [contemplation of] the greatness of G‑d for a considerable time, there will certainly come to him, at any rate, the lower fear referred to above, and as the Rabbis, of blessed memory, have said: ["If a man says] 'I have laboured and I have found'— believe him." It is also written: "If thou seekest her as silver and searchest for her as for hidden treasures: Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord." This means, in the manner of .a'man seeking a hidden treasure or the wealth buried in the depths of the earth, for which he digs with tireless toil, so must one delve with unflagging energy in order to bring to light the treasure of the fear of Heaven, which lies buried and concealed in the understanding of the heart of every Jewish individual, this being of a quality and level transcending the limitations of time, and this is the natural, hidden fear referred to above. However, in order that it should be translated into action, in the sense of "fear of sin," namely, to turn away from evil in deed, word and thought, one needs to bring it to light from the hidden depths of the understanding of the heart where it transcends rime, and to place it within the realm of the actual thought that is in the brain. [This means] immersing his thought in it for a lengthy period of time until its activity shall emerge from the potential into the actual, namely, turning away from evil and doing good in thought, speech and act because of G‑d, Who looks and sees, hears arid listens and perceives all his deeds and searches his reins and heart. As the Rabbis, of blessed memory, said: "Reflect upon three things, and thou wilt not come within the power of sin: The Eye sees, and the Ear hears...."

And although He has no bodily likeness, yet, on the contrary, everything is revealed and known to Him infinitely more than, for example, through the medium of physical sight or hearing. It is, by way of illustration, like a man who knows and feels within himself all that is happening to and being experienced by each and all of his 248 organs, such as cold and heat, feeling the heat even in his toe-nails, for example, as when he is scorched by fire; so also their essence and substance and all that is done to them, he knows and senses in his brain.

Corresponding to this knowledge, by way of example, the Holy One, blessed be He, knows all that befalls all created beings, both higher and lower, because they all receive their flow of life from Him, may He be blessed, as is written: "For all things come of Thee." And this is the meaning of what we say: "Verily also nothing that is formed is withheld from Thee." And as Maimonides has said (and this has been accepted by the scholars of the Kabbalah, as Rabbi Moses Cordovero writes in Pardess), that "Knowing Himself, as it were, He knows all created things that exist by virtue of His true existence...."

Nevertheless this parallel is only an appeal to the ear. In truth, however, the analogy bears no similarity whatever to the object of the comparison. For the human soul, even the rational and the divine, is affected by the accidents of the body and its pain, by reason of its being actually clothed within the vivifying soul which is clothed in the body itself.

The Holy One, blessed be He, however, is not, Heaven forbid, affected by the accidents of the world and its changes, nor by the world itself, for they do not affect any change in Him, G‑d forbid. In order to help us perceive this well with our intelligence, the Scholars of Truth have already treated of it at length in their books. But all Jews are "Believers descended from believers," without human intellectual speculation whatever, and they declare: "Thou wast the same ere the world was created," and so forth, as has been explained above in ch. 20.

Now, therefore, each individual Jew, whoever he may be, when he ponders upon this for some considerable time each day— how the Holy One, blessed be He, is truly omnipresent in the higher and lower [worlds], and in reality fills the heavens and the earth, and that the whole world is truly full of His glory, and that He looks and regards and searches his reins and his heart and all his actions and words, and counts his every step— then fear will be implanted in his heart throughout the day; and when he again meditates on this, even with a superficial reflection, at any time or moment, he will turn away from evil and do good, in thought, speech and deed, so as not to rebel, G‑d forbid, in the sight of His glory whereof the whole world is full. This is in accord with the instruction of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai to his disciples, quoted above.

This, then, is what the verse means: "But to fear the Lord thy G‑d, to walk in all His ways." For this is the fear that leads to the fulfillment of His blessed commandments through turning away from evil and doing good. This is the "lower fear" which has been discussed earlier. As it applies to "Moses," that is to say, in relation to the quality of da'at that is in each divine Jewish soul, this is a minor thing, as has been stated above. (For da'at is [the faculty] which binds the hidden understanding of the heart with that which is actually revealed in thought, as is known to those who are familiar with the Esoteric Discipline).

In addition to this, one should remember that, as in the case of a mortal king, the essence of fear [of him] relates to his inner nature and vitality and not to his body— for when he is asleep, there is no fear of him— and, surely, his inner character and vitality are not perceived by physical eyes but only by the vision of the mind, through the physical eyes beholding his stature and robes, and making the beholder aware of the vitality that is clothed in them. If this be so, he must likewise truly fear G‑d when gazing with his physical eyes at the heavens and earth and ail their host wherein is clothed the light of the blessed En Sof that animates them.

Note: And it is also seen with the glance of the eye that they are nullified to His blessed light by the fact that they "prostrate" themselves every day towards the west at the time of their setting. As the Rabbis, of blessed memory, commented on the verse: "And the host of heaven worship Thee" that the Shechinah abides in the west, so that their daily orbit westwards is a kind of prostration and self-nullification. Even he who has never seen the king and does not recognise him at all, nevertheless when he enters the royal court and sees many honourable princes prostrating themselves before one man. there falls on him a fear and awe.

And although many garments are involved in this investment, there is no difference or distinction at all in the fear of a mortal king, whether he be naked or robed in one or in many garments.

The essential thing, however, is the [mental] training to habituate one's mind and thought continuously, that it ever remain fixed in his heart and mind, that everything one sees with one's eyes— the heavens and earth and all that is therein— constitutes the outer garments of the King, the Holy One, blessed be He. In this way he will constantly be aware of their inwardness and vitality. This is also implicit in the word emunah ("faith"), which is a term indicating "training," to which a man habituates himself, like a craftsman who trains his hands, and so forth.

There should also be a constant remembrance of the dictum of the Rabbis, of blessed memory, "Acceptance of the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven," which parallels the injunction "Thou shalt surely set a king over thee," as has been explained elsewhere, and so on. For the Holy One, blessed be He, forgoes the higher and lower worlds and uniquely bestows His Kingdom upon us,... and we accept it.... And this is the significance of the obeisances in the prayer of the Eighteen Benedictions, following the verbal acceptance of the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven in the recital of the Shema, whereby one accepts it once again in actual deed, with a [positive] act, and so forth, as is explained elsewhere.