- Fear(awe) and the love of G-d are the roots and foundations of divine service
- One's love and fear of G-d are rooted in the performance of Torah and Mitzvot. This performance comprises thought speech and deed from the lesser to greater importance.
- The awe of G-d are rooted in the prohibitive commandments while the love of Him makes possible for the Jew to perform the positive commandments with inner feeling.
- The distinction between roots and foundations is in chapter 4 part one of Tanya,
- From the love of G-d, the positive commands emanate,and without them, the commands have no enduring substance.
the child according to his way: even as he grows old he will not depart from
הנה מדכתיב: על פי דרכו, משמע שאינה דרך האמת לאמיתו
Since the verse
writes “according to his way,” this implies that it is not the path of perfect
truth, but merely a path to be followed by the child;
ואם כן מאי מעליותא שגם
כי יזקין לא יסור ממנה
hence of what merit is it that “even as he grows old he
will not depart from it”?
Indeed, it would seem that the very opposite should
be the case: when the child matures he should forsake his childish path in favor
of the path of truth. What possible merit could there be in not departing from
אך הנה מודעת זאת כי שרשי עבודת ה׳ ויסודותיה הן דחילו ורחימו
Now it is
well known that the awe (lit., “fear”) and the love of G‑d are the roots and
of divine service.
The performance of Torah and mitzvot in thought, speech
and deed is rooted in and founded upon one’s love and fear of G‑d. The awe of
G‑d enables the Jew to properly observe the prohibitive commandments, while the
love of Him makes it possible for the Jew to perform the positive commandments
with inner feeling,9
as the Alter Rebbe now goes on to explain.
The Rebbe here distinguishes between these two terms, as follows. “Roots” refers to the original source from which one’s divine service ultimately emanates; “foundations” suggests the ongoing support of one’s present service (recalling the foundations upon which a building actually stands).The Rebbe goes on to remark that this distinction is reflected in ch. 4 of the first part of Tanya: “from [the love of G‑d the positive commands] issue forth, and without it they have no true (i.e., enduring) substance.”
Note of the Rebbe: “As above, ch. 4 [of Part I].”