coasting on awe during the dips

Avraham Avinu doesn't know us, and Yaakov Avinu won't recognise us. But Yitzhak Avinu puts himself between us and God when we're misbehaving. (Something you will see if you look at the discussion in the Talmud which can be found at Shabbat 89b) He actually works some interesting mojo until between his own act and God's mercies, we are 100% absolved of any culpability. How can this be? Yitzhak Avinu represents the midah of din, the attribute of judgement, whereas Avraham is the midah of Hesed (kindness) and Yaakov the midah Rahamim. (mercy)

The Maor Eynayim (on parashath VaEra) will field this one. He says that one who connects to God only out of love never really learns to know the Creator. And one who doesn't ever serve God through his fear can never be familliar with Him, can't recognise Him, because he's never seen him. This is why it says that Avraham doesn't know us, and Yaakov won't recognise us. Recognition and Knowledge are two relationships with HaShem that are both predicated on serving Him out of fear and awe, a relationship that is exclusively the realm of Yitzhak Avinu.

Once we relate to God out of fear (gevurah/din) then we can go on to relate to him out of love (Hesed) and from there we can graduate to a more complete and mature relationship, the level of Yaakov Avinu, the face to face (פנים אל פנים) level of recognition.

It is our service out of fear and awe that is our lifeline when we are being tested, it keeps us going even when our spiritual reservoirs are parched, it is through this emunah in God's all-powerfulness over us that we are able to coast with whatever energy we have left through the test of the moment, and through it, find renewed energy on the other side.

(Kind of like those old nintendo racing games where your momentum had to get you over the finish line when the time ran out, what a rush.)


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