Stereotypes abound around the idea of trembling before God. Much damage has been done by the juvenile images of a God that sits like an angry old man on a heavenly throne, waiting to strike us with lightning when we misbehave. How many of us see God in this way – as a God of wrath and vengeance, evoking superstitious feelings of fear and trepidation?
So then, what is the meaning of all the references in the Torah to “fear of God”? Shouldn’t God evoke in us a sense of love, compassion and ecstasy?
When we have a divine encounter should we be retreating in fear, or dancing with joy?
The answer lies in an exquisite psalm describing the parting of the sea that takes place today, the seventh day of Passover: The sea saw and fled; the Jordan turned backward. The mountains skipped like rams, hills like lambs. Why did the sea flee, and the mountains danced a wild jig?
This beautiful psalm reveals for us the two-fold secret to all healthy relationships, and certainly our relationship with God – awe and love.
Today’s splitting of the sea is not a historical event; it is a current event, happening every second of every day of our lives.
Get awestruck. It is time to dance.