#6 – SMARTalks Show – Is There Value in Having Awe and Reverence?

Awe and Reverence

One acquires awe of G-D by contemplating His awesomeness; one attains fear of God by contemplating man’s insignificance

Maharal of Prague [1520-1609].

The Ethic of Holiness By Rabbi Johnathan Sacks

  • We now also know on the basis of considerable neuro-scientific evidence that we make our choices on the basis of emotion rather than reason.
  • One interesting experiment revealed that academic books on ethics were more often stolen or never returned to libraries than books on other branches of philosophy.[2]
  • Expertise in moral reasoning, in other words, does not necessarily make us more moral.

The reason is often something we use to rationalize choices made on the basis of emotion.

That explains the presence of the aesthetic dimension of the service of the sanctuary. It had beauty, gravitas and majesty. In the time of the Temple, it had music. There were choirs of Levites singing psalms. Beauty speaks to emotion and emotion to the soul, lifting us in ways reason cannot do to heights of love and awe, taking us above the narrow confines of the self into the circle at whose center is God.

That is why the prophetic ethic of justice and compassion, had to be supplemented with the priestly ethic of holiness.

Two Core elements within Judaism

  • Ethic – Justice and Compassion
  • Holiness – The Spiritual Practice and Connection to God Through Mitzvot.

HBR: Entrepreneurs Feel Closer to God Than the Rest of Us Do – Mitchell J. Neubert  (Link)

34% of entrepreneurs pray several times a day, compared with 27% of non-entrepreneurs.

Neubert: Entrepreneurs seem to be more religious in a couple of small—but statistically significant—ways. They pray more—several times a week, on average—and are more likely to believe in an engaged, responsive God who takes a personal interest in them.

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