Kitzur Tefilat Amecha #11

[adapted by Rabbi Shmuel Jablon from Rav Aviner's three-volume commentary on the siddur "Tefilat Amecha"]

We say "A person should always be G-d-fearing, privately and publicly." Yirat Hashem is a combination of fear and awe of Hashem as well as a desire to be close to Him. Fear of Heaven (Yirat Shamayim) isn’t supposed to be a side point of our life. It is supposed to be the essence of who we are. We are supposed to at all times and all places have Yirat Shamayim. But before we can get to "Always be G-d-fearing," we need to be a person, be a mentch. First we need to have good Midot¸ a good heart and to be honest, good people. Then we can have Yirat Shamayim. Someone who is not a good person cannot possibly have real Yirat Shamayim if they don’t also have good Midot.