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You have probably heard the statement "You’re either a slave to Hashem [G-d] or you’re a slave to your taivos [desires].". Why do I want to be "a slave to Hashem"? My associations with the word "slave" are pretty negative. A slave is forced to do what the master wants. He cannot make his own decisions. He is exploited and treated badly. So why would I want to be a slave? I get the point of being a slave of something, so you better let that be Hashem (see Dov Bear Everyone’s A Slave…).

But why do they push me to define my relationship with G-d in such a negative way? Why not servant [as in serving out of free will], student, or something similar? Something that indicates that I do what G-d wants out of my free will, because I recognize that he knowns what is good for me. That G-d is somewhat more than I am, but because I recognize that this is the way it should be, not because I am forced into this.

On a related note, why do people want me to "fear" G-d? I sort of can live with G-d inspiring awe, reverance, respect. Like I would have respect for a teacher I hold in high regard, or a wise leader. But fear? I fear the mean teacher, the unjust ruler, or the dictator. Fear leads to hate, revolt, opposition. These are not feelings I would want to have about G-d. English is not my first language, but for me there is a crucial difference between fear and awe.

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