There is a great kindliness that's most paramount, more important than all the chassodim [kindnesses] in the world - more important than parnasah, more important than shalom bayis, and good health.
And that's the kindliness called yiras Hashem.
Yiras Hashem -- which means to be Aware of Hashem -- that's the most important thing in your life.
Now, this might sound queer to the ears of those who live with materialism, but it's a fundamental principle that we must get into our heads.
We are here to gain Awareness of Hashem.
Now, if that's the purpose, then what a tragedy it is when people let their lives go by and fail to utilize the opportunities to recognize Hashem. You forgot about Him?! To forget Hashem is the worst ruination in life! To live without awareness is not a life worth living!
So Hashem sees that you're wasting your life -- of course you're a frum person -- you're doing mitzvos, you're ultra-ultra-Orthodox.
But that's not enough for Hashem. He doesn't want “Orthodox.”
He wants to squeeze greatness out of you!
He wants to save you so that your life shouldn't be wasted.
Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants to give you the gift of being Aware of Him.
- why our prayers aren't answered right away
- why Am Yisrael is so often compared to wine
- the importance of praying to Hashem before bad things happen
You can also download/print out/read his other dvar Torah on the parsha here:
Parshat Va'eira: The 10 Makkos: Lessons in Awareness of Hashem