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HaShem teaches us to serve Him (Shemot 23:25), because we're His servants (Vayikra 25:42, 25:55), HaShem also teaches that we're His children (Devarim 14:1).

There is a long explanation about these verses in the Zohar (volume 6, 75-85), but I don't understand them.

So could someone please explain to me what it means to be both servants and children of HaShem (according to the Zohar)

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    אם כבנים רחמנו כרחם אב על בנים ואם כעבדים ... – kouty Aug 3 '16 at 10:16
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    the relationship is multifaceted and goes beyond those 2 choices myorthodoxlife.com/p/198/… – rosends Aug 3 '16 at 11:39
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    אבינו מלכנו. Is He our Father or our King? Yes. – DonielF Aug 3 '16 at 14:11
  • our relationship with Gd is not single faceted. There are many different parables that are used to bring out a different aspect of this relationship – Dude Aug 4 '16 at 21:24
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    You specifically want the Zohar's interpretation, or is the Gemara's interpretation fine? – Shmuel Brin May 2 '17 at 2:58
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אם כבנים רחמנו כרחם אב על בנים ואם כעבדים, עינינו לך תלויות, עד שתחננו ותוציא לאור משפטנו There is a party where we are slaves of God and we party of his sons. Because we are talking about things in a spiritual sense it does not contradict their It's not like in reality. We are children of God and He has chosen us from all the nations on the other hand we are committed to do what it says. We see how He loves us and watching over us because we are his sons, and on the other hand, we see that it also requires us to work it.

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    The OP was specifically looking for a discussion of the Zohar. – mevaqesh Nov 2 '16 at 22:40
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If you are at home in Hebrew, the fifth chabad rebbe has a 25 or so page discussion on the differences between a son and a servant (based on the arizal’s kabalistic interpretation of the Zohar like all chabad chassidut). It starts here, bottom paragraph:

http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=31623&st=&pgnum=319

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    @Eliyahu-Shmuel you wrote "We are children of God ...on the other hand we are committed to do what it says. We see how He loves us ...because we are his sons, and on the other hand, we see that it also requires us to work it." This sounds like the part of Hashem loving is the part we are sons, and the commitment to obey Him is the servant part. Doesn't a son also have to obey his father? Why only a servant? – RibbisRabbiAndMore Jun 28 '18 at 12:06

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