And he said to the man, “One is the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom . .” Job 28:28 Rabbinic Midrash translation
One is – What is yirat adonai? What does “the fear of the Lord” mean in your life? If the fear of the Lord is the foundation of all His instructions to us, then what does this look like? That question was crucial for the rabbis. They found part of the answer in an alternate meaning in this verse from Job. Instead of translating the opening word of the statement as “Behold” (the Hebrew word hen), they suggested that this first word is similar to the Greek word for “one.” With this translation, the Talmudic tractate Sanhedrin suggests that all wisdom is one, that is, all wisdom is found in yirat adonai. The study of philosophy or science or ethics or the arts does not lead to wisdom unless it leads to God.
Ira Stone makes this observation based on the midrash. “It should by now be clear that the term yirat Ha-Shem cannot simply be translated as “fear of God.” Rather, yirat ha-Shem is wisdom as expressed in worship . . . Nor is it any better understood simply as awe, a tactic that contemporary English speakers often take. Instead, I understand yirat ha-Shem as the overwhelming weight we take on when we recognize the infinite nature of our responsibility for others; ahavah is the infinite potential for joy we experience by our choices to implement the yetzer ha-tov. . . . our relationship to God is a living rather than a thinking relationship. It is not speculation on the being of God, or even on how we can speculate about God, that claims the attention of Jewish intellectual effort. Rather, it is living in the mode of God as we have experienced it in both our personal and communal histories.”
What is the fear of the Lord? It is you discovering the burden-bearing claim of others as God’s way of exhibiting love. What is the fear of the Lord? It is you carrying another’s cross, putting your life at risk for another, standing in the other’s place for good or ill. What is the fear of the Lord? It is your awareness of another’s need even if unexpressed. What is the fear of the Lord? It is Yeshua dying for you.
Wisdom is relational. It isn’t found in textbooks or confessions or rituals. It is found in personal and communal interaction, and in particular, the interaction of choosing shalom for another. The fear of the Lord is painted in loving-my-neighbor colors. To recognize a need and to have the ability to do something about that need but instead choose to walk away is to blaspheme His name and His image in us. The weight of a wounded world falls on our shoulders and we are called to carry it, not alone but nevertheless to the best of our abilities. Then our lives become worship as Yeshua’s life was worship. That is the fear of the Lord.
Topical Index: fear of the Lord, yirat ha-Shem, yirat adonai, hen, behold, one, Job 28:28
 Ira Stone, Mesillat Yesharim, pp. 10-11.