by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
Two anonymous commentors said on the Global Fear Update (comments merged & edited for brevity)...
i think the quote ...about iran destroying the world is not only inappropriate but wrong on two accounts. first, it plays into their hands of causing fear. the only thing we are to fear is HaShem. ...this blog shold be helping to create and foster emunah... please reconsider this final quote... especially since this is a torah informed website, that it is not permitted to create fear in people...to me, it is not a kiddush Hashem to include this in your piece.
I'm going to set aside for the moment that these are NOT our words, but prophetic words from the holy sages - it's direct text from Yalkut Shimoni (which is a compilation of prophetic writings from all sources, Torah, Gemora, Navi, and associated Midrashim, and considered to have been compiled by HaRav Shimon Ashkenazi of Frankfort in the 12th century).
I met a young IDF soldier on the way home today, from a special armor recon unit. A secular Jew, but he had some religious questions. He asked me, "my commander, a religious guy, has a uniform patch that says 'Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.' Where's that from and what's it mean?"
I told him it's from Tehillim (Psalms) 23, and it was written by Dovid HaMelech (King David). King David was on the run from the soldiers of Shaul HaMelech (King Shaul) for the crime of having been anointed by Shmuel HaNavi (the biblical prophet Samuel) to replace Shaul HaMelech for defying the instructions from Hashem.
Dovid's on the run for his life, the army of the king hot on his heels. HE didn't do anything wrong. He's hiding in the forest of Cheret, literally starving to death. And there he composes a song to Hashem. There, in the midst of deprivation, chased for something he didn't do, hungry, tired, scared. He turns to G-d and says, "Hashem is leading me on the proper path. Though in danger, I am not afraid it's the wrong way. Though it's tough, it's a blessing. It's all good."
What is Emunah? Is it that everything is ok as judged by our worldly standards? Is nothing "bad" going to happen to me tomorrow because I have Emunah?
Absolutely not. Emunah is no guarantee, promise, or shield of protection against seemingly bad events happening in our personal lives or our national life.
G-d forbid, people may lose they're job, or house, or business. They may be accused of something and fined, or arrested, or jailed. People get ill, in accidents, get serious diseases.
According to the simple measure of the world, bad things will happen. Emunah is no protective barrier against such events.
What it protects against is knowing that it's not random and it's not meaningless, and not really even bad (from a beyond this world perspective).
Dovid HaMelech knew, it was not randomness nor the fecal matter hitting the air impeller. It was Hashem's plan. Each step, including the pain filled ones, was part of the Divine orchestration. Each had meaning beyond what Dovid could see at that moment, but he KNEW it was all being run by Hashem.
Now I don't know what, if anything, is going to happen tomorrow with Iran. I don't know if, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe already interpreted, the Yalkut Shimoni Yishayahu Remez 499 already happened or if it's about to. However, if it does I have Emunah that it's all part of the Divine plan. INCLUDING the fear that would come with an event described as "destroying the world" - or perhaps SPECIFICALLY the fear.
But when such fear comes, we must remember that it is Hashem that's running things, and properly direct the fear to Yiras Shamayim, fear of heaven. This is the lower-level fear, but it is one step towards the love and fear of Hashem that we all must have.
...And as the Yalkut says in another place (can't find it at the moment), when the Arab king stands up and says "see, our god is accepting our sacrifice and yours is not - so now come to our god" (in a literal reversal of the test of Eliyahu HaNavi and the priest of baal), the Jews will respond "we fear only Hashem, even after seeing a supposed miracle from your god".
Simple faith is believing it's all from Hashem and it's all _for_ the good, all planned and executed by the Master Planner, not that it's only going to be simple worldly good in obvious worldly ways because of my faith.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
// 2/11/2010 //