Hillel Communications.


Elul 2: Fear

by Hillel News |Aug 17, 2015|Comments

First Blast: Text

ה' מָעוֹז-חַיַּי מִמִּי אֶפְחָד

The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?


Second Blast: Commentary

Malbim, a 19th century commentator, suggests that the fear mentioned in this phrase, פחד (pahad), refers specifically to fear of unknown or unexpected attack, like someone poisoning your food. Therefore, the speaker of the psalm trusts in God to protect him even when he least expects to require such protection. Fear that everything could fall apart even when things seem to be going fine can become debilitating or demoralizing, preventing us from engaging in real teshuva (return/repentance).


Third Blast: Practice

If you feel today a certain fear or apprehension, try to articulate it. Say out loud exactly what you fear will happen. This can go a long way to making such fears seem less insurmountable. Then, sing the song based on the teaching of Rebbe Nachman:

כל העולם כולו גשר צר מאוד

 והעיקר, והעיקר לא לפחד, לא לפחד כלל  

Kol Ha'olam kulo, Gesher Tsar me'od/ Veha'ikar - veha'ikar, Lo lefached -lo lefached klal.

The whole entire world is a very narrow bridge/And the main thing is not to be afraid at all.


Imagine yourself standing on a very narrow bridge as you sing (or even better, go to a nearby bridge and sing as you cross).


Listen here



Back to Top

  • Elul
  • Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Experience
  • 2015

comments powered by Disqus