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Uplifting Our Worries

by Yehudis Golshevsky


Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…

“Reb Nosson wrote: “We must elevate all our worries and anxieties, so that we fear nothing but G-d. We should know and believe that all the anxiety and fears that come upon us, especially those we are experiencing right now, are meant to remind us to fear G-d. For when we remember to fear G-d, even though we know in our heart that we are far from innocent, still we can immediately rejoice and be truly alive ~ for ‘fear of G-d gives life.’ (Proverbs 19:23).”
(Healing Leaves, p. 64)


What does this mean to me?
In Rebbe Nachman’s teachings and in other Chassidic works we find a concept called “fallen fears,” just as we find the concept of “fallen loves.” The basic idea is that the ultimate expression of our emotional potentials is in its connection to G-d, but these potentials can also “fall” into lower expressions which are negative. The fear of pain, poverty, illness, people and situations is misplaced or fallen because it focuses on effects rather than causes. A person of faith knows that nothing happens in this world if it hasn’t been decreed from on high. When I begin to look higher, toward the Cause of all, then my fear—which is not fear of punishment, but awareness of G-d’s ever-presence and a dread of doing that which creates a barrier between us—is actually life enhancing. My awareness of G-d’s awareness and judgment is the complementary side of my love for G-d and my sense of His love for me. The love makes me value our closeness; the fear helps me to refrain from doing anything to damage our relationship. This is the “_yirah l’chaim_,” the “fear that is a life-enhancing force” that is a vital part of our Divine service.


A prayer:

Dear G-d,
let my heart grasp
the profound wisdom
with which You created the world.
Help me understand
that life’s difficulties
are in fact her opportunities;
life’s endings
are also her beginnings;
life’s disappointments
are her finest teachers.

(From The Gentle Weapon, p. 72)

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*“The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments – Timeless Wisdom from the Teachings of the Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Adapted by Moshe Mykoff & S.C. Mizrahi with the Breslov Research Institute, 1999.  Permission granted by Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, www.jewishlights.com.

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