The Path of the Just
Ch. 9 (Part 3)
We also lose our enthusiasm for goodness when we’re thrown off by things
or distracted by fear and anxiety. But Ramchal terms the great majority of
the things we fear “transient” -- not rooted in ultimate reality.
For at one point, “you might be nervous about cold or heat,” for example,
while “another time you might worry about accidents occurring, then
another time about illness, and yet another time about the wind, and so
forth”, whisked here and there and back again by life’s vicissitudes as so
many of us are.
So what would help? Should we simply lay our trust in G-d and face the
blustery weather, come what may? Or should we admit our fears and hold
off? After all, while some fears are indeed baseless, scores of others
First off, as Ramchal puts it, “you must know that there’s fear, and
there’s fear. There’s warranted fear and senseless fear; then there’s
trust and there’s naiveté”. For indeed, “G-d created man to be sensible
and straight-forwardly logical so that he could accustom himself to… be on
guard against the things that might cause him harm …. One who doesn’t want
to go along the ways of wisdom and is willing to expose himself to danger
isn’t practicing trust in G-d-- he’s naive, and he’s … going against the
will of G-d who wants him to protect himself”.
His advice then is to be sensible and to take no unwarranted risks, but
not to “compound one form of self-protection onto another, one fear or
worry onto another” to the point where we’re immobilized with fear. For at
bottom, we’re to “consider (ourselves) as only passing through the world,
but settled-in in (our) Divine service”, which is to say that we’re to not
see ourselves as rooted in the here and now but rather in eternity.
That way we’ll be able to reasonably and wisely, “willingly and
contentedly face whatever greets (us) in this world, and take hold of
whatever circumstances come (our) way”. And we’ll thus be free to
concentrate=2 0upon the sort of things that will lead us to spiritual
Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org