Coping with fear

In this period of sorrow for events that occurred to the Jewish people, remember that the Sages say that Mashiach is born on Tisha B'Av.!

Rabbi Eli Hecht ,

Rabbi Eli Hecht
Rabbi Eli Hecht

This month marks a period of sorrow and despair. we despair because of the destruction of our holy Beit Hamikdash -the beautiful temple was destroyed by the hateful and violent countries jealous of the Jews. And feel sorrow for the despicable acts of horrors that have befallen the Jewish Nation.

I think that we ought to remember that we are told that the Mashiach was born on Tisha B’Av! So with the bad comes the good!

I was reminded of the following story:

A gentleman developed a terrible phobia “Monsters under his bed”. Night after night he would wake up in fear “The monsters are coming to get me” he cried. Seeking help he tried all kinds of medicines, anti-depressants and Xanax, the foremost anxiety calmer. After this he tried another host of prescribed drugs and only became more anxiety ridden. He visited physician after physician, analysts to gurus, but to no avail. Biofeedback, yoga and aromatherapy, nothing helped. His distorted fears and thoughts interfered with his everyday living. Depression and despair set in, and he thought he was finished.

Years later, after years of suffering, he suddenly became well and began to live an anxiety free life. One day his friend met him and asked “How did you get cured?” He answered, “I finally went to my teacher, a rabbi from the old country. He suggested I cut off the legs of my bed and trust in G-d. As soon as I did that the monsters had no place to hide and I began to sleep.”

That story says a great deal about fear and stress.

I strongly believe, that we have a great Almighty in heaven Who wants the people of the world to live in peace, harmony, and tranquility. When I hear of world-over protests running in the tens of thousands for and against the American government. I too become anxious and seek a way out. There must be way to cure the world and enjoy this wonderful world.

I suggest we create a special department of spiritual Homeland Security encouraging prayer and faith.

As in the words of the great Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Chabad, world Chassidic leader (1745-1812), “Faith is beyond intelligence and perception.” Let's leave no room for the monsters to hide.

Rabbi Eli Hecht is Director and Founder of Chabad of South Bay, Lomita California, former President Rabbinical Council of California, and Vice President of the Rabbinical Alliance of America.