Inspired by Reb Kalonymos Kalman's ideal of a group of people coming together with the common goal of enhancing their service of God, increasing their sensitivity to all things spiritual, strengthening their love of acheinu kol beis Yisrael, and unlocking the enormous potential that we all have to cleave to the Almighty.

Interaction and discussion of practical ideas and concepts toward this end, culled from any Torah true source is welcome and appreciated.

Observations and personal experiences are also welcome; the point is to grow!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Loss Of Fear

About 16 years ago Rav Soloveitchik's son, known affectionately as "DR. Grach" wrote a famous article in Tradition which generated a great deal of discussion and argument. One of his many astute observations was that while today people are "frummer" than they once were [note the mass scale of Torah learning in yeshivos and kollelim, minyanim everywhere, ubiquitous payos, head covering for women, the popularity of mikva for women and men etc.], the palpable sense of FEAR of Hashem that people once had is all but lost.

It says in the Holy Books that one should cry during davening on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. I see very few tears if any during these Days of Awe. I think that people are just not afraid for their lives anymore. Things are COOL! Well, the reality is that things are NOT cool. People DO die [many many this past year, of all ages. The Angel Of Death doesn't discriminate]. So my own small blessings that we should merit to feel the awe during these Days of Awe. And if you are not afraid for your lives and well being - I am. So you can do me a favor and daven for Elchanan ben Henna Miriam and his family [keyn yirbu!] that we should make it through this coming year in good health. If you are interested you can send me your name and I will return the favor and daven for you.

The fear I am talking about is constructive. It is the impetus for a transformation of the self [known in our literature as "tshuva...].

Love and blessings and wishes for eternal good for all:)!


  1. Good points, Reb Ally.

    Unfortunately, when we look for the root cause of this malaise, we tend to stop at the symptoms, not the actual problem.

    Everyone loves to blame the internet, Facebook, handhedl movie playing devices, and "niskatnu hadoros" for this amazing paradox that we are experiencing, but they aren't the roots of the problem.

    As Reb Shimshon Pincus once put it, we've created a Judaism devoid of God. One can go to countless Elul/Yomim Nora'im shmuessen and literally not hear one mention of God and His relationship with us...

    One of the main reasons we think life is "cool" is because we've become cold to Judaism, and its essence...

  2. 21st Century America is, historically speaking, Disneyland. It's an oasis of freedom, tolerance, wealth, and fun.

    I remember spending my year in Israel after high school and recognizing that the Israelis my age were in the army risking their lives - something I was not called upon to do.