Part 4 – Inject the Fear with Emuna

We are filled with fear and anxiety, and we need to find a way to cope. Emuna is the power to cope – draw from it to eliminate fear and protect yourself!

5 min

Rabbi Shalom Arush

Posted on 05.04.20

This is not an easy time for the Jewish people – not for us as a nation, and not for each of us individually. We pray that Moshiach comes very quickly and that we should no longer know from any further pain and anguish, terrible illness or war. In the meantime, we are shrouded in tremendous pain and anxiety, and we need to find a way to cope with it. We need to strengthen ourselves together, and draw from our true source of resilience which is the fountain of emuna! 


I am continually being asked to relate to this plague of Coronavirus. The answer is simple: simple emuna 


Our relationship to the plague is divided into two parts: Relating to the general and relating to the individual. Each person has their own pain and anxiety. However, the correct approach to our personal pain can and should only be understood through the general perspective of how Hashem is leading the world. 


The foundation and cornerstone of simple emuna is Ein od milvado  “There is nothing else besides Him.” 


There is absolutely no other reality in the world besides God. To think for a second that there is a Coronavirus that somehow materialized based on certain circumstances and that Hashem has just abandoned the world God forbid is a terrible and grave mistake! 


The general confusion and the media reports mislead us, and take us away from the straight path of emuna. Simple emuna says that there is constantly the extraordinary Presence of Hashem’s attention and supervision on the entire world in general and on each and every created being personally. The Corona is not in charge. The Creator of the world is in charge and He alone guides His world. Every person who contracts this sickness has gotten it through direct personal supervision (Hashgacha Pratit).  As the phrase goes: “To every bullet there is an address.” 


We don’t understand the calculations of Heaven. However, we do know with absolute certainty that nothing is by chance. Even someone who contracts this sickness and can say it’s because he wasn’t careful, or he didn’t listen to the warnings – this is only the way that it was orchestrated by Heaven. The real reason and root cause is that this is the Will of God. Like the holy Zohar writes: You are the Cause of all Causes and the Reasons for all Reasons. 


This is of course not to trivialize in any way the guidelines and instructions of the Ministry of Health. We are all obligated to follow the guidelines to the best of our abilityBut we have to know that this is just our personal efforts that we are required to do. This is not what protects us. What truly protects us is only the Creator of the world. 


Hence, we have nothing to be worried about or be afraid of. We need to do whatever is necessary and be serious about it, but from what I am aware of, there is no guideline or instruction from the Ministry of Health that we must live in fear and be anxious! Just the opposite in fact: Stress and anxiety are extremely dangerous, not any less than the virus itself! Only when we hold onto emuna is it possible for us to lower our level of anxiety and even live calmly in the most difficult of times. 


The second takeaway for someone who already has the virus is that he shouldn't G-d forbid blame himself and think that because he went to this place or that place or met so and so, or even that he wasn’t careful, and therefore he got sick… Not true! He got Corona because Hashem wants him to get Corona! 


Now that we have a correct understanding of the world and what is happening, we can begin to understand on the personal level how to cope with the natural fear and anxiety, through the path of emunaThe moment a person feels the fear creep into his heart, he should take the following steps, and with the help of Hashem, all the fear and anxiety will go away. 


Step #1: He simply needs to speak words of emuna to himself, like this: “I have a Father in Heaven that loves me, pays attention to me, and watches over me. He will never abandon me or forsake me! He always does only kindness with me and there is no evil whatsoever in the world.” Say these words repeatedly, over and over to yourself. Words of emuna are actually emuna! As it is written: “I have emuna because (when) I speak” (Psalms, 116:10). 


I also recommend saying chapter 121 of Psalms which is the famous “Shir Hamalot” and simply pay attention to the encouraging words. There is nothing like repeating over and over again the sweet and pleasant words of the singer of Israel: “Hashem is your guardian, Hashem will guard you from all harm.” 


This emuna also includes bitachon – trust in Hashem. The trust that we are completely in the hands of Hashem and He always has done, always does, and always will do only that which is good for us. 


Step #2: If after you have strengthened yourself, you still find you are afraid – don’t get down on yourself or become dejected and think to yourself: “ I don’t have any emuna…. Something must be wrong with me…” Recognize that the fear and anxiety that you have is also from God. Hashem wants you to have this type of fear and anxiety in your heart, and this too is a test of emuna. In fact, the main test of emuna is believing that the fear and anxiety that you have is also from Hashem. 


Step # 3: Now you have to strengthen yourself to believe that everything is for the best, which means that this fear that you still have in your heart is for your good, according to everything we have learned that everything that Hashem does is the best and there isn’t any evil or bad in the world. “Any bad” means that everything that happens to you is not bad at all. Everything is only good, also this fear is good. 


Step # 4: At this point you are saying that everything is good, but the problem is that you definitely don’t understand how this is good. This is the time to remind yourself again of the first foundation of emuna: I do not understand how this is for the best, but I believe it is anyway. Just like a father never harms his children, and wants only the very best for his children. This fear is from my Father in Heaven who loves me. Therefore, even though I don’t understand what is good about this, this is what God decreed in His infinite wisdom, and so it is certainly the absolute and most complete good possible. 


Step #5: Now spend as much time as possible being grateful and saying thank you to Hashem for the fear, stress, pain, and isolation, and all the issues and problems that come along with the situation we find ourselves in. 


Through this path you can inject emuna into the fear itself, and with this you can void it entirely. 


Anyone who follows these steps and strengthens himself with true emuna on the entire general situation and his own personal predicament, will greatly strengthen his feelings of gratitude, and the fear and anxiety will disappear. 


When all the fear goes away, then you will truly be guarded and protected. As the Shomrei Emunim writes in the name of the Arizal: When there is G-d forbid a plague in the city, it is only able to have an effect on those who have fear. But those who strengthen their trust and rely on Hashem and overcome the fear – no harm can befall them. 


Hashem should strengthen the Jewish people and the entire world with the pure and simple emuna and pure to believe that everything is good and for our benefit. We should all thank Hashem for all the difficulties and pains of the redemption, and for all the fear and stress. In this merit, the Jewish people should live in quiet and calmness, without fear and anxiety, happy and confident, protected from all sickness and plague, and Hashem should remove this virus and all sickness from amongst us. We should see quickly the coming of Moshiach with complete mercy, speedily in our days, Amen. 






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