Kenneth Cohen

No Fear

The verse that is quoted by many of the commentators in connection with the תוכחה, or rebuke, relates to fear.

The warning of the Torah is that if we do not observe the commandments, we will be stricken such fear, that the קול עלה נדף, “the sound of rustling leaves, will put us in a state of panic.

This could explain the Rambam’s rather simplistic description of the time of Mashiach. Based on the Talmud, he writes that there is no difference between this world, and the days of Mashiach, except for שעבוד מלכיות. This means that no nation will have rulership over the Jewish people. We will be free and at peace, so that we can be close to Hashem, and study His Torah without interference.

The best part of this description is that we no longer will have reason to be afraid. Imagine a life without fears and worries. It truly would be Messianic times.

But what we also need to realize is that this life without fears, can be attained right now. If we bond ourselves strongly with Hashem, we feel His protection and we realize that there is nothing to fear. And if we are fortunate enough to be living in Israel, we feel truly blessed. We are living a Jewish dream which often feels like גן עדן, the Garden of Eden.

The sound of “rustling leaves,” is a symbol of the exile. The Jewish pride we feel in seeing a return to our homeland, and with Hashem and the IDF protecting us, we realize that there is nothing to fear. This is most comforting.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at