Barak Rabinowitz
Barak Rabinowitz

The World is a Narrow Bridge – Don’t Be Afraid

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

After business school I followed my girlfriend (now wife) to London, basically alone, in a strange place without friends or family. One cold night I made my way to the Chabbad House for some warmth and company.

The Rabbi turned out to be a jolly, larger-than-life, young man who led round after round of toasts with whiskey and conversation flowing freely. Halfway through the meal, he broke out in a chant, soft at first and then bellowing at the top of his lungs:

“Kol ha’olam kulo, gesher tzar me’od. In English, ‘The Whole World is a narrow bridge and the essential thing is not to be afraid.’

After a few repetitions I started following along with everyone else in the room. These were total strangers an hour ago and now we are all singing in unison. And man did it uplift our spirits.

As this year comes to an end I am looking back in wonder at the bridge we all crossed. We faced COVID-19 and all its Delta, Omicron and other variants, sick loved ones who we could hardly visit, and so much fear and anxiety all around us.

In the tech industry we also faced dangers on the inside. In a year of record investment and exits, instant millionaires and even billionaires next door, I found myself distracted by competitors, self doubt and the fear of missing out.

These are the wounds that are self-inflicted.

I now think back to that song and can still hear it playing in my mind. The world is a narrow bridge full of dangers in front of us that we must cross. In the face of this fear I say remember the things we love about what we do, and this danger will fade away.

But don’t look down either! We have climbed a long way up and that fear can freeze us in our tracks.

And so I wish all of us a new year free of fear. God knows we are aware of the dangers out there, but a team working in unison with focus will make it across to the other side.

I wish you all happy holidays and a healthy new year.

About the Author
Barak is Managing Partner of F2 Venture Capital. Previously, Barak was a Partner at Genesis Partners and led three startups in Europe and Israel as Co-Founder & CEO. Barak started his career in the Technology Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Morgan Stanley and served in an infantry paratroop brigade of the IDF. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from Georgetown University.
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