To Own Inherited Fear: Responsible Jewish Leaders

This morning I heard a very sad thing that a home and restaurant in the Makhrour area in Beit Jala was demolished. This hit me hard. It is so beautiful there. I felt my system close because the grief that was coming up felt too large to feel in that moment. Now back at home I can revisit the feelings and see how much sadness there is. This made me think how much we need to defend ourselves and block ourselves from feeling in order to have exposure to the news of the varying degrees of difficult and painful and cruel things that humans are doing to other humans. 

And I started thinking about how in order to create responsible leadership here and elsewhere we need to spend a lot of energy resourcing ourselves and creating resourced people who can make decisions from an expansive place and not from a fear-based place. When we are not resourced then we are more prone to react in fear. What does it mean to be resourced? To be able to have a clear unencumbered vision fully grounded in a body that feels deep safety and wellbeing. 

When we have fear in our systems then we are able to be manipulated and influenced easily when others act out of fear. This happens with political leaders.   It happens in our family systems. It shows us how it can be dangerous for us to have fear because it cuts us off from feeling and from a sense of connection. And our fear gets triggered by others fear and so on. And when there is no-one in the system as a circuit breaker it just keeps bouncing back and forth and multiplying. We are actually perpetuating our own fear and suffering.

If we reduce and release the fear we are carrying then we are less susceptible to to being manipulated by other people’s fear. We can see it more clearly. We can see how it doesn’t make sense to hurt other people. We can be the circuit breakers.

When we acknowledge that there is also fear is inside us and stop projecting it ALL on the outside— even if there are really scary things also happening on the outside— something shifts in the system. We have taken responsibility for ourselves. When we have the courage to change our role in the dance, the dance changes.

We are all leaders. What we do makes a difference to other people. The state of our being impacts others. The fear we are carrying impacts others. We may be so removed from it through layers of protection and we may not know. We may just have some symptoms. We could have enough of a spread of subtle symptoms that we may live and die and not know that we were carrying trauma.

But at the same time we will not have tasted life to the extent that we can taste it once we open up. And yet, protection also needs to be respected. We can’t play the gods. We can just chew off what we chew off. 

Whether we are leading our families, other people’s children in schools, organisations and companies, we can create change by taking the responsibility to clear our system of fear. We all actually form one system. As long as we are blaming anyone else for the state of our internal system- or for any other problem in the world- we are actually stripping ourselves of the power to make any change.

Owning our full power. No one left behind.

About the Author
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Rabba Dr Melanie Landau has 20 years of experience in guiding individuals and groups in transformative processes.and cultivating the sacred. She is committed to the creativity and vitality of a living breathing expansive Torah. She is a couples therapist, empowerment coach and group facilitator. She can be reached on: