Yoseph Janowski
By the Grace of G-d

When the World Seems Scary

Should we panic? Fear? Despair? Or should we feel optimistic, calm, confident.

When it seems scary, the words of King David (Psalm 23) come to mind: “Even as I walk in the valley of death, I won’t be afraid, for You are with me,” He was constantly in danger, yet his trust in G-d carried him.

I remember the Yom Kippur War. I was in New York, and instead of feeling panicked and fearful, we followed the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s directive to fulfill the Mitzvah of being happy on the holiday of Sukot. The Rebbe quoted the Baal Shem Tov’s explanation on the words (Psalms 121; 5) “G-d is your shadow,” that just as a shadow does what the person does, similarly G-d does what we do. So when we are happy, G-d also manifests happiness, and does miracles for us.

Later, the Rebbe talked about the miracle of the war. Egypt had broken through Israeli lines at the Suez Canal, and there was nothing to stop them from proceeding to Tel Aviv. Yet they stopped, giving Israel the opportunity to gather their forces and counter attack.

The Rebbe said that World War Two had offered a clear military lesson, when Germany broke through the Maginot Line and continued on, and only later did they return to mop up the rest of the line. Egypt could have done the same. But G-d confused them, allowing Israel time to regroup.

I learned from that experience and many others, that in scary times, instead of despair, we have the ability to strengthen our trust in G-d, and to carry on with joy and confidence in G-d to miraculously save us.

I was a young Yeshiva student, but the Rebbe’s teaching inspires till today.

About the Author
The author lives in Toronto, Canada. He has written for
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