Timeless Advice From The Baal Shem Tov
Our world has once again been thrown into deep crisis.
The impact is profound as well as it is universal.
The nature and scope of the conflict is still emerging, with as of yet, only minimal visibility.
Arguably since the Second World War, the stakes have never been higher.
The Baal Shem Tov (whose home town and resting place is in present day Ukraine) taught us “The world is our classroom, G-d is our teacher”.
What is startling about this conflict is the gap of leadership qualities between the various sides.
What happened to ‘conviction’ ‘courage’ and ‘sacrifice’?
The world is watching the savage murder of innocent people in real time. Yet nothing is done to prevent the ongoing onslaught.
Yes there are well intended economic sanctions, which no doubt will have an effect sometime in the future.
But what about the continuous daily indiscriminate killings of men, women and children unfolding before our eyes.
If someone was shooting at you, would you rely on economic deterrence?
No doubt the world is afraid of an evil dictator who can unleash unprecedented destruction.
So how do we respond to a seemingly fearless despot?
At the age of five the Baal Shem Tov received this parting message from his dying father.
“Don’t fear man. Only fear G-d”.
He explained, the more one fears man, the less one fears G-d. The two are interconnected.
One cannot have the courage if one does not have the conviction.
If we don’t believe in the sanctity of life we will not make the sacrifice needed to defend life.
If we’re equivocal about moral values we’ll be equivocal about defending them.
Evil at its core is afraid.
It will only be vanquished if it is faced down with a deep conviction in the sanctity of life.
From which will flow the courage and the readiness to make sacrifices.
In real time!