Fear and security


This week’s Torah reading condemns those who consult soothsayers and diviners, trying to quiet their fears by finding out what the future holds in advance (Deut. 18:10).  Instead, the Torah advises us to be “wholehearted with your God” (Deut. 18:13).  What does it mean to be wholehearted in the face of fear?  Fear can narrow our outlook and constrict our choices, closing off our hearts and our minds from the full range of options, and pressing us to act in ways that are at odds with our highest values and our best selves.  The Torah is urging us not to lose our way, to walk through fear with a whole heart, neither denying the reality that we need to protect ourselves nor discarding the values we treasure.  We are judged not by how we act in the easiest of times but by how we react in the most difficult moments.  May we have the courage to bring our whole selves to the task of ensuring our security, even in the face of fear.