Overcoming Overwhlem: Gevurah in Gevurah

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3 comments posted
Thanks for this post, Shai.

Thanks for this post, Shai. Your articulation of the implications and valances of gevurah was helpful to me today -- I drew on your description of this sefirah in leading davenen this morning.

Thinking about fear as a motivator makes me think about yir'ah, fear/awe. Having just read the akedah again this morning, that takes me to the angel's statement to Abraham, "for now I know you are a God-fearing man" -- Abraham had yir'ah. And Abraham names the place Adonai Yir'eh, "God will see" -- not the same root as yir'ah, I don't think, but there's a kind of homophony at work. So vision/seeing, and fear/awe, get tangled up together in my mind.

I'm not sure fear is a good motivator. But awe is. And so is vision.

Posted by Rachel on April 29, 2008 9:54 AM
Rachel, nice rif on "fear."

Rachel, nice rif on "fear." Good fear/awe go along with humility. And if human culture had a lot more of all of those traits maybe we wouldn't be in the environmental mess that we are in! The connection to seeing rings true as well. There are people who have seen our problems coming. Real bravery is acting when a knife isn't over your head. Abraham's biggest moment of bravery was when he himself held the knife!

Posted by Shai Gluskin on April 29, 2008 3:26 PM
i want to apply Rachel's

i want to apply Rachel's last thought to politics, since your post is mostly in the political vein. Come to think of it, even in a nation's scariest moments, vision trumps fear. (I'm thinking of Churchill and the Battle of Britain and present-day Israel's earliest wars.) Fear sort of compounds a nation's problems. I've never considered this before. Thanks, Shai and Rachel.

Posted by Peter S. on April 29, 2008 11:27 PM