September 2, 2011
Kosher Sutra: Scaredy-Cat (Shoftim)
Kosher Sutra: “Let him go and return to his house, that he should not cause the heart of his brothers to melt, as his heart.” (Deut 19:8)
Bibliyoga Focus: Banish fear, breathe in the light.
If Klinger had been in the Biblical army of Israel he wouldn’t have had to go such sartorial lengths, but would have been sent straight home. Our Kosher Sutra comes at the end of a list of people who don’t need to go to battle: those who have just built a house, planted a vineyard, recently betrothed a woman but not consummated the relationship…or are just plain scared.
Nachmanides explained that this wasn’t just a suggestion or an easy get-out clause; it was a commandment! If you don’t want to fight, we don’t want you in the army. He went deeper to explain that this potential soldier is a spiritual and physical liability because their fear represents a lack of ultimate faith in God and as a result they could actually help us to lose a battle by weakening the spirits of other soldiers.
This month is a period of intense spiritual growth, punctuated by the psalm “God is my light…who shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1). We focus on revealing and seeing Divine Light and reducing fear. If we allow just one fear to drive us, we can weaken our internal system. Everybody knows somebody who spends their life avoiding the pursuit of their dreams because they are held back by fear.
Just as the fearful soldier was banished from the army, we need to banish these fearful thoughts and be open to receiving the Light from beyond.
Marcus is the president of the Jewish Yoga Network, artist-in-residence for Jewlicious Festivals, and creator of Bibliyoga. Sign-up to receive your free Kosher Sutra.
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