web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


REFOCUSING THE PRAYER EXPERIENCE

God, Are You Threatening Me?

God Threatening Me

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

I am not suggesting selective prayer, nor am I endorsing an escape from the uncomfortable, just because it’s uncomfortable. Rather, this is a nod to the reality of our emotions. Today, fear tends to alienate, rather than precipitate change. A message of love, forgiveness, and compassion inspires. Both themes can be found within the liturgy –we select our focus. The decision of where to invest concentration, limited, even for the best of us, will determine if some of us leave our seats disheartened, or with the auspicious taste of a sweet New Year.

Hannah Dreyfus is a junior at Stern College for Women, double majoring in journalism and Judaic studies. She is managing editor of The Observer, official newspaper of Stern College, and hopes to pursue a career in journalism.

About the Author: Hannah Dreyfus is a junior at Stern College for Women majoring in journalism. She currently works as managing editor of the YU Observer and an editorial intern for The Jewish Week. Her work has appeared on Aish.com, The Times of Israel website, and in The Jewish Press. She hopes to pursue a joint degree in journalism and law.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “God, Are You Threatening Me?”

  1. Shira Leff says:

    I never viewed Nesaneh Tokef as a threat. I think of it more as a catalyst for stripping through our facade of self-sufficiency to allow us to realize that really G-d is in control. With that framework, we can more easily feel the awe and the significance of the Yamim Noraim in general, and of the impending judgement in particular. Through our realization of our dependence upon G-d (He does, after all, ultimately decree 'who will live and who will die'), we come to a state of deep love for Him.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So I disagree. Its not that we don't respond to fear – you are just not scary enough. They don't believe that you will follow through. They know their parents will back them up and if you send them home a week early it is you who will not be there next summer. Ahava (love) is great – but bypassing Yirah (fear) leads to a distorted view of Ahava.

    In the movie "A bronx tale" the following dialogue takes place…the kid asks the gangster "Is it better to be loved or feared?" to which the gangster (played by the great Chazz Palminteri): "It's a good question. It's nice to be both, but it's difficult. If I had my choice, I would rather be feared. Fear lasts longer than love."

    While obviously love of Hashem is the ultimate goal – without the respect that comes from fear, however, – you are just deluding yourself.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
David Menachem Gordon
On the first Yahrzeit of My Heroic Nephew: David Menachem Gordon (Zt”l)
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

An impressive group of counselors and staff members are providing the boys and girls with a summer of fun and Torah learning and a lifetime of wonderful memories.

South-Florida-logo

Rabbi Sam Intrator recently led a summer program in Williams Island, located in Aventura. The event focused on how to find spiritual joy in Judaism. The rabbi cited biblical and Talmudic teachings, ancient Temple rituals, and the words of prayers to establish the role that love and positive thinking have in Torah values. Rabbi Intrator […]

South-Florida-logo

The Iranian deal was sealed on July 14, four and a half months after Netanyahu’s visit. The details of the agreement were shocking and worse than anyone had imagined.

There are so many toys available for newborn to age 5, but how do you choose?

In 1939, with life getting harder for Jews, she and several friends decided it was time to make aliyah, and applied at the Palestina Amt for permits.

I am not sure how many of you readers have had this experience, but I did and it truly tested the limits of my sanity!

Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.

We studied his seforim together, we listened to famous cantorial masters and we spoke of his illustrious yichus, his pedigree, dating back to the famous commentator, Rashi.

Jews who were considered, but not ultimately selected, include Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, Anne Frank, and Barbra Streisand.

More Articles from Hannah Dreyfus
Dreyfus-022213

I have two homes.

My first home is Connecticut, a place of rustling oaks and sprawling backyards. My second home is Israel.

My relationship with social media is and remains an ambivalent one. Unlike many of my peers, I did not initially embrace social media, from its beginning stages with AOL instant messenger and proceeding quickly on to MySpace and Facebook.

While fear used to motivate, even inspire, mine is a generation that views threats as challenges and raises a skeptical brow at austere ultimatums. Reverence often seems a throwback to old times, and absolute authority, whether in classroom or in the synagogue, is a concept increasingly more difficult to swallow. As a counselor at an Orthodox Jewish sleep-away camp this past summer, I witnessed this phenomenon first hand. I worked with forty teenage girls, ages 15 and 16, and quickly discovered the most dependable way to get nothing done: threats.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/god-are-you-threatening-me-refocusing-the-prayer-experience/2012/09/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: