- Rabbi Michel of Zlotchov once said to his children, “My life was always blessed in that I never needed anything until I had it.”
- Rabbi Rami Shapiro writes: “Aren’t all religions equally true? No, all religions are equally false. The relationship of religion to truth is like that of a menu to a meal. The menu describes the meal as best it can. It points to something beyond itself. As long as we use the menu as a guide we do it honor. When we mistake the menu for the meal, we do it and ourselves a grave injustice.”
- Soon after the death of Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin someone asked one of his disciples what was the most important thing to his teacher. The disciple thought and then replied, “Whatever he happened to be doing at the moment.”
The sense of security is an indispensable need for emotional health. We need to feel secure on several practical dimensions: financial, physical, social, interpersonal, & emotional. We also need to feel secure at a much deeper level—this is called existential insecurity.
The question to ponder is, what is it that can make a person feel secure and protected in the world? Our parents have often been held responsible for developing it in us. The love of a father and a mother creates in the child the feeling of being wanted, filling the child’s world with warmth and loving kindness. In this manner is engendered the sense of security which we all need for a happy response to the rigorous demands of everyday living.
There is no uncertainty that parental love will add to the child’s feeling of security in the world, particularly for the very young child. Yet parental love is an inadequate anchor for emotional security. For our parents are worldly and mortal, and we are bound to lose them. And even while we have them, they do not always offer us enough anchorage in life, for as we grow in emotional and worldly perception, we comprehend that our parents are but finite creatures. We are limited in the resources of wisdom and strength with which to support our own lives. We need another love to bolster parental love if we are to have durable sources of security for living.
The love which time cannot undermine, and which is available to under-gird us in our need for feeling at home in the world, is the love of God. The Holy Quran (2:165) says, “Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides God, as equal (with God): They love them as they should love God. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for God.”
One who recognizes God’s love is psychologically prepared for the arduous business of living. For His sense of security is based on unwavering foundations. The Holy Bible says, “The steadfast love of God endures all the day” (Psalm 52:1.)
During what periods of your life have you felt secure and insecure? How have you learned to live with a certain degree of existential insecurity?