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When I Am Besieged With Insecurity . . .

When I Am Besieged With Insecurity . . .


I find that I’m in the same situation once again, and it depresses me. That’s right, once again I feel attacked by an anxious feeling of “How are we going to make it this month? How are we going to pay for the basics: rent, food, utilities, tuition?” I don’t know . . . maybe now ourLike so many people I know, we’re struggling financial situation really is worse. Or it’s the same, but there are more expenses? We’re so careful, and we try so hard, and like so many people I know we’re struggling. Really struggling. But that’s not even what makes me feel so low, and that’s actually not what I’m talking about when I say that I’m in the same situation, when I say that I feel like I’m under attack, under siege.

The same situation is a cycle of worry and fear that seems endless. I tell myself, “Elana, come on! Again, with the insecurities? The doubts? Where’s your faith? How many times does G‑d have to prove to you over and over again how much He takes care of you and loves you? How many women do you talk to about faith and growth and healing? Where’s your faith and growth and healing?” And then what comes next as part of this cycle? Guilt. That’s right, complete and totally unproductive guilt.

I’m bombarded. I feel like I’m under attack. There’s worry on one side. Fear and anxiety on another, mixed with guilt.

And it’s not just in this area. It’s sometimes in others.

I make a mistake with my children. “Again, Elana? Again, you got frustrated and angry? Can’t you just be more patient?”

Maybe I said the wrong thing at the wrong time, and I did it once again. Maybe I was too quick to judge or too quick to feel hurt.

And what goes on inside my brain? I feel terrible. Which can be good if it motivates you to change. But if the feelings are continuous guilt, worry, anxiety . . . I don’t know about you, but for me, it causes me to freeze. It makes me feel like I’m stuck in quicksand. Is this really what G‑d wants from me? No, of course not.

So, what does He want?

He wants me to call out to Him and ask Him for help. He wants me to understand that I’m not perfect; He is. My job isn’t to be perfect, but it is to keep walking. To walk?

For years, G‑d sent Israel prophets to warn Israel about the impending destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple, and to encourage them to mend their ways. Very few listened. Same behaviors, same patterns. No change.

Then what happened? On the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tevet, in the year 3336 from Creation (425 BCE), He allowed the armies of the Babylonian emperor, Nebuchadnezzar, to lay siege to Jerusalem. That’s right. Jerusalem was surrounded. Nothing in, nothing out. For two-and-a-half years, 30 months! Jerusalem held out. G‑d sent his faithful prophet Jeremiah during the siege to continue to call out to Israel to change. But Jerusalem was surrounded. Not only by the Babylonian army, but by their own thoughts, “I am who I am. I’m not going to change.” The army didn’t budge, but neither did they.

It started with a siege and ended in destruction.

So what does He want? What is He waiting for? When will the Redemption come?

The prophet tells us, “If you go in My ways and keep My charge I will make you walkers among these standing ones” (Zechariah 3:7). The commentators explain that the “standing ones” is in reference to angels (Rashi, Metzudat David).

I haveWe’re not supposed to be angels been taught by my mentors and teachers that we’re not supposed to be angels. We walk, sometimes forward, sometimes backwards. We fall, we make mistakes, we make bad choices. We don’t do anything wrong, but we worry, we’re afraid, we’re anxious—and that in itself holds us prisoner and holds us back. What’s our mission? To be an angel who stands? Not at all. Our mission is to move forward, even with the falling, to ask G‑d for help and to walk.

I read this beautiful line of the prophet and felt so much relief. I’m not supposed to be perfect! It’s OK if I make mistakes, or have doubts or worries! What do I have to do? I call out to G‑d for strength, and I ask Him to help me. I might have these challenges my entire life, and that’s OK as long as I’m trying and moving, as long as I’m growing and walking. As long as I believe and know that He’ll help me.

And then what? There is hope. There is change. There is the lightness of Redemption in the darkness.

Originally from northern California and a Stanford University graduate, Elana Mizrahi now lives in Jerusalem with her husband and children. She is a doula, massage therapist, writer, and author of Dancing Through Life, a book for Jewish women. She also teaches Jewish marriage classes for brides.
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From Alexandria Alexandria December 31, 2017

To Anonymous in Albuquerque
HaShem hears you always!!! As I read some weeks ago "Every prayer of the heart is answered. It's the packaging that doesn't always suit our taste." Reply

Mike December 31, 2017

I’m male and go to chabad in sat bch fl. I am always reading positive self help ideas. You understand mortals and Hashem so well. Keep on walking Reply

LusiaShindelman CA. December 30, 2017

Thank you . I have moments and I plead to God!
He always help! Reply

Sheva BC December 29, 2017

Beautiful Elana. So inspiring.
Thank you! Reply

Geneva Lewis California December 29, 2017

Thank you! Beautifully written, a message we can all relate to. Inspiring. Reply

Anonymous Midbar Yehuda December 28, 2017

Once again you have expressed beautifully the sentiments of many. Thank You. In Tanya we learned with Rabbi Gordon at that sadness should be supplanted by a bitterness to evaluate whether we have gone "off track" then return to the right Derech. (Then,) if we have become joyful, as a result we will certainly feel freed from any bad thoughts and be assisted in serving leshma. By thinking about good it is promised that we will see the good and since we are where our thoughts are, all is good.

As we are challenged with redoubled darkness (the Rebbe wept at a farbrengin),
That the son (we), are looking for Our Father-Hashem. He is in hiding (according to the Maggid of Mezritch's anecdote). And day after day we look for Him amidst the darkness...and as the Rebbe wept saying Sunday he looks, Monday he looks,...
The Rebbe looks, we turn to GD to help us look...does the son give up looking?
We are blessed through YOUR thinking good thoughts to find Him. It helps us All
Your looking Reply

Yochanan Cheltenham December 28, 2017


What is written is very true, but what about the Torah Words

Be Still and know that He Is G-d

Yisrael was waiting with Moses at the Yam Suf and they too were surrounded, but what did they do, they waited till the Miracle of Salvation was there.

Sometimes we need to think in Miracles, because they do happen, but we need to be ready for them.

What if a Miracle was too happen when your in trouble.

Sometimes we need to move, other times we need to just wait. Learn to read the situations and if you cannot then ask G-d.


yochanan Reply

Orit Cohen Natick, MA December 28, 2017

If you take Challah that is a segal for parnassa Reply

Peninah Brazil December 28, 2017

😍🙈👌🏻Thank You! Reply

Deborah Eltis Montreal December 27, 2017

I love Elena Mizrahi!
Everything she writes is a pleasure to read! Reply

Perla January 4, 2018
in response to Deborah Eltis:

Yes. Me too!
Her writing is fantastic. Reply

Pamela Rhoten LOWELL December 26, 2017

i needed this...thank you! Reply

Lilian Chile December 26, 2017

Todah Rabah Elana for sharing this insight... it was like a message I needed to read and understand :)
Shalom!! Reply

Anonymous Albuquerque December 26, 2017

I’m glad Hashem answers you. He is deaf to me. I don’t think Hashem ever listens to me. I daven and ask for healing, and what happens? My health gets worse. I also try not to yell at my husband when he irritate# me, yet no matter how much I ask Hashem for help. The answer is NO! Or I wonder if He even is listening to me. Why doesn’t Hashem listen to me and help me? I give up. Why bother to even ask! Reply

Binyamin Sacramento December 29, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Why do we pray?

Some say HaShem does not need our prayers at all, but we do. Yes, we need our own prayers. Davening-or even praying 'free hand, so to speak, for the things we need-is really more for us than for Him. After all, He knows what we need before we ask.

So, what to do when feeling as you do, when your prayers don't seem to 'work'?

When troubled, I say Tehillim and lift up myself to him, rather than lift up an overt "this is what I want" prayer. And this is also what I do if someone asks me to pray for him/her for healing or any other need: I say Tehillim in the merit of that person.

By offering up Tehillim rather than asking for express desires, I focus on HaShem while yet refraining from directing Him as to what He should do.

If you haven't tried praying Tehillim, I hope you will try. If you don't understand or cannot read Hebrew, it is perfectly acceptable to pray Tehillim in your native language.

Hope this helps a bit. Reply

Jessica Tucker Oklahoma City December 31, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I’m listening. I’m so sorry you’re hurting. Reply

Sj Oklahoma December 31, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

To anonymous Dear one - I see your anger and hurt. I can only say I have also been at a point where circumstances felt hopeless and I felt alone. Looking back I know G-d never failed me. He promises He will never leave or forsake us. I don’t know what you are facing but please don’t give up. G-d is with you, and sometimes you just start by being thankful to Him for the good you do see. And soon the good will be more than you ever imagined. Remember the joy of G-d is your strength, so draw near to Him. I am speaking from experience and will pray you hear soon. Shalom. Reply

Anonymous December 31, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Not only do I ask G-d for help, I ask Him to help me hear Him. I believe He is always helping us. Maybe not the way we want or think it should be. He knows best and when to make things happen. I also think we are participants in our life. We have to take steps forward with Him. I know that I feel better when I jog/walk and eat healthy. I put on weight and feel badly when I don't. G-d has given me a path. If I don't jog/walk or eat well, and therefore feel badly, that is on me, not G-d. He gave me a positive path to move forward on. He did His job. I have to do mine, and no, it isn't easy for me. Make sure you are doing your part. Just make one adjustment for the next 3 weeks. Just one! And have more gratitude, even if it's just for shelter and food. Reply

Yochanan December 31, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Shalom Anon,

it is the same for me, the more i Daven the worse things seem to get, at least for me, or at least that how it seems.

i learnt to accept much when i read about Viktor Frankl and so many prayed to be saved from the evil at that time in the camps but it seemed that many prayed in vain, but did they. We are told that what we want for ourselves we must Daven that others have this as well.

Viktor always helped others and he also accepted unconditionally his situation. He survived. He wasn't spared the suffering etc, he went through all this, but he did survive and why, because he had Emunah that G-d had reasons for why he and others were there, even though he didn't know what these were. He Trusted that G-d did.

We must keep believing in G-d no matter what it seems around us. This is the miracle of Yam Suf, keep believing that G-d is there with you even if you don't seem to get any reply.


yochanan Reply

Anonymous January 1, 2018
in response to Anonymous:

That is not true G-d listens to you even if you don't feel like he does. He will never abandon you. G-d promises he will always be with us and he will never forsake us. Reply

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