My almost-three-year-old twin grandsons came running inside calling for “Bubbe.” I couldn’t understand what they were jabbering about, but they were practically breathless. My daughter Elkie was able to interpret that they wanted to show me the hentie, Yiddish for “hand.”

Together, Betzalel and Levi pulled me out the front door of their house and led me down the street to a parked car. There was an arm hanging out of the trunk.

“It’s There was an arm hanging out of the trunk not real—look!” I assured them with complete, adult confidence. As I moved closer to touch it, the twins screamed in terror.

I must admit that my heart skipped a tiny beat when I picked up and squeezed the hentie; it was lifeless, but eerily complete with knuckles and fingernails. It took me a split second to remind myself that I had nothing to fear

“See? It’s not real!” I repeated, shaking the hand up and down.

Both boys inched toward the car and tapped the hand, first one twin, then the other. Thrilled by their own bravery, they each gushed, “Not real!” and “Me touch it!” all the way home.

I wondered what their young minds processed. Were they scared that the arm belonged to a person stashed in the trunk, or were they just troubled by the sight of an arm without a body?

I tried to explain to them that we don’t have to be afraid of things that aren’t real, but as I was about to say that we only have to be afraid of things that are real, I stopped myself. Instead I told them firmly, “You’re Jewish, so you don’t have to be afraid of anything except Hashem (G‑d).”

It was a bold statement, I admit. I figured they will get plenty of lessons on what they need to be careful with in the physical world, whether it’s crossing the street or talking to strangers; everyone knows that protecting our bodies comes first. But I wanted to strengthen their spiritual world, which is why I still talk about seeing the hentie and what we learned from it.

I do that in order to remind myself as well. So that all three of us can remember that the physical world is a vehicle, but never an obstacle, to serving G‑d. (The fact that these two boys look like they’re on their way to being built like linebackers is beside the point; they need to understand that a Jew’s true strength is spiritual, not physical.)

G‑d Only recently has fearlessness taken root in my soulwilling, these boys will get a Jewish education that also inculcates “fearlessness.” Fearlessness that grows from learning that G‑d created the world as a vehicle for Torah and the Jewish people. Fearlessness that stems from knowing that G‑d has a “desire” for His “Chosen People,” and that everything we see in the world is an outgrowth of this love, a love that will be fully expressed in the messianic era. Fearlessness that comes from understanding that G‑d is not just with them, but in them.

I had to wait until I was an adult to learn about life from this perspective; only recently has fearlessness begun to take root in my soul. And even when I am feeling fearless, I often find myself asking what I should do with it.

The good news is that it’s a new year. G‑d is adding more light to the world, making it easier for the fearlessness within every Jew to surface. It’s available to all of us, if we aren’t afraid to access it.