Kosher Sutra: Destroying Fear (Vayigash)

December 12, 2010

Kosher Sutra: “the spirit of their father Jacob revived” (Gen 46:28)

Soul Solution: Banish fear, revive spirits.

Posture: Extended Child’s pose.

Benefit: Reduce Anxiety.

A challenging aspect of human life is that we all experience fear at some point. Many people hide it well. Although it changes over the years from a child’s terror of the monster in the closet, fear can still reside in our hearts. Whether it is financial worries, social concerns or fear of death itself, few people are completely immune.

Our Kosher Sutra is from the narrative when Jacob discovers that his son Joseph is alive (‘Od Yosef Chai’). He instantly resolves to reunite with his son and whilst he is on the journey, Jacob is catapulted into a night time state of prophecy where God tells him not to fear. Jacob is scared for his family and people, that they will never escape the new country to which they are headed. When the Jacob-Joseph reunion finally takes place, the exhausted parent says “I can die now”.

We utilise the tools of yoga to revive our spirits and banish fear. Child’s pose is a great asana (posture) for slowing the body’s flight-or-fight system, for releasing melatonin into the system and reducing anxiety. Standing poses help lift our spirits and strengthen our resolve.

Jacob was fearful for his legacy and was only willing to let go when he knew that his favourite son was safe. That was the point when his ruach, his breath or spirit, was renewed with a powerful force. We have within each of us to find the peace, strength and faith to overcome our fears. When fear is truly overcome, we can sleep without worrying about the monster under the bed and live the life we are meant to lead.


Sink onto your knees and place them hip with apart, sit on your heels, stretch your hands out in front of your with your arms lengthened, and place your forehead on the ground.

You can make the posture more comfortable by placing a cushion or pillow above your heels (ie to sit on), and placing a folded blanket beneath your forehead.

Marcus is the creator of Bibliyoga and President of Yoga Mosaic USA & the Jewish Yoga Network, for Jewish yoga teachers and practitioners. He is teaching weekly yoga classes in Los Angeles, on Wednesdays at 8am-9am and 7.30pm-8.45pm. To book and reserve a place for the ‘Yoga of Kabbalah’ classes, click here:

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.