Fear Factor

When you forget your wife's birthday...

Comments (17)

(17) Michelle Malcha brucha winter, December 1, 2007 10:04 AM

forget wife's birthday

I thought this was funny, warm ,
scary and true.
My husband and I just watched it.
We love each other and we love that we met you.!
You are an amazing speaker.
call me
416 398 7571
good Chanukah shobbos
i live in toronto.
We are a young couple
looking for young couples to go out with
and we pray we can have a baby one day

(16) Sharon, November 24, 2007 7:52 PM


I could say the same thing to each of your video clips. Just great - thought provoking and full of "ah-ha" moments. I loved the connection to parenting in this clip.
Keep up the good work.

(15) Carol, November 23, 2007 12:54 AM


Lori I think that you are fabulous! Each one of your messages is short, to the point and always make me think. You are a tremendous inspiration to me as a mom, wife and soul who longs to bring all honour to G-D. Any chance of getting you messages compiled onto a DVD - would love to share you wisdom with those who do not have access to internet.

(14) Yossi, November 23, 2007 12:29 AM

A great presentation of a difficult idea!

A great presentation of a difficult idea!

(13) Yisroel Pollack, November 22, 2007 5:37 PM

An Unfounded Reduction

Mrs. Palatnik tch"y,
It's not for me to insinuate myself into the goings on between you and your husband, but if what you imagine is true and his regret in the incident was founded on fear and not on love, there must be something terribly the matter, because just look at you! What's not to love? But apart from that, I have to say I'm not in cahoots with your reconceptualization of yiras shamayim in such a radically novel way, which only dilutes the imperative and robs it of its true meaning, by which it is an aspect of Reverence rather than of Love. Any cursory examination of the classical works of the Balei Musar will attest to this and make it plain that what you've done is to sugar-coat the true essence of the obligation, as if to make it palatable to the unmotivated or otherwise disenfrachised from authentic observance and adherence to the commands. Not only that but this whole talk of being in a 'relationship' with, as it were, the A-lmighty Himself smacks of making concessions to New Ageism, which is to be fiercely resisted. It's a shame, because I know you mean well and are a source of great inspiration to countless souls yearing for spiritual sustenance. And deservedly so, I might add. This infelicity has to be accounted nothing more than a minor lapse of judgment and not as something that should deter any of us from paying you the utmost respect and gratitude for all you do, week in and week out. With this thought do I herewith conclude my sincerest ruminations on this subject.
Kal tuv,

(12) suzy, November 22, 2007 3:13 PM

Chaya, Lori is very understanding of her husband. Her point was about what is fear of G-d? Her analogy is that just like when a spouse does something, like forget his wife's b-day, he's not afraid she'll do something to him, he's afraid of hurting the relationship. - She understands he's busy, and she doesn't get upset, but if more and more situations happen, it could take a toll on the relationship. So too with G-d, if we make a mistake, He is understanding. But if we continue the mistake without improving ourself, it could have a negative impact on the relationship.

Aish, if I can't post this 2nd comment, pls tell chaya for me.

(11) Nechama, November 22, 2007 11:26 AM

Keeping G-d's commandments out of love is certainly the highest and best degree. However,very few human beings reach it. Fear of G-d means fearing divine punishment. I don't see the point in watering it down.
Of course, when we sin, we tarnish our souls and get further away from Hashem which makes it harder to come back. This is an additional punishment.
I think your approach makes readers feel that it's not so tragic to transgress. That's a shame.

(10) Chaya Almost Dead, November 22, 2007 12:14 AM

At least you have a husband, Lori

Give him a break. Big deal. He forgot your birthday. Get over it. You're not G-d.

(9) Anonymous, November 20, 2007 1:38 PM


i don't get it. why is your husband afraid of damaging your relationship? did his forgetting in fact do so? if not, why? because you said it was ok? what were the emotions really?
are these really the feelings that come into play when we are in awe/fear of G-d?

(8) terry, November 20, 2007 10:08 AM

Now I understand-

Lori- thanks. So enjoyed your talk in Berkeley and these short weekly film clips just emphasize your excellence as a teacher in all mediums. You add to my day each time I tune in. Be well

(7) Ruth Housman, November 20, 2007 9:59 AM

dis appointments

Hi, it's interesting to me the topic is fear because what happens when I forget a birthday, which is about my expression of love, then I am disappointed in myself for this omission. This is not about fear but about my giving pleasure to someone I love and this can be a spouse, a child, a relative or friend. I am more angry with myself than fearful. If I fear anything it is disappointing those I love but I would say that fear is not the operative word. We all forget important things and it is the fact they ARE important to us, that is so upsetting.
Maybe I fear forgetting. This could be the only way I could put fear into this equation. It's about LOVE!

Now surely those whose birthdays are not immediately celebrated, well they have disappointment, too. But we are human and this is a human thing. We do our best to bumble through.

I think God recognizes this. We are imperfect and as a teddy bear with a torn ear or missing buttons is loveable, so are we all, for all our little faults!

(6) Esther, November 20, 2007 8:42 AM


Lori, You never cease to amaze me. You have such an incredible way of just saying things... Makes complex issues so simple! Thanks for putting some spirituality into my day! Chazak V'yamotz

(5) Benjamin, November 20, 2007 8:35 AM

Extraordinarily Helpful Explanation

I have been listening to explanations about fearing G-d for 18 years and never heard it explained in such a clear, discernable manner. When we think of "lower level" fear (i.e. G-d is going to punish us by doing this or that), I've almost felt like the relationship is reduced to something on the level of pure luck (i.e. if I do this something bad might happen to me). By addressing fear in the context of a loving relationship with G-d, I can understand that yes, something bad could happen to me -- I could alienate my soul from G-d.

By the way, am I the only one who thinks that Lori is channeled into the essence of our faith with a unique ability to teach -- or at least give a meaningful introduction -- to complicated subjects in such a straight-forward manner? Always great -- always relevant in our daily lives. Thanks so much!

(4) Merritt, November 18, 2007 8:33 PM

Best ever

That explanation of the Fear of God is the best I have ever heard. I am not Jewish I am evangelical Christian but this is a question I have long struggled with. Thank you so very much!!!

(3) suzy, November 18, 2007 6:02 PM

thank you

thanks for explaning it so well that the fear is about ruining the relationship.

(2) Rosen, November 18, 2007 11:09 AM


Fearing G-d is okay, since it gives us a better conscience in knowing that every action has consequences, both equal and opposite.

(1) Anonymous, November 18, 2007 10:24 AM


Thank you Lori. You are an unbelievable motivator. Thank you for having such a positive impact on my life.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive Weekly Spirituality Emails

Sign up to our Spirituality Newsletter.

Our privacy policy