Leap of faith: To believe in something or someone based on faith rather than evidence; an attempt to achieve something that has an uncertain outcome.
The Danish philosopher Kierkegaard used the expression leap of faith as a metaphor for religious belief in God.
He argued that God was spiritual rather than physical and was completely separate from the material world of man. G-d could not be understood through logic alone but must have faith to understand G-d.
When Moses led the Israelites to the Red Sea after leaving Egypt, the Egyptian army gave chase, after Pharaoh regretted letting them go.
They were frightened, looking at the world through slaves’ eyes. Their master’s chariots and soldiers were right behind them. Pharaoh sent 6,000 chariots after Am Yisrael!
The commentator Ibn Ezra mentions that after all those years of humiliation and servitude,” their minds became depressed and servile.”
Moses reassured the people and told them that G-d is with them and they will never see the Egyptians again.
Some of the people had faith and prayed to G-d, and some were uncertain and complained to Moses. The Israelites then walked right into the sea.
While our leaps of faith are probably less dramatic than the Exodus from Egypt, we may feel uncertain in our decision making
Recently a friend of mine told me about wanting to make a job change and feeling uncertain about it.
His wife told him to “take a leap of faith. If you fail, at least you will have tried. If you don’t do it, you’ll always wonder what would have happened if you tried.”
By opening ourselves up to new experiences, we can potentially benefit and grow. This sometimes requires a leap of faith.
Mindfulness practice can help us be more open to new experiences, but unlike a leap of faith, mindful based stress reduction IS evidence-based.
MBSR is backed by a wealth of research that shows how effective
Mindfulness is an effective treatment for psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression (Khoury, 2013), and it is beneficial in managing chronic pain conditions (Anheyer, 2017).
It has also reduced mortality by 41% in cardiac rehabilitation patients, (Linden, 1996).
Out of 71 analyses and systematic reviews on the PubMed database, 56 showed a positive effect on symptom management, mental health, or quality of life.
If you would like to be more open to and accepting of life's experiences, navigate the uncertainty around us, and manage daily challenges and stress, I invite you to learn mindful meditation.
I offer live courses in Jerusalem, online courses, and individual sessions.