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Attitude

This is a slightly different note than most.

When I was a certified flight instructor, I had to teach students everything concerning flight: the workings of the airplane; the instruments; navigation; correct radio procedures; and how to recover from emergencies.

When teaching a student how to fly using instruments only, I would place a 'hood' on their head which restricted their vision to straight ahead. They had only their instruments to determine correct positioning of the aircraft- straight and level. The instruments they would use were primarily the heading indicator, altitude indicator, rpm, and attitude indicator. The primary instrument to focus on was the attitude indicator which showed the airplane's pitch (nose up or down) and whether it was in a turn or  wings level.

When the student was wearing the hood I would have them look down to their lap and do a lot of crazy maneuvers and increase and decrease the prop speed. Done simultaneously the actions would confuse the senses. I would leave the airplane in an odd configuration and the student was to look up and using the instruments to return to proper straight and level flight and a predetermined heading.

Again, the primary focus instrument was straight ahead on the panel - the attitude indicator. This would be done several times during the training session so the student would learn not to trust his senses except sight and to trust the instruments.

As I was walking the dogs today I it was a clear sky and then some clouds rolled in. This reminded me of flying and while I may have taken off in a clear sky using visual flight rules getting my primary inputs from the horizon and all my senses, I could find myself in a sky where all I could see was my instruments - my attitude indicator.

I then thought about our day-to day lives and our country. We have been flying along with fairly clear skies. All of a sudden things are clouding up. People are not behaving as in the past. Things are getting bumpy. I cannot rely on my senses anymore. I must rely on my instruments and my training. I must focus on my attitude indicator to stay straight and level.

I love the word yera. It is translated most often as fear - fear of the Lord. Yet I find its other meanings, stay focused on, pay attention to, as being more appropriate depending on context. For instance our whole duty is to 'Fear God and obey His commands.' Or more exacting, 'stay focused on, pay close attention to God and obey His commands. That is our whole duty.' If we focus on Him we will stay straight and level. If He becomes our attitude indicator , we will fly safely through any storm. Focus on Him and His Torah (His flight training) and we will be just fine - a safe flight and happy landing.

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