5 things you can do right now, to give yourself spiritual protection against the Coronavirus.

Yesterday, I got a text telling me that the Israeli Health Ministry had pinpointed a potential ‘spreader’ of Coronavirus in Baka, the Jerusalem neighborhood where until last week I lived.

I went to check out the Health Ministry website, and saw that a 50 year old woman from NYC who subsequently flew back to the States and then was discovered to have COVID-19 had been all around Baka, and also all around the Mamilla Mall.

The site listed where she’d been on the different days, and told members of the public that if they thought they’d come into contact with this woman, they should ‘self isolate’ at home for 14 days.

So then, I went to check out what ‘self isolate’ actually means, tachlis, and honestly, it was hard to keep a straight face.

The instructions were basically to sit in a ventilated room in your house, come out of it as little as possible, and to wash your hands like a bad case of OCD before and after touching anything. Oh yes, and to wear a facemask whenever you do come out of your ventilated room.

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When I lived in the UK, we went to visit a decommissioned nuclear bunker in the countryside close to London.

This was where HM Government was meant to decamp to in case nuclear war broke out.

It was one of the most interesting places I ever went to, not least because it was screening the ‘propaganda movies’ that the British government was putting out in the 1950s, telling citizens what they should do in the event of a nuclear war.

The basic message was this:

“Draw your curtains, lock your front door, then go and sit under your table.”

Didn’t the British authorities know that none of these things would help a jot, if the Russkies decided to drop a nuke on Old Blighty?

Of course they knew that! But they deliberately put out misleading information encouraging people to ‘sit under their tables’ in order to keep people off the streets if something did trip off, and to give them something to do – however pointless – to help quell that mounting sense of panic.

When I read the Health Ministry instructions yesterday, I caught a powerful whiff of déjà vu.

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So today, I went off to the same bakery in Baka I’ve been going to for two years, that usually has a queue so big on a Friday morning it snakes around a few times – and it was pretty quiet. I went to the health store, that is also usually buzzing Friday morning around their breakfast buffet – and it was also pretty quiet.

I guess half of Baka has decided they need to ‘self isolate’ because that one woman was in the Hadar Mall and Osher Ad, and the rest of the customers have decided to avoid Baka like the plague (so to speak….) until things have calmed down.

Whenever that is meant to be.

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In the meantime, the rubber is really starting to hit the road, with this whole Coronavirus epidemic.

That means that the differences between people who really are trying to have emuna, and who really are holding on to our true tzaddikim, and the people who don’t are about to become very obvious.

Already, some of my kids’ friends are experiencing panic attacks and obsessing over wearing facemasks. Already, some people are starting to stockpile bottles of water, and to buy in six packs of tuna.

But with Pesach barely six weeks away, how much dry goods can you really stockpile anyway? And where are you meant to keep the 90 litres of bottled water you’d really need to keep going for six weeks of chaos? And who is to say that even if you ‘prepped’ like a superstar, and was totally stocked up, that some less prepared people with guns and violent tendencies wouldn’t just come and take it all away, anyway?

Déjà vu. Déjà vu.

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Eleven years ago, back in 2008, when all the banks started to fail, I was deep in my ‘autistics fearmongering’ stage, and I never had less than 36 bottles of water stored somewhere in my house, plus tens of tins of tuna, plus many bags of couscous.

This time around, even tho things are looking like it’s about to get pretty complicated, at least short term, at least in some way, until we see which way this Coronavirus epidemic is really going to swing, I am not stockpiling anything.

Instead, I’m switching my ‘prepping for disaster’ into the spiritual realm, and this is what is in my ‘spiritual survival kit’.

I strongly recommend you also go and put something like this together for yourself, ASAP.

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5 Things That Will Give You Spiritual Protection Against The CoronaVirus

  • A copy of Rabbi Berland’s prayer to be saved from the Coronavirus. You can download it as a PDF here, and I’m also including it here on my site, below, to make this super easy for you. Download it, PRINT IT OFF, so you have a physical hard copy in your home, and say it every day.

https://ravberland.com/wpcontent/uploads/2020/02/coronavirus-prayer.pdf

  • Tikkun HaKlali – there are so many stories of people who saw open miracles in Israel’s past wars, rocket attacks and intifadas, from regularly reciting the Tikkun HaKlali. You can buy one here, or you can get a PDF with English transliteration that you can download and print off HERE.

UPDATE: They took the Tikkun Haklali out of the document because Artscroll complained it was infringing their copyright to transliterate it in that fashion. So, please try THIS version instead – it’s a Hebrew version with an English translation.

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Rabbi Berland just put out a new message asking people to recite 7 Tikkun HaKlalis a day.

I know that’s a lot, but make a commitment to saying at least one – or 3 – or something – every single day, because as I’ve written about previously: we aren’t saying this prayer for the Rav. We are saying these prayers 100% for ourselves. We are the ones who will benefit the most from reciting the Tikkun HaKlali.

  • Make a real effort to improve your mitzvoth bein adam l’chavero. This phrase has the same gematria – 363 – as ‘Corona’ in Hebrew, and was identified by the Rav as being one of the main things that the Coronavirus is coming to rectify.

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Tachlis, that means treating other people nicer.

And the main place to start with this mitzvah is in your own household. How are you treating your spouse? Your kids? Your parents? Your siblings? Are you considerate of other people’s feelings, or are YOU the only one that ever appears in the picture?

How often do you practice bitul, the art of backing down and nullifying what you want or what you prefer, in order to respect someone else’s wishes and free choice? (This is often a huge problem for parents, who can continue to emotionally bully and negate their children well into their adulthood.)

How often do you do a real cheshbon hanefesh, and then apologise for the things that we all say and do, all the time, that hurt other people, even unintentially?

How much tzedaka are you giving out with a happy heart? How much effort are you making to practice Azamra, which is the art of seeing the good in other people, especially our fellow Jew?

And especially ourselves, because people who can’t see the good in themselves, and who don’t like themselves very much, are usually the people who are so very harsh and hurtful to those around them.

Especially their kids, and their spouses.

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  • The next thing in the spiritual toolkit is to work on emunat tzaddikim, and in particular, that means double-checking if you spoke or thought badly of any tzaddik, but especially Rabbi Eliezer Berland.

As you can see HERE, some of the kabbalists in Israel are breaking cover to identify Rabbi Berland as the head of the lamed vav tzaddikim, the 36 holy Jews in whose merit the world continues.

Well-known kabbalists including Rabbi Menashe Amon and Rabbi Amos Guetta have both made statements recently that link the spread of Coronavirus to the treatment of Rabbi Berland, and that also make clear that the Rav is ONLY in prison because he is atoning on behalf of Am Yisrael.

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It’s going to be interesting to watch how this Coronavirus plague starts to operate in Israel, and who it’s going to really affect, because this whole thing is spiritual.

For example, Baka happens to be the stronghold of American Reform and Masorti in Jerusalem, so no big shocker that it’s one of the first places slated for mass quarantine.

But I’ve also heard that chareidi journalists and Israeli prison guards have also already been put into quarantine, as well as generals in the IDF.

They are talking about closing down all of the government institutions this coming week, including courts and prisons, depending on what happens next.

None of this is a coincidence, it’s a direct hint as to who is in the sites of this spiritual virus, and what they might have done to get themselves there.

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The last thing I have in my spiritual toolkit against the Coronavirus is this:

  • Adopt a positive attitude and remember Ein Od Milvado. Sure, I could sit here panicking that the end is nigh, and that total chaos and apocalypse is going to break out any second. But how is that going to help me?

If God wants me dead, He doesn’t need a Coronavirus to do it. I drive in Israel, I live next to a million Arabs on the seam in East Jerusalem. Every day I come back from Route 1 in one piece, that’s a miracle. Every day there isn’t a terrorist attack, a terrorist rocket, a bomb, a stabbing, a ramming incident, that’s an open miracle.

God doesn’t need a germ to kill me.

Also, what I think and believe actually creates the reality.

If I’m panicking 24/7, and believing every little cough is potentially fatal, that is creating that reality for me – and it’s a horrible reality to live.

If instead I adopt a ‘no big deal’ approach to all this stuff – and everything else that’s going on at the moment that could be very worrying and upsetting – then I will come through it all in way better shape emotionally and physically, regardless of what actually happens.

I’m not in charge of the world. God is.

The more I internalize that, the happier I feel.

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So like I said, this whole Coronavirus is going to be a huge test of emuna, and emunat tzaddikim.

It’s going to smoke out the fakers in an obvious way, and it’s going to encourage huge swathes of Am Yisrael to actually stop running away from God, and to sit still and really just be in their lives, for a change.

When you have to spend 14 days at home with your family, with very little distractions, that is bound to show you exactly where the fault lines lie in your relationships and personality.

No more running away into work, or shopping, or exercising, or socializing.

People will just be faced with themselves, and with the true state of their own souls, and with the stark reality that they aren’t in control of anything, however much they hoped and believed different.

And that’s when the real geula magic will start to happen.

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Photo by Ricardo Resende on Unsplash

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The last few days, I’ve been rushed off my feet moving house.

Baruch Hashem, God found us a gem of a rental very close to the Old City, and for only a little bit more than we were paying for the mold-infested place we ended up renting for two years in Baka, after my attempted house purchase went very, very wrong.

What can I tell you?

This is the first house I’ve ever lived in, that I can actually see myself staying in for a very long time… The fact that we’re just renting it, and not buying it, is admittedly a small obstacle to that, but to paraphrase an Uman song, God already brought us this far, and He can for sure take us all the way to that outcome, too.

If He wants to.

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And in the week I’ve been offline….

So much is going on, isn’t it?

We are heading into na’hafochu land, where the upside-down world is about to get tipped on its head, and that blanket that we were warned about a long time ago is getting shaken around a million miles an hour.

One minute we’re up, the next minute, we’re down. One minute it’s all great, fine, wonderful, and the next minute we can be sobbing our hearts out, and feeling like the world really is mamash about to end.

I’ve been whipped around from one emotional to extreme to another non-stop the last few weeks.

But the strange thing is that the very same day that ‘everyone else’ started really panicking about Corona Virus, and economic meltdowns, and war with Gaza, and a million other things…. I woke up feeling better than I’ve felt for a very long time.

True, that was also the day I moved house, and it definitely could be connected.

But also true, that I tend to pick up the energetic ‘vibe’, whatever God is sending down to the planet, 2-3 weeks before everyone else starts to feel it.

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I’ve been feeling pretty bad, since November.

And now, I’m feeling calm and quietly optimistic that the best is yet to come, and that there are going to be some magnificent spiritual surprises in store for Am Yisrael, and those who have been doing their best to hang on to their neshamas in the face of tremendous tests and challenges.

It’s going to come good.

I feel it in my bones.

And I also read a very interesting Likutey Moharan that I thinks links Azamra, or seeing the good in our fellow Jew, with the Corona Virus….

More on that soon, BH, once I’ve unpacked a little more, and have a bit more headspace.

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So hang on, dear reader. Rav Berland told us a long time ago that the lies would have to intensify to the point where none of us have any idea what is really ‘true’ and what is really ‘false’ anymore, before Moshiach will be revealed.

Judging by what’s playing out currently – and all the confusion we’re all feeling in every part of our lives, both public and private – I think we must be very close to that happening.

And that’s when things really start to get exciting.

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While I’m here, I just wanted to send ‘Nachum’ – the fake name, of someone who used a fake email to send me two obnoxious comments about what’s going on with Rabbi Berland, a quick message:

You are a nob.

I tried sending it to his email, but it was fake….

Gotta love that willingness to bravely stand up for your viewpoint, ‘Nachum’. What an awesome warrior for truth and justice you must be. I’m sure you’re making your mum very proud of you. Oh, and maybe up your meds? Just a thought.

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POSTSCRIPT:

After I wrote that small rant, I went and checked up the IP address of ‘Nachum’ – yes I can do that legally – and guess what I learned?

The comments were sent from an email registered to someone called ‘Namad’ in Jerusalem. Namad is an Arab name… (and the print out I got includes their real email and their mobile phone number. See? I can also act like a psycho when I want to.)

And so, the plot thickens. I’m starting to wonder just how many of the psychos out there commenting in all sorts of poisonous ways about Jews are actually not Jews at all, but anti-Semites trying to muddy the waters even more…

It makes you think, doesn’t it?

How many non-Jews have been stirring things up between Jews online by pretending to be kosher ‘Nachum’ from Jerusalem?

I have a feeling all this is going to start getting revealed in some very interesting ways, very soon.

TBC

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Today, I got an email from someone I’m close to who works on the Shuvu Banim website.

It was quite a simple email, hinting that there’s a possibility that the person could be arrested soon, in connection with the ongoing police investigation against the Rav.

My contact wanted to know if I could keep an eye on the English ravberland.com website, if that happened.

What can I tell you? I kind of freaked out.

I got on the phone to find out what’s going on, and I learned that seven of the Rav’s attendants are still being kept in prison – together with the Rav himself – and that another 30 of the people around him are due to be targeted by the police any day soon.

Where am I living?!? Soviet Russia, Pinochet’s Argentina, or a country that prides itself on being ‘the only democracy in the Middle East?

That’s what I was asking myself after that call.

Because when all is said and done, there is no crime involved in telling people they should pay sums of money for a pidyon nefesh, and there is no crime involved in receiving that money.

Everyone has free choice – it’s the whole reason why God created the world – and everyone can CHOOSE to believe what they want, and to give their money to whoever they want.

Rebbe Nachman defined free choice like this:

If you want to do something, you do it.

End of discussion.

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(Btw, if you want more background about the spiritual concept of pidyon nefesh  – as described in the Breslov tradition – you can find that HERE and HERE.)

True, sometimes the pidyonot don’t work out as hoped.

Sometimes, you can go to the best doctor in the world, and then still die on their operating table. Sometimes, you can follow the healthiest diet in the world, and still come down with stomach cancer. Sometimes, you can force-feed yourself mega doses of Vitamin C, and chew powdered turmeric all day, and drink your 3 litres of spring water chased with wheatgrass shots – and still get COVID.

Why?

Because God said.

Because this world is full of hidden tikkunim and loose ends from previous reincarnations that aren’t obvious at all.

Because there are no absolute guarantees in life, except that one day we’ll all die.

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What I want to know, is if the police are happy to go after Rabbi Berland for doing pidyonot, not all of which work, but many of which work miraculously amazingly well, are they also going to start going after all these doctors and their institutions who also make big claims that they can cure people for lots of money?

And if not, why not?

Even in my small bubble, I’ve heard so many stories of patients being charged massive sums by greedy surgeons for operations and procedures that still failed miserably, and often did more harm than good.

Where is the equality, here? Where’s the justice?

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In the meantime, after that call I got a little shaky.

I mean, I’ve written two books about the Rav with my real name on them… maybe that’s also now an arrestable offence in the Soviet State of Israel?

Maybe, putting up blog posts pointing out the obvious persecution, and the obvious foul play and corruption going on in relation to this latest ‘investigation’ into the Rav and Shuvu Banim could also land me in the clink?

Who knows?

If there were real legal rules being abided by here, real laws you could examine and clarify, there would clearly be nothing to worry about. Remember, Israel is the only ‘democracy’ in the Middle East!!!!

One of the few silver linings of this whole horrible situation is that it should be painfully clear to even the most ‘anti’ idiot out there that the Israeli Police are politicized, corrupt, and crossing every legal red line you can think of. If this is not about the pursuit of ‘justice’ – and clearly, it isn’t – then it does get a little stressful, pondering whether writing a book and a blog post could be enough to get me thrown in the slammer too….

Hopefully not.

But I still got a little shaky this morning.

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Sigh.

I wish all this confusion would disappear, already. I wish things would be easier, smoother.

Each day, I’m bowled over by something else to consider, something else to try to birur and clarify, something else to test my emuna and emunat tzaddikim.

I’m tired, God.

And still the madness continues.

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UPDATE:

I just got this via email from someone in Shuvu Banim:

moments ago Rav Berland was removed form the police interrogation room in a stretcher to the emergency room, exact situation not known. He’s been suffering from heart problems… this is the second time he passed out during interigations. the police have him hadncuffed to the hospital bed even after undergoing heart cath. please pray and share the link.

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They’ve started up a chesed fund campaign to try to raise money to free the Rav from the hands of the evil Israeli government – pidyon shvuyim, but it’s beyond crazy that this is happening in the supposedly ‘Jewish’ state.

You can see the campaign HERE – and it has approbations from many big rabbis, if you want a very good cause to donate to.

Man, how much lower can things go? BH, I’m off to the prayer gathering for the Rav at Kever Rochel now, happening at 7pm. Please also say some tehillim, do a tikkun haklali, whatever you can, to add your prayers into the mix. We need all the help we can get, at this point.

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Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

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All of us have so much to be grateful for.

I got the following as part of an email exchange with a friend who reads my blog, and who responded to THIS post, and I decided to share it with you, too.

(It’s a side note, but I’m very happy to put chizzuk and other people’s perspectives up on my blog, when it resonates with me, and I have another reader’s email that I’ll be sharing too, along those lines.)

In the meantime, here’s a different perspective that made my very grateful for all the blessings I still have in my life, despite all the challenges:

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 I know we all have an endless list of wishes, but maybe sometimes we don’t value many good things we have.

Having money to pay for food is a blessing.

Being able to pay a rent without shame, without having to ask anyone without having to go from one place to another with how little or much you have without having to pay a place to put your things, is a great blessing.

 Having a clean, painted house, with a room or two, having a bath with water in your own home is a blessing.

Having a husband who loves you and struggles to be better, to study, to pray, is a blessing.

Having synagogues and Mikvaot near you and your family is a blessing.

Having healthy and intelligent children of you and your husband is a blessing.

Having a car, money for gas, is a blessing.

Having something to work on is a blessing.

Having good health is a blessing.

Living in Israel, going to pray at the Kotel whenever you want, living in a Jewish world no matter how difficult it is to “fit in” sometimes, is a giant blessing.

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My life IS really good, despite the darkness within and without.

Thank You, God.

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The last few weeks (months…) I’ve been fighting a losing battle against apathy and despair.

Most of the time, I feel like life boils down to playing the unwinnable game, where my yetzer is constantly tripping me up and testing me with new circumstances and situations designed to bring out the worst.

The last two months, I’ve just had so many tests to try to stand up, external and internal – and for the most part, I don’t think I managed so well.

The problem is, I seem to have very unreasonable expectations of how things should be, and how things should look, and God for the most part just isn’t giving that to me. I understand that the fault, the error, the problem, is 100% on my side. I also understand that I have a part of me that is a perfectionistic control-freak, and that getting that part ‘sweetened’ is probably at least one of my major tikkunim that I’m down here to do.

But sometimes, I still find day-to-day life just so painful.

It’s not easy to have face down your ‘broken-ness’ every single day, and to have to admit – to yourself, to your husband, to your kids – that you’re actually still a lunatic, despite all your efforts to blossom into something a tad less crazy.

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So, to come back to the last two months.

I’ve been noticing a strange phenomenon in the middle of all the apathy and despair that’s been winning out recently.

The more I can’t ‘do’ it, the more I’m giving up and letting God take over, the more things are starting to work out.

And I’ve seen that in a few different places now, so I wanted to share it as it’s giving me some chizzuk that maybe precisely in this low-down place of giving up, salvation can sprout.

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Three months ago, I gave notice on our apartment, to move out end of February.

The apartment is OK – it’s pretty big, pretty reasonable rent, and it’s in the very ‘comfortable’ neighborhood of Baka, where you hear English and French way more than you hear Hebrew.

The body has been relatively pleased with this apartment, but the soul has been stifling since we got here, and I knew that staying in Baka was not a good option, long-term. But finding a good, affordable apartment in Jerusalem ranks up there with finding the holy grail.

Property developers are slowly destroying this city, and making it a place where only millionaires from abroad who don’t want to actually live here can afford to buy anything. Everything they build is ‘luxury this’ and ‘luxury that’, so they can charge a fortune for it.

So, Jerusalem real estate is increasingly becoming ‘old, dumpy, mold-infested affordable’, or ‘luxury-sell-a-kidney-to-pay-your-rent’.

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Our apartment in Baka was a little dumpy, and a little mold-infested, but otherwise pretty OK.

Places like this are not so easy to find, so I was really nervous when I gave notice. The next few weeks, I kept scanning Madlan, and Janglo, and Craig’s List, looking for a reasonable apartment back closer to the Rav, in or around Musrara.

The only things coming up were in the ‘luxury and unaffordable’ range.

So then, I widened the search out to Rehavia, Shaarei Tzedek and Nachlaot – and strange to say, every single estate agent I contacted seemed incredibly uninterested in showing me any properties. I had one of my kids call up too, and she had the same experience.

In the meantime… the clock was ticking, and I had no-where to move to.

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Two weeks ago, after I got back from Uman, I told my husband:

We just have to give up on trying to live in the neighborhood we want. I’m just going to start viewing apartments all over the place, and see if anything clicks.

Because hey, we aren’t going to find a community wherever we live. And I’m not going to be able to ‘settle down’ for more than a year or two anyway. And instead of looking at all of this as another horrible experience to grin and bear through, I decided I have to stop complaining that I can’t get what I want, and just let God give me what He decides is best.

Shortly after that conversation, something came up in Abu Tor, a neighborhood that I would never have considered in a million years beforehand, and we went to look at it.

It’s the house of my dreams.

It’s two storeys, has a garden I’m allowed to plant things in, they just put in a totally new bathroom, including a bath, and they are in the process of putting in a new kitchen, too, which will be ready before we move in.

I don’t have to sell a kidney to pay the rent, and the landlords are also really nice people.

And that neighborhood is also interesting. It’s green, it’s got a village feel, and a view of Har Habayit that is simply the best in all of Jerusalem.

So, we’re doing the experiment, and we’ll see what happens next.

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Then, there was the whole mortgage fiasco that I wrote about HERE.

We are meant to be completing on the flat we bought in Harish end of the month, and for two months the bank has been telling us they won’t give us a mortgage again.

What could I do?

I think I used up all the tears on this subject the last time it happened, two years ago, so I basically just sank into apathy and told God:

Whatever You want. Mortgage, no mortgage, I don’t even care anymore.

In the meantime, we made some minimum hishtadlut – and three days ago we had a miracle.

A few hours after a friend told me she’d been at the Baba Sali, and had spontaneously said a few prayers for us to get a mortgage, we got a phone call from the bank that they were approving it, after all.

Not only that, they made a mistake and gave us a mortgage 1.5 times bigger than we asked for….

Which means that now, we can look into maybe investing that extra money into something else. It’s a totally unexpected result, and way better than what I was hoping to achieve under my own steam.

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Yesterday, I was at the Kotel with a few hundred other people who came to pray for the Rav.

What can I tell you?

We’re back in the State-sponsored anti-Torah madness that is even more unfair and even more patently evil than the first time around – and I barely have the energy to do anything about it. I made myself go yesterday, even though I was feeling so tired and apathetic about everything.

How are my prayers going to help? How can we stop this evil from winning, all the time? What’s the point in even trying?

But after all the help the Rav has given me, and all the difficulties he’s helped me to smooth out and pass through in my own life, going to the Kotel was the least I could do.

So I got there, and of course there are no seats. After milling around for a few minutes, I decided to go sit on my heels by one of the side walls in the ladies section, as I just can’t recite tehillim with any concentration when I’m standing up.

I told God:

If You want me to have a chair, God, I guess you’ll send me one. And if not, I’m just going to sit here like this and pray, even though it’s a little unconventional, because what can I do?

Half-way through the first tikkun haklali, a middle-aged woman basically ran at me with a chair.

Sit!! Sit!! She shrieked.

You can’t do things like that anymore, think about your knees!!

So I sat.

And I said thank you.

And I started to feel that maybe, this feeling of total apathy and giving things back to God is actually the secret to redemption.

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I’ve tried so hard to ‘fix’ things, in so many ways, over the last few years. So often, I sit here and it seems I don’t have much to show for myself. And honestly, that’s making it very hard to continue.

I’ve had days I don’t feel like doing my morning brachot, I’ve had days where I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I’ve had days where I literally have to force myself to do the things on my list of chores and commitments, because nothing gets anywhere, so what’s the point?

I have so many things to be getting on with right now, from packing up my house to finishing my course, to writing new blog posts, that I have zero urge to engage with.

But maybe, the last two weeks has been proving the theory that it’s exactly when we’re so totally despairing of redemption occurring, that it finally shows up.

I guess we’ll find out.

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Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

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Kicking off 7pm, on Wed 12.2.2020, at the Kotel

UPDATE: THE LOCATION HAS BEEN CHANGED FROM HEVRON TO THE KOTEL, THE TIME HAS BEEN CHANGED TO 7PM

You know, I’m totally knackered at the moment. Today is a little better than it’s been all week, but even though there is so very much stuff going on, I barely have the energy to notice, if you know what I mean.

This is going to be a mish-mash post.

First and most importantly, there is going to be another (hopefully huge….) prayer gathering taking place at the Kotel tomorrow, beginning at 7pm. If you want details on the buses etc, call the Breslov line (it’s in Hebrew – if I get more details in English I’ll update this post):

*9148

Why should you bother going, and making all this effort to get out there and pray on behalf of Rav Berland? What do you care, right? What has it got to do with you, if the Israeli police are ramping up their persecution of the Rav and Shuvu Banim again?

Simple.

We aren’t praying for the Rav when we go to these things, we’re actually praying for ourselves.

We’re the ones that need all the help we can get, all the yeshuot, all the atonement for the billion and one sins we’ve been busy with since the last prayer gathering (just talking for myself of course….).

Personally, I have seen so many things move in my life in a good way, when I make the effort to be part of these prayer gatherings in Hevron. I don’t usually stay longer than an hour, and that’s OK. It’s just the effort to get there, and be part of it, that really counts.

So, come join me!

Unless of course your life is perfect and wonderful right now, in which case, I guess your motivation for trying to get this geula process moved on the sweet way probably isn’t so intense.

====

Next on the list, I got emailed by a journalist from the online news station i24, who wants to potentially interview me about Rav Berland. I have very mixed feelings about doing that, because you can’t trust a journalist as far as you can throw them when it comes to reporting facts about Rabbi Berland.

So, I told him I’m happy to do a live interview that can’t be cut, manipulated or misrepresented.

I’ll be amazed if he still wants to go ahead, but we’ll see.

====

Next, I’ve got the latest shiur for women to share with you, which is about ribui or, or how to cope with all this spiritual light that’s coming down ahead of Moshiach showing up, while still being able to actually function in the world down here.

It’s for women only, password protected and you can see it here:

(I had the wrong link up here, thanks to Rachel and Inna for letting me know. If you try this now, it should work as long as you have the password.)

If you want the password, you can get it by joining the Breslov Ladies mailing list here:

https://peoplesmarts.activehosted.com/f/3

====

Next up, a reader shared the following, and I asked if I could post it up more widely.

They said yes, so here it is:

Message: I woke up this shabbos afternoon and told my wife that I just dreamt of the rav. In my dream I saw him in what resembled the barracks in the concentration camps, he was under his talis and learning a sefer. He asked me, almost rhetorically, “what does the Gemara say about the signs of moshiachs imminent arrival?” (paraphrased)

I tried asking him what Masechet, but did not get an answer. I automatically thought of this gemara:
אמר רבי זירא אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא: “דור
שבן דוד בא קטיגוריא בתלמידי חכמים”

פרש”י: הרבה מסטינים ומלמדים חובה יעמדו
עליהם:

בבלי כתובות

Although I didn’t know the exact source until someone just sent it randomly on a WhatsApp group (which kinda put the icing on the cake and triggered me to send you this.)

Anytime I see the Rav in my dreams, they usually come with amazing significance and personal revelations. I always wake up so uplifted and happy, I know for certain that these dreams are real! On motzei shabbos here in NJ at around 10pm I saw the breaking news that the Rav was arrested and it all just clicked.

====

And the last thing in this mish-mash post is that two days ago, my upstairs neighbor fainted in his apartment. He’s a healthy, young-ish man, so his wife freaked out when it happened.

Two ambulances showed up pronto, and that’s when we discovered that apparently there is a virulent strain of flu currently going around Israel right now, that causes people to faint. Thank God, that’s all it’s doing.

But it was another clear reminder just how much the Rav is actually sweetening everything with this Coronavirus outbreak, and why we need to keep close to him, and keep praying, even though if you feel the way I do right now, you have totally no oomph for anything much.

I’m meant to be moving house again in a couple of weeks, and because I know I’m moving on to pastures new, it’s kinda hard to find the motivation to keep the current place so ordered.

My daughter put is best when I asked her to tidy her room:

I don’t feel like tidying it up now, because I know I have to pack soon anyway, so I’ll just do it all then.

====

====

I think in some way, that’s what is going on with all of us right now, too.

We can feel things are about to change, and that’s part of why it’s so very hard to get on with anything. My brain has been feeling like mush all week. Today, it’s a little better than it’s been, but clearly the amount of ‘stress vibes’ in the air has been tremendous, recently.

But like I told my kid, and like I talk about in the class above, life has to go on, while we’re waiting for Moshiach to show up.  There’s still mitzvahs to perform, people to help, tikkunim to rectify. And we still have to keep going in this world of asiyah, even though that’s coming so hard at the moment.

BH, when my brain grows back a little more, (probably after the atzeret tomorrow at the Kotel) I’ll have a more coherent post for you. But in the meantime, this is what I’ve got. We’ve been round this loop so many times, I have no more energy to even get excited about it all, either way.

====

You might also like this post:

This morning, Rabbi Eliezer Berland was arrested. It’s 100% connected to the CoronaVirus.

Three days ago, on February 6th, 2020, the ravberland.com site posted up an article entitled:

“Rabbi Berland Explains The Spiritual Cause of the Corona Virus.”

That article quoted Rabbi Berland explaining that the Corona Virus n-2019 was:

“[S]preading due to the sins of pgmei habrit, (literally, ‘blemishing the covenant’), and also from the sin of eiver min ha-hai, eating a limb or organ from a live animal.”

The post continued that: [P]eople aren’t connecting the epidemic back to their true cause, i.e. human sins…and continued that if we don’t wake up, that this new coronavirus epidemic could even reach the shores of Israel, lo aleynu.”

====

That post then took an apparently ‘unconnected’ leap over to a quote about when Moshiach ben David is coming, and then mentioned that Rabbi Berland:

“[H]as been returning to the subject of eiver min ha-hai, and connecting it back to the sin of the brothers in slandering and selling the Tzaddik HaDor of their generation, Yosef HaTzaddik.

In a nutshell, the Rav said that the main dispute between the brothers and Yosef was over whether it was permissible for them to eat eiver min ha-hai, or at least, to have the appearance  of that.”

====

Next, that post brought the passage from Likutey Moharan I:83, where Rebbe Nachman said:

“When the Holy One wants to taste the positive mitzvos of a Jew who is a tzaddik, at the moment he is [still] an aspect of a ‘limb from a living [creature],’ (eiver min ha-hai) which is forbidden for consumption, and requires kosher slaughter to make it permissible.

“Therefore, it’s necessary that humiliation, [an aspect of] spilling of blood, an aspect of kosher slaughter, should come upon him.  This purifies the eiver min ha-hai [and makes it permissible].  Then Hashem can taste his positive mitzvos, whether one mitzvah or several mitzvos…”

(I highly recommended you read the whole thing, for context.)

Basically, it’s connecting eiver min ha-hai with the slander and humiliation that the Tzaddik takes upon himself, in order to prevent millions of Jews – and others – from being slaughtered because of deep spiritual tikkunim (rectifications).

This subject was covered in detail in the Knishta Chadar Newsletter from 5777 – almost three years’ ago. At the end of that article in Knishta Chadar, Rabbi Berland explained:

“AND THIS IS HOW THE TZADDIK SAVES THE WORLD FROM TOTAL DESTRUCTION.”

====

In the FOOTNOTES for that piece, it spelled out how ‘Corona’ has the same gematria as ‘eiver min ha-hai’ = 367:

ק=100

ו=6

ר=200

ו=6

נ=50

ה=5

סה”כ 367

=======

אכל אבר מן החי

א=1

כ=20

ל=30

א=1

ב=2

ר=200

מ=40

ן=50

ה=5

ח=8

י=10

סה”כ 367

====

Thursday, February 7th, 2020, the following appeared on the Shuvu Banim website:

The World Is Hanging By A Thread

This morning (Thursday) after finishing his morning learning schedule and immersing in the mikvah, Rebbi Eliezer Berland shlit”a said in a stern voice:

“THERE’S A TERRIBLE DECREE OF WORLD DESTRUCTION BY THE CORONAVIRUS.”

The Rav went on to explain that all of humanity including animals and plants are in danger of complete destruction.

And began quickly stating gematrias as to the spiritual cause of this terrible illness. Among others ben adam l’chaveiro the commandment which includes all interpersonal laws has the same numerical value as corona in Hebrew 363.

Open hearing this and seeing the look of concern on the Rabbi’s face, his attendant asked, “What should we do?”

Rav Berland answered:

“We will write a prayer and the decree will be cancelled. The prayer should be translated in all languages and read all over the world. With that the virus it will leave as quickly as it came leaving no trace behind.”

====

In the meantime, I got contacted by the gabbai of a Lamed Vav, who told me to publicise that the authorities were lying about the true extent of the pandemic, and that 10,000 people an hour were being infected by the virus.

Separately, information started surfacing on the Taiwan National News site which appeared to show that the real mortality rate of this strain of Corona Virus is actually around 16%.

====

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED NEXT:

The call went out for volunteers to help get Rabbi Berland’s prayer translated, and within 24 hours, thanks to the hard work of some volunteers, and the generosity of a donor who paid for a number of additional translations, the prayer was available in 36 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Greek and even Arabic.

At that point, my husband had the idea to try to send out a press release about the special prayer the Rav had written about stopping the spread of the Corona Virus, to try to give it more traction.

Literally, the last hour before Shabbat fell in Jerusalem, we finished making the arrangements to get it sent out, and our PR guy told us the release would be out in the world by 4pm Jerusalem time today, Sunday February 9th, 2020.

====

In the meantime, lots of things started to happen.

First, headlines like this started popping up on news sites all over the place – and remember, they are still hiding the true extent of the deaths being caused by this pandemic:

Real number of coronavirus cases ‘could be 10 times higher’ than figures suggest

A screenshot purportedly showing the real death toll of the coronavirus in China — putting it over 80 times higher than the official number — has gone viral. 

https://www.dailysabah.com/health/2020/02/06/real-coronavirus-death-toll-much-higher-chinese-hospital-employee-in-wuhan-says

Coronavirus more deadly than SARS as global death toll reaches 813

====

And then this morning at 7am, I got a text telling me that Rabbi Berland, shlita, has just been arrested by the corrupt Israeli authorities, together with his wife, and a few of his attendants.

====

====

Here’s the screenshot from the JPOST, where you can see the headlines about the growing threat from the Corona Virus and Rav Berland’s arrest side-by-side.

Now let me ask you something, do you think all this is some sort of ‘coincidence’?

It’s exactly what happened back in 2012/3, and again in 2015, when the Rav’s public humiliation and arrest coincided with the G-6 countries deciding to rip-up the agreement that they were secretly about to conclude that would let Iran start manufacturing nuclear weapons unhindered.

The Rav had been warning about Iran’s nuke for years, and telling his yeshiva that he would have to go into exile and face terrible humiliation for years, in order to neutralize the threat from Iran.

And then it happened, exactly as he said.

I wrote all about that, with dates and details, in One in a Generation Volume II, which you can get HERE.

And now, we see that the exact same thing is happening again.

====

For months, the Rav has been ‘joking’ about needing to go back to prison again, and saying that this time the whole yeshiva will come with him, and they’ll just learn Torah in prison without any distractions….

Back in November, he said that he wanted 10 translated prayers a week put up on the ravberland.com site, to help him fight against the: “10 crowns of impurity.”

That’s exactly when all this ridiculous farce with the Israeli police began, as I wrote about in detail here:

====

At the end of that article from November 10, 2019, here’s what I wrote:

So, I think this latest blood libel against the Rav is going to start shining the spotlight on the corrupt medical profession, and all the lies they like to tell about what’s really causing illnesses, and what’s really curing them.

In the meantime, Rabbi Berland has been warning for months that the situation is so bad, he’s going to have to take on a new disgrace that will make the last one look like a walk in the park.

I wrote about that months ago, here.

And it seems, that time has now come.

====

This latest deadly outbreak of Corona Virus – so-called, because the protein spikes makes it look like a crown – apparently began in November. See this:

An Evidence-based Hypothesis that the Epidemic began in November 2019 or earlier and at a location other than the Wuhan Huanan seafood market: Major Implications.

Do you think all this is a coincidence?

====

 

Lastly, there’s understandably been so much speculation about ‘why is it happening’, including the patently ludicrous idea that China is getting hit because it’s daring to stand up to America’s economic imperialism.

But if you take a careful look at what I set out above, a strong contender for the ‘spiritual cause’ starts to swim into clear focus.

I know it’s hard to piece it all together sometimes, so let’s set it out a bit more clearly, below:

CLUE 1:

Rav Berland explains that the virus is spreading due to pgam habrit and the sin of eiver min ha-hai.

CLUE 2:

Rebbe Nachman, in Lesson 1:83 of Likutey Moharan, equates ‘the Tzaddik’ with an aspect of eiver min ha-hai. He then explains that when this Tzaddik is humiliated and scorned, this ‘koshers’ the problem of eiver min ha-hai.

CLUE 3:

The Corona Virus outbreak has been traced back to a live animal market in Wuhan, a place where the Chinese come to buy live animals, including snakes and frogs, which they then cut the still beating hearts out of, to eat ‘live’.

This is the physical world / non-Jewish aspect of eiver min ha-hai.

CLUE 4:

We know that everything that happens in the world is designed to get the Jewish people to make teshuva.

So, given that principle, what’s the Jewish angle to this whole eiver min ha-hai idea?

Rabbenu tells us clearly:

Eiver min ha-hai is connected to the Tzaddik of the generation, who is humiliated and scorned, and willingly goes through all that in order to sweeten the harsh judgments and save the Jewish people.

Or to put it in other words:

Tzaddik of the generation              = Rabbi Eliezer Berland

Eiver min ha-hai                             = Rabbi Eliezer Berland

Humiliating and slandering Rabbi Eliezer Berland is the root cause, Jewishly, of the Corona Virus pandemic.

==

So, to all the people who have written bad things about Rabbi Berland in the past, and gossiped about him, and stopped other Jews from coming closer to him and his Torah, here’s your chance – possibly your last chance – to make some real teshuva for what you did.

Today, the Rav got arrested, as part of his ongoing attempt to ‘sweeten’ the decree of the deadly Corona Virus n-2019 pandemic.

It’s just history repeating itself, another version of what happened back in 2014, when he got arrested in Zimbabwe on exactly the same day the Iranian nuke fizzled.

If anything, it’s way, way easier to see that this latest bunch of ‘charges’ against the Rav is just 100% government persecution. I’ve been documenting everything that’s happened as we’ve been going along, so it’s as clear as day to see that the whole thing is fabricated from start to finish.

====

====

But the Rav is trying to save the world again, and God likes to give everyone a second chance.

The Rav asked to get that prayer around the world, in every language we can.

So, here’s the challenge:

Are you going to help the Tzaddik HaDor prevent this pandemic from spreading further and killing potentially millions of people, even if that’s going to cause you a little social anxiety and discomfort?

Or, are you going to continue to participate in the sin of eiver min ha-hai, and disdain and slander him?

As we can see, the people engaged in the sin of eiver min ha-hai – in all its aspects – are the ones dropping dead from this Corona Virus plague.

So chew this choice over carefully.

Your life could depend on it.

====

UPDATE:

I just found this video when I was looking at possible connections between recent earthquakes in Wuhan and the Coronavirus outbreak. It’s not about earthquakes…. but it’s pretty interesting, for a bunch of other reasons, not least that 5G launched in Wuhan as the ‘test city’ in China on October 31, 2019. And as we all know, Trump is going crazy that China is outflanking the USA with its 5G technology.

Oh, and Bill and Melinda Gates’ Pirbright Foundation took out a patent for a modified coronavirus that they wanted to use as the basis of a vaccine for infectious bronchitis, in 2015. See the screenshot, from the patent office:

And now, in another strange ‘crown‘ link, I just found that Bill Gates has bought $5.3 million in stock in a firm called Crown Castle, which I’ve never heard of before, but which is apparently the leading provider of cell phone towers in the USA (40,000+) – and it set to skyrocket, if American 5G takes off:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4241756-crown-castle-billionaire-bill-gates-quietly-buying-this-top-dividend-stock

There is way more going on here than meets the eye….

====

UPDATE 2:

It just struck me that cutting live human fetuses up for ‘scientific experimentation’ also sounds horribly like all this eating beating snake hearts. Remember this post, also from November 2019? Something massively uck is starting to swim into view here….

====

You might also like this article:

Back when I lived in Musrara, there was a small makolet on the main street, where I used to get most of my groceries.

I was in that place pretty much every day for four years, and over that time I got to know the makolet guys, and their workers, who ran the place.

One guy, Eden, stuck the job out for years, and right around the time that the teenage boy was having his visions of the coming apocalypse in Israel, he stuck a kippa on his head and started laying tefillin.

I know this, because he’d be ringing up my groceries with his phylacteries stuck to his head, which I know is wrong, but it still struck me as kinda cool.

Then there was the French guy who was fresh out of the army and wrestling with a lot of grudges against God. Sometimes the knitted kippa on his head grew, sometimes it shrank, and then a few months after he got married – it disappeared altogether.

He moved out of the neighborhood shortly afterwards, so I have no idea if it ever grew back.

And then, there was Shimon.

====

Shimon could have been in his thirties, or maybe even his forties.

By the time I met him, he was a chain-smoking, secret alcoholic who was destined to eventually get fired because he kept forgetting important details like whether he’d already rung up a purchase, or whether someone had already paid.

He stuck it out for two years, steadily deteriorating, and over that time, I got to know him a little. What was left of his blonde hair was cut in an awkward crew cut, and his beer belly was usually perched dangerously on a low-riding pair of jeans that really should have left far more to the imagination.

====

One day, I went in to get my daily pint of almond milk and I found him looking at a dog-eared photo, with a sad expression on his face.

Was this a dearly departed mum? An old girlfriend that it never worked out with? His childhood pet?

That day, Shimon was in a thoughtful mood, so even though my Hebrew was rubbish and his English wasn’t much better, he started talking as he rang up my pint of milk.

That’s me in the army, he told me, shoving the dog-eared picture into my face.

I’m at the age where I have to move things back a few inches, before they swim into focus, so I took the picture cautiously, and maneuvred it far enough away to actually see it. It was the standard shot of a young man wearing army trousers and displaying his pecs, while sucking on a cigarette and holding a machine gun.

I guess it was kinda ‘cool’, in that superficial, glorifying violence kinda way.

I was in a special unit in the army, Shimon told me, clearly fishing for some compliments for his 20-something self.

I looked at the fat, red-eyed man before me, who was already missing some teeth and I sighed a deep, secret sigh.

No wonder Shimon was steadily drinking his brain cells to death, if that picture represented his best shot at ‘happy times’.

====

All this took place a few years’ ago, but recently I’ve been thinking again about this whole idea of ‘cool’, and how it’s one of the yetzer’s best ploys for ensnaring our souls in the madness of this world.

‘Cool’ can be so dangerous, precisely because it hides a multitude of sins, while secretly promoting them. ‘Cool’ people smoke. ‘Cool’ people drink lots of alcohol. ‘Cool’ people waste large chunks of their lives in bars and clubs, dancing to stupid, brain-cell destroying music made by other ‘Cool’ people, many of whom are addicted to drugs and pornographic lifestyles.

In so many ways, ‘Cool’ is the anti-thesis of the Torah lifestyle, and of the good middot, and of the calm, good stability that is actually the foundation of a happy life. But which is also, often, totally ‘unCool’.

Until I hit Breslov, which paired massive payot and Rabbenu’s Torah with trance music, I was kind of despairing of finding even a hint of ‘Cool’ in the Torah world.

Because I have to admit, ‘Cool’ still has some attraction for me, still, even though I’m 46 and really should know better.

====

It’s so, so easy to fall back into the deceptive allure of that world of lies, where ‘Cool’ people spend their days surfing in Eilat, smoking their lungs black and piercing their tongues.

How can learning a blatt of gemara really compete with that? How can I explain to my children that ‘Cool’ has a short-lived shelf-life, and that ‘Cool’ young people are way more likely to end up addicted, poor and alone, eating their hearts out over pictures of themselves looking ‘Cool’ twenty years ago?

If I still lived in Musrara, if that makolet was still there, I’d tell them (and their friends…):

Go take a look at Shimon’s picture, and then see where all that ‘Cool’ lead.

‘Cool’ is poisonous, my precious children. It’s soul-destroying.

If you want to live a truly happy life, be guided by the Torah and channel your urge to be ‘Cool’ into some outrageously long payot and a tendency to talk to God by the beach.

Ah.

When is Moshiach going to show up, already?

====

UPDATE:

I got the following comments from a reader, who is making some important points, so I’m adding them in here:

I just read your post about Shimon at the makolet and coolness, and I just had to say, maybe Shimon was showing you the photo of himself in the army because that was the last time he did anything that he’s proud of and that he worked hard for. Poor guy.

He got out of the army and spends his days drinking and smoking and working in a makolet. He’s not happy. He’s unmotivated. Probably depressed. The army is a real challenge, especially for a combat soldier, who is under-appreciated and works really hard in generally awful conditions. Any one who did his army service as a combat soldier should be proud of himself, and this Shimon deserves our prayers and compassion and to look for his good points to help him have the strength to do teshuvah and serve Hash-m.

====

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There’s a lot going on under the surface.

I spent a whole day last week pinning down how big hedge funds are transporting massive amounts of money to political figures under the guise of ‘doing business’.

I literally spent 8 hours figuring out how companies like the Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management – a company that was built out of the ashes of Olympia & York, and now part-owned by the Kingdom of Qatar, amongst others – bailed the Kushners out of almost certain bankruptcy.

They did that by buying a 99 year lease on 666 5th Avenue for a whopping $1.1 BILLION – all paid up front – a few short months before the banks were going to foreclose on it, plunging the Kushners into bankruptcy.

Now, why do you think they did that? And how do you think it’s all connected to the ridiculous ‘deal of the century’?

====

The next thing I discovered is that this same Brookfield Asset Management conveniently bought out GrafTech, the firm owned by Bibi Netanyhu’s cousin, one Nathan Milikowsky, for a cool $1.25 billion when it’s stock started tanking a couple of years ago. Here’s how Brookfield’s own site describes that acquisition:

Acquired for $1.25 billion in 2015, GrafTech was struggling with poor earnings and facing a severe downturn in the steel industry.

This is the same firm that Milikowsky gave Netanyahu a whole bunch of shares in back in 2007, at a VERY cheap price. Netanyahu then went on to sell them for a profit of well over $3.5 million in just 3 short years…. And his timing was superb, as the stock then tanked again in a massive way, before Brookfield Asset Management stepped in with their very generous buy out just five years later.

This is the same Milikowsky that has been paying Netanyahu hundreds of thousands of dollars, apparently for ‘nothing’, for years and years….

It’s great that Netanyahu belongs to such a caring, generous family. At the same time, I can’t help wondering to myself:

Why did Netanyahu’s cousin pay him so much money for ‘nothing’? Why did Brookfield pay so handsomely to acquire GrafTech? And how is all this connected to the ridiculous ‘deal of the century’?

====

In case you’re struggling to follow what the ridiculous ‘deal of the century’ is actually putting on the table, you can read the whole ridiculous proposal here:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Peace-to-Prosperity-0120.pdf

The take home points that drew my eye are these:

Israel gets to annex the Jordan Valley, the North of Jerusalem and some parts of the West Bank. Then, there will be 15 Israel ‘settlements’ stuck in the middle of the 70% of the country that’s given over to the Palestinians, that will be under Israeli sovereignty, and connected by roads that only Israelis will be able to drive on.

Or to put this in different words, there will be 15 ‘sitting duck’ targets stuck in the middle of no-mans land, inviting Palestinians snipers to take regular potshots at as the commuters drive in and out on the ‘come take a shot at us’ Israeli-only roads.

====

You can tell which media outlets, figureheads and politicians are on the payroll of ‘Brookfield Asset Management’ (and whoever happens to be pulling BAM’s strings behind the scenes….)

They are the ones that think this plan is somehow a good idea.

Anyone with even half a braincell can see that even the word ‘retarded’ can’t be applied to this plan without severely overstating its merits.

Thankfully, the Palestinians are yet again acting as a brake on all this madness, and in a further sign of the upside-down world, it’s now the anti-Semitic lefties that are stating the obvious truth about what really needs to happen next in Israel, like this statement, publicised on the anti-Semitic SOTT website:

“There is no viable two state solution. To create a viable Palestinian state alongside a viable Israeli state would now involve highly undesirable further forced movements of population. The only long term solution for Palestine/Israel is, as with South Africa, a single state in which everybody has a vote and everybody is treated equally, irrespective of ethnicity, creed or gender.”

====

I have to wonder, why would Trump and Kushner and Netanyahu and Gantz even bother unveiling such an obviously retarded ‘peace plan’?

What on earth is the point?

The only thing that came to me is that this is another part of the ongoing effort to spark off another war in the Middle East. Their efforts to get Iran to start a war have come to nil, despite massive provocation. Strangely, every time we go and bomb Gaza, or they start rocketing us, it all dies down again after a couple of days – and no-one knows why.

Even airstrikes in Syria and Lebanon aren’t sparking off the ‘clash to end all clashes’, so I guess the hedge funds that are so very heavily invested in military armament companies, and so keen to start cashing in on their massive ‘infrastructure’ hedge funds that they set up a couple of years ago are getting a little twitchy.

Saudi Arabia recently invested $20 billion in Blackstone Asset Managements‘ new ‘infrastructure’ fund, for example.

The way this works is that the military is meant to go and bomb the heck out of ‘Country A’, earning these hedge funds a fortune in orders for more rockets, planes, tanks and other weapons of mass destruction. And then, ‘Country A’ is meant to let America and the Western International community move in and take over their natural resources in ‘repayment’ for rebuilding all the infrastructure that just got blitzed, earning the hedge funds even more massive profits.

Don’t believe me?

Take a look at this:

https://www.axios.com/trump-to-iraqi-pm-how-about-that-oil-1a31cbfa-f20c-4767-8d18-d518ed9a6543.html

And this:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/iraq-warns-of-collapse-as-trump-threatens-to-block-oil-cash-kept-in-fed-bank/

And this:

====

Here’s a snippet, so you get the idea of what’s really going on here:

Abdul-Mehdi spoke angrily about how the Americans had ruined the country and now refused to complete infrastructure and electricity grid projects unless they were promised 50% of oil revenues, which Abdul-Mehdi refused.

The complete (translated) words of Abdul-Mahdi’s speech to parliament:

This is why I visited China and signed an important agreement with them to undertake the construction instead. Upon my return, Trump called me to ask me to reject this agreement. When I refused, he threatened to unleash huge demonstrations against me that would end my premiership.

Huge demonstrations against me duly materialized and Trump called again to threaten that if I did not comply with his demands, then he would have Marine snipers on tall buildings target protesters and security personnel alike in order to pressure me.

I refused again and handed in my resignation. To this day the Americans insist on us rescinding our deal with the Chinese.

====

And now, so strange, the Corona flu virus has conveniently shown up in China, and interaction with China is being closed down in all sorts of ways, while the Corona virus is being hyped up to the skies.

God must really love America, after all.

====

There is so much to tell you, about how the world is actually being run by huge hedge funds that are paying our politicians off in barely disguised ‘business deals’. 

Maybe in the next few days, I’ll share more of those details with you.

In the meantime, let’s be clear that this ‘peace deal’ is actually designed to inflame tensions in the Middle East, not resolve any issues. Let’s be clear that all our politicians are totally corrupt – whichever side of the divide they happen to be on – and that the main reason they are at each other’s throats is because they want to be the ones getting bribed for millions and even billions of dollars in stock shares, 99 year leases (all paid in cash, upfront) and surprising corporate buyouts.

Is anyone out there still dumb enough to believe all those false prophets who told us Trump was some sort of ‘Moshiach’ for Edom, or the good part of Esav?

Is anyone out there still dumb enough to believe that Netanyahu – or any of the other politicians sitting in the Knesset – only have the best interests of the Israeli people at heart? That Bibi is ‘good for the Jews’?

Let’s make that a rhetorical question.

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And in the meantime, thank God for Rabbi Berland, and the people who are humbly continuing to follow him, and to recite his prayers, and to learn their blatt of Gemara, in order to stave off destruction.

Thank God for their simple emunat Tzaddikim, and their willingness to just do whatever the Tzaddik HaDor tells them, even when it’s so unclear what’s really going on in the world.

Rav Berland and Shuvu Banim are staving off World War III.

It’s getting clearer and clearer, that this is what’s really going on, and that the people pulling the strings on the other side of the equation are going nuts because hard as they try, they can’t seem to get the touch paper lit for the ‘clash to end all clashes’.

Long may that continue.

And if you want to do your part in the effort that is really going to bring permanent peace to the Middle East and geula the sweet way, then head over to Shuvu Banim and recite some prayers, or buy some of the Rav’s books and give them out, or send a bit of your tzedeka money over to their yeshivas.

Right now, you can still get a ton of spiritual zchar for doing that, because things are still hidden. But soon, it’s going to be totally obvious who is really ‘good’ and who is really ‘bad’ in this picture.

And that’s when it’s going to start to get really interesting.

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UPDATE:

A reader just sent me a link to this article. It’s not telling me anything I didn’t know before I read it (and it’s still barely scratching the surface of what’s really going on), but it’s a heartening sign – to me at least – that so much of what has been ‘hidden’ behind closed doors for decades is starting to spill out in the mainstream.

This is only the beginning.

“Before the world of truth can appear, the world of lies has to fall.”

And that process is accelerating.

Take a look, here:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/inside-anatevka-the-curious-chabad-hamlet-in-ukraine-where-giuliani-is-mayor/

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God never intended for the Jewish people to be so caught up in Esav’s wars.

Last week, we read the final parsha, Vayechi, in Sefer Bereishit, where Yaakov Avinu calls his sons to him for a final blessing. When he gets to Shimon and Levi, he castigates them for adopting the ‘stolen craft’ of his brother Esav.

Rashi explains there:

Klei Hamas – ‘stolen tools’. This craft of murder is in their possession by theft. It is from the blessing of Esav. Yaakov admonished them, “It is his [Esav’s] craft, and you robbed him of it.”

The full verse from the Torah reads:

“Shimon and Levi are brothers, klei hamas are their weapons. Into their design may my soul not enter! With their congregation do not unite, O my honor! For in their rage they killed a man, and in their wish they hamstrung an ox. Accursed is their rage for it is mighty, and their wrath for it is harsh. I will divide them in Yaakov, and I will disperse them in Israel.”

Clearly, Yaakov Avinu is very unhappy about his sons – forbears of the Jewish people – acting like his brother Esav, and killing people left, right and centre whenever they got angry and ‘felt justified’ in doing so.

This is not the Jewish way. The voice is the voice of Yaakov – it’s the voice of prayer, the voice of emuna, the voice of knowing that God is really running the world.

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Following the awful Chanuka attack in the shul in Monsey a couple of weeks ago, I was personally horrified when I saw pictures of orthodox Jews walking around toting what looked like machine guns.

Killing people is not our craft, it’s the craft of Esav. Of course, we’re meant to defend ourselves with all means possible, and to make every effort to save our life (although why moving to Israel doesn’t seem to make it on to that list is a bit of a mystery to me, I have to admit…)

But there is a world of difference between discreetly arranging security for shuls, schools and Jewish neighborhoods and strutting around for the media like Moshele the Terminator. Esav is way, way better at killing people and murdering people than we are. It’s a very dangerous game to get involved.

There are somewhere between 20-25 million people in the US with white supremacist tendencies. They are Esav mamash. A lot of them have machine guns. A lot of them are just waiting for ‘Moishele the Terminator’ to cross the line and actually kill someone, even in self-defense, so they can use that as a pretext to come after Jews all over the place.

Of course, what I’m writing here also has implications for the State of Israel, and for the whole idea that the IDF and the military is what is protecting the Jews here. This is an idea that has profound, far-reaching implications, and I certainly can’t cover off all the angles in one post.

But I will say that every time I hear apparently orthodox Jews advocating for ‘carpet bombing’ Gaza, and other extremely violent acts, I shudder. Is this really how Jews are meant to act and behave? Isn’t ‘carpet bombing Gaza’ a perfect example of klei hamas? Isn’t that just what the terrorists and the neo-Nazis would love to do to us, too?

Anything that puts Jews even tangentially into the same moral space as terrorists and Nazis has to be bad, doesn’t it?

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These are big questions, they need to be dealt with and discussed carefully by our qualified Sages and rabbis, and let’s be clear that in the State of Israel, that’s simply not happening. Our country is run by people who have adopted the ‘stolen craft’ of Esav as their main religion, and we are all paying the price for it.

Which brings me to the next point I want to make, about how the idea that killing and murdering people is somehow the best solution to every problem gained so much traction in the first place.

Let me share something that I received via email yesterday, from a Jew in America:

“I enjoy your writings (on www.rivkalevy.com) but I must admit, they either entertain me or stress me.  I know you used to be “secular media” and I think you still think like the secular media, like saying Trump “illegally” killed Soleimeni.  Wow,  That’s a stretch. I really can’t believe that you think that.  The man was a terrorist that not only killed thousands of american soldiers, but terrorized his own people.

“He has killed thousands and thousands of people.  The Iranians feared and hated him.  Plus, he was about to attack more Americans.  I know you are not too fond of America, but I know many soldiers (my Dad was a career soldier) and we have jewish soldiers at [army base] that become members of our Chabad.  I care about our soldiers and thank our President for caring  and protecting them, unlike our previous President.  I feel he should be hung as a traitor. I can’t stand the man.

“We are in a war and I thank GD that He mercifully delivered us from the traitor BO and may He destroy all evil among us (leftists) and brought us a strong man like Trump, may Hashem protect him.  Yes,Trump is Esav.  Yes, the west is Esav.  Yes America is Esav, but I was born and raised here and believe me, not all Americans are the enemy.  You want an enemy.  Try Ishmael.

“It seems your hatred of Trump and America has blinded you to reality.”

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My inbox is never a dull place!

So, let’s take my correspondent’s points one by one, to see if we can ascertain where the truth really lies, and what ‘reality’ actually consists of.

  1. It’s a stretch to say that Trump ‘illegally’ killed Soleimani.

“Extra-judicial killing” is a phrase that’s used by armies, militias and government sponsored ‘death squads’ around the world.

Here’s how Section 3a of the United States Torture Victim Protection Act defines extrajudicial killing:

“[A] deliberate killing not authorized by a previous judgment pronounced by a regular constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. Such term, however, does not include any such killing that, under international law, is lawfully carried out under the authority of a foreign nation.

Was Soleimani brought to a ‘regular constituted court’ and given a trial that afforded him ‘all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples’? Nope.

“Extra-judicial killing” is a spin-doctor way of describing a murder where no legal due process was followed, or to say the same thing in blunter terms, an illegal murder. When Al Capone was mowing people down on the streets of Chicago that was also ‘extra-judicial killing’.

As we can see, ‘extra-judicial killing’ is an extremely murky area, and also very prone to being used and abused by individuals and agencies who don’t want to have to justify their actions or have too much public scrutiny and moral accountability.

When it comes to Soleimani’s murder, the excuse the US used to get around its own regulations as stated above, in their Torture Victim Protection Act, is that Soleimani’s killing was not an assassination, but an act of “National Self Defense”.

This is the same legal justification that Israel uses for many of its targeted killings, and the difference is that when it comes to Israel, I mostly believe it.

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Amongst the many, many problems with ‘extra judicial murders’ tho, is that the people who are carrying them out argue that any given target’s normal legal rights as a civilian – or even as a human being! – should be totally trampled and ignored if that person is deemed to be a threat to national security.

But who is defining what that actually means?

What’s the legal basis for deciding these things? Where is the public scrutiny to ensure that immoral people with a lust for power and taste for murdering anyone who gets in their way doesn’t abuse this idea, to simply get anyone who opposes what they want murdered and out of the picture?

Also, from the viewpoint of halacha, this is not at all a simple matter. One of the 7 Noahide laws is that the non-Jewish nations should create courts of law and follow a judicial process. By definition extra-judicial killings take place outside of any legal framework.

And when non-Jewish nations don’t follow one of the 7 Noahide laws, they are subject to the death penalty. (It’s a post for another time, but if you go through each of the 7 Noahide laws and see how places like the USA are doing, as a nation, let’s just say it doesn’t stack up in their favor.)

So, is it a stretch to say that Soleimani’s killing is ‘illegal’?

I’ll let you make up your own mind.

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  1. “[Soleimani] was a terrorist that not only killed thousands of american soldiers, but terrorized his own people.”

My view is that all senior military men are basically psychopaths, whichever country they happen to live in. Anyone who likes killing people for a living is not a ‘nice’ person, let’s be very clear on that.

But to claim that he’s killed “thousands of American soldiers” – it’s just not credible.

Wikipedia says this for the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq since 2003, which is when the US invaded Iraq:

“As of June 29, 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,424 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,952 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of the Iraq War.”

But the US wasn’t fighting Iran then, these soldiers were killed as a result of the US deciding to invade a sovereign nation. Where’s the proof that Soleimani is connected to even one of these deaths in Iraq?

Let’s take a look at Afghanistan now, where again the US decided to invade back in 2001 after 9/11.

“As of July 7, 2018, there have been 2,372 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan. 1,856 of these deaths have been the result of hostile action. 20,320 American service members have also been wounded in action during the war. In addition, there were 1,720 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities.”

Again, what does this have to do with Soleimani?

Last stop, for now, is Syria.

How many US soldiers had been killed there, by the time Trump said he’d withdraw US troops in April 2018?

Just 2.

And this is the arena where there is the most credible argument to be made that Soleimani and Iran could be behind these deaths.

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Now, let’s flip things on their head, and let’s ask an uncomfortable question:

How many non-Americans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the US deciding to launch its ‘war on terror’?

The answer comes from researchers at Brown’s University, who released their findings from the ‘Costs of War Project’ in November 2018:

“Brown’s researchers estimate that at least 480,000 people have been directly killed by violence over the course of these conflicts, more than 244,000 of them civilians. In addition to those killed by direct acts violence, the number of indirect deaths — those resulting from disease, displacement, and the loss of critical infrastructure — is believed to be several times higher, running into the millions.”

While we’re on this subject, back in 2011 Wikileaks released footage of 2 American Apache helicopters mowing down a large group of people standing in the street in the Iraq, which included many civilians and 2 Reuters journalists.

You should watch this brief clip of what happened, even though it’s from the Al-Jazeera news network, because as I keep trying to tell you, there is no such thing as a 0-100% argument. There is some truth on all sides of the discussion, and doing the birur means that we make our best effort to tease it out.

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Releasing this clip was probably the trigger for the NSA to target Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently being kept in solitary confinement (!) in Belmarsh Prison in the UK, while the USA tries to ‘extradite’ him to the US on trumped-up charges of hacking computers. Really? It all just boils down to the US trying to keep its grip on the world.

Assange is not an American citizen, he’s an Australian. And publishing footage of American helicopter pilots callously killing Iraqi civilians is the best type of journalism, and the best ‘balance’ against military abuses of power.

But the NSA and President Trump don’t think so. Trump happily signed the extradition order for Julian Assange, the journalist you see here saying ‘war corrupts the people who engage in it’ – and that’s what first clued me in that Trump is not the ‘almost Moshiach’ so many people still believe him to be.

Let’s be clear, this is not about partisan politics.

When he was President, Obama arranged the prosecution of 8 journalists and whistle-blowers under the same Espionage Act they are trying to use to prosecute Assange, including Chelsea Manning, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake, and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

And Trump is simply continuing the trend.

Back in May 2019, his administration decided to prosecute Daniel Everett Hale, a former intelligence analyst for the Air Force who shared worrying information about America’s use of drones and assassinations in its war on terror with journalist Jeremy Scahill.

Scahill later turned that information into a book and a documentary called ‘Dirty Wars’.

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Here’s a synopsis:

“Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill traces the rise of the Joint Special Operations Command. He exposes covert operations to capture and kill people, but those agents do not exist on paper.”

And they are still continuing to operate under Trump. So much for draining the swamp.

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3) “We are in a war and I thank GD that He mercifully delivered us from the traitor BO and may He destroy all evil among us (leftists) and brought us a strong man like Trump, may Hashem protect him.  Yes,Trump is Esav.  Yes, the west is Esav.  Yes America is Esav, but I was born and raised here and believe me, not all Americans are the enemy.  You want an enemy.  Try Ishmael.”

Yes, we certainly are in a war. Not just one, many. And behind the scenes, you will find the NSA and the CIA and the American military pulling the strings of nearly all of them.

Esav excels at klei Hamas.

It’s no coincidence that these words also translate to the ‘tools of Hamas’, i.e. the terror organization on Israel’s front door step.

Let’s put all the pretense aside and deal with facts for a moment.

The US has been unrivalled in starting and pursuing wars all across the planet, for the better part of 80 years. It doesn’t matter who is in the Whitehouse, it’s the CIA and the NSA and the military, and all the powerful vested interests in the US and the UK and elsewhere who are really calling the shots in the world.

And as I’ve written about elsewhere, those vested interests excel in destabilizing third world countries, installing ‘puppet’ rulers who owe their power to American / Western support, and then asset-stripping those countries of all their natural resources and wealth.

America has been doing this for decades, all over the planet, and murdering people in their hundreds of thousands – including civilians – is a big part of how they operate.

Maybe it’s deliberate, maybe it’s just collateral damage, I don’t know. But either way, America has so much innocent blood on its hands.

I don’t blame my American correspondent for believing that the American military is not ‘the enemy’. But at this stage, there are hundreds of millions of people in the world who have seen their lives, families and countries blown apart by the US military / CIA / NSA.

And all on the flimsiest of excuses.

Human life is valuable, even when a person lives in Iraq or Afghanistan. And not all Muslims are terrorists. America wants wars, because America is good at wars, and wars are good for America’s economy.

But these wars have proven to be so very bad for everyone else.

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4) “It seems your hatred of Trump and America has blinded you to reality.”

Sigh.

Sometimes I wonder, what’s going to happen when Israel finally shrugs off America’s bridle, and stops being America’s pawn in the Middle East.

The IDF is a ‘stolen craft’, and the Jewish people are built for prayer and peace, not war and murder. It’s just a matter of time before our true Jewish nature starts to reassert itself nationally, when we stop believing Esav’s opinion that killing people is the answer to our problems, and when more and more of us start to turn to God for a real solution to our problems.

You know that when Moshiach is finally revealed, that’s going to happen, don’t you? And then what? Will Moshiach also be portrayed as a ‘mad Jewish mullah’ with a beard, another threat to America’s ‘national security’ that will be extra-judicially targeted for extermination, God forbid?

And then what?

What side will my correspondent – and all the many orthodox Jews like her, who believe all the spin and PR and lies about America being the ‘good Esav’ – find themselves on, then?

That is the question.

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Photo by Diego González on Unsplash

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