Is it OK to take dodgy new ‘medicines’ because God is going to decide if we’re going to die, anyway?
At the bottom of THIS post, an interesting discussion developed in the comments section, and I’m bringing parts of it here, into its own post, and expanding it, because there are some fundamental issues here that need addressing.
As always, this is NOT about trying to make ourselves ‘right’ and others ‘wrong’.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and free choice is paramount. We can’t force others to accept our views – about anything! – and we shouldn’t be trying to.
That said, ‘personal opinion’ and ‘cold, hard fact’ are often conflated, as we all have blind spots and biases, and selectively pick and choose the things we read and watch, and the things we believe, to support our underlying bias.
And I also do that too, hard as I try not to.
It’s human nature.
What helps here is to remember the ‘100%-0%- rule of discussion and disagreement.
That rule basically states that no-one is 100% right, or 100% wrong, and that the truth can always be found on both sides of the discussion or argument, even if it ends up being a 99%-1% split.
That 1% of truth is still valuable, and it’s part of this ongoing birur process, to bring it out and acknowledge it, when we hear it in other people’s arguments, or view points, that contradict our own.
So with all these caveats out the way, let’s dive in.
First, here’s Devorah’s comment, which sparked this post:
Quarantine camps are not concentration camps.
Australia is an island, they have gone to a great deal of trouble to keep us Covid free, obviously that didn’t work out, hence the lockdowns.
Those ”camps” are just in case we are swamped with Covid and there is nowhere to isolate people and the hotels/hospitals are all full.
So far we have not needed anything like that. It was a ‘worst case’ scenario. I can assure all of you that we are very safe here, and sometimes I think everyone is just looking for disasters to happen to fit in with their own scenarios.
I’ve read some dreadful and ridiculous things about Australia on the internet.
I’ve seen a video of a child apparently being wrenched from her parents and forced to take the vaccine. No idea what that was about as children here are not vaccinated at all. They have just started to allow vaccines for 12-15 year olds, but they are voluntary. No vaccine is forced on anyone, certainly not children.
While there are some conditions attached to people who choose to not vaccinate, such as travel…. those conditions seem to be consistent with the rest of the world. So of course anyone who wants to travel will get the vaccine.
I don’t believe that the vaccine is a conspiracy.
It’s a new vaccine, it hasn’t been tested properly obviously People have died from it and people have gotten sick from it. But I don’t believe anyone dies unless Hashem decreed they should die, and had they not received the vaccine, they would have died anyway either from Covid or something else.
Isn’t that what the Torah teaches us? No-one dies unless it is decreed in Heaven? Even a suicide needs permission from Heaven to actually die.
Correct me if I’m wrong here please.
I don’t know what is really going on, but I do know that whatever is happening is sanctioned by Hashem, as a preparation for Geula.
So I am not worried about it, and I’m not losing any sleep, this is how Hashem wants things to be to prepare the world for Moshiach.
Here’s what I responded – and I’m going to expand on this, below, as this is part of a very important spiritual birur:
You are raising some interesting points.
I think at least some of what we’re all being fed by the media in relation to ‘anti vaxxers’ is definitely ‘staged’.
I.e. in Israel, hard as it is, I’ve seen videos of police violently ‘arresting’ chareidi women in supermarkets, and it strikes me that this is Government-designed propaganda to ‘scare’ everyone else in chareidi supermarkets into wearing a mask without resisting.
The chareidi supermarkets I shop in seem to be very laid back about masks – increasingly so, Baruch Hashem.
And even the crazy ‘mask fascist’ supermarkets I have shopped in formerly never got the police involved. So there does seem to be a strong element of deliberate disinformation going on, which is why it’s useful to pool information from people on the ground who are not working for the Deep State, or MSM.
That said, I can’t agree with your comments that this is a vaccine – it isn’t.
It doesn’t prevent transmission, and it doesn’t prevent infection. And it doesn’t contain any attenuated ‘virus’. These are the basic requirements for something to be considered a ‘vaccine’, according to scientific and medical definitions that have been in play for decades, so whatever this IS, it’s not a ‘vaccine’.
It’s an experimental gene therapy – and again, this isn’t ‘conspiracy’, this is plain, hard fact.
Also, it’s hard to see why camps of any nature should be set up for a disease that has a 99.5% of surviving for ANYONE, even geriatrics with co-moribidities.
Nor why masks should be forced on a population when they a) don’t prevent transmission of anything and b) actually cause decreased de-oxygenation of the blood (and never mind the stress and psychological damage, which is also through the roof.)
That biotoxic graphene oxide is being used to coat many of these masks is also clearly and openly admitted – not least, by the companies who are manufacturing these products in their hundreds of millions – and so is also not in the realm of ‘conspiracy’, but cold, hard fact.
The second part of this discussion – the spiritual one about no-one dying unless Hashem decrees it – goes to the heart of deep spiritual questions about free choice, and personal responsibility.
The short answer is that I think the approach you set out above is based on ‘false emuna’.
We are totally responsible for ourselves and our health. Someone can’t take drugs, or eat fried mars bars for breakfast every day, or go for a run in the middle of the highway and say ‘I’m not responsible for any bad outcome here, it’s God who decides if I’m going to die.’
God IS running the whole world, Ein Od Milvado. But there is still reward and punishment for our choices, both in this world and the next.
And while God gives us ‘permission’ to go against His divine will, so that free choice can exist, we are still ‘rewarded’ for really doing what He wants, and punished for doing the opposite.
So now, let’s explore this idea of ‘reward and punishment’ and free choice a little more.
Long-term readers of this blog probably know that I spent many years in a state of ‘false emuna’.
We had a fake ‘rabbi’ a few years’ back who told my husband that God was responsible for our parnassa, so he should basically quit his job, and just pray for God to send him his income.
This sounded correct spiritually, because Ein Od Milvado – and it’s a basic tenet of belief that our parnassa IS decided on Rosh Hashana by Hashem, and that it’s going to come to us one way or another, regardless of what we do.
(See, all these false emuna arguments work the same way…)
So, my husband jacked in the well-paying job that he was anyway hating, and started doing six hours of hitbodedut a day, for God to send us income direct.
Within three months, we’d totally run out of money, and we had days where I couldn’t buy food or toilet paper.
We ended up having to sell our house just to be able to live.
And my husband got so ‘burnt’ by his ‘fake emuna’ experiment, he sank into a serious depression for two years, and had enormous psychological trauma that going back to work would mean he’d failed the ‘good, believing Jew’ test.
I’ve written about the various facets of that experience before, but here’s the distilled version of what I learned from that, relevant to this discussion about Covid ‘vaccines’:
We only listen to the people, the experts, the ‘rabbis’ we want to listen to.
We often don’t want to take responsibility for our own lives, and our own decisions, so instead we find some egomaniac with a big reputation, with charisma, with a strong opinion that really accords with our own, and then we ‘follow their advice’.
When it goes wrong, we feel we can still ‘blame them’ for what happened, so that’s OK then.
We can carry on telling ourselves ‘victim stories’ and moaning about all the horrible people who have misled us, while still refusing to take the basic responsibility for our own lives.
2. God created the world as a partnership between Him and us.
So YES, of course, Ein Od Milvado.
Everything is God.
But God also wants me to do my part.
He wants ME to pray profusely about my decisions and my actions; He wants ME to make the birur between true and false information and beliefs; He wants ME to make my maximum effort to try to sweeten things, and to try to change things with my sincere prayers and teshuva and mesirut nefesh, so that He doesn’t have to bring harsh judgments to the world.
When we ran out of cash, and had all the other suffering we had, connected to our false emuna, it took me a while to realise that it was TOTALLY DESERVED.
We were operating from a false, arrogant, ‘superior’ and unreal place.
I mean, who were we, really, to think we were on the level to get enough cash to maintain a huge house and an expensive lifestyle by way of open miracles?!?
I write that now, and I see how totally absurd it is.
God created a world where men work on their emuna by having to work for a living without getting stressed or miserly. And women work on their emuna, fundamentally, by having to pray for Divine assistance with their shalom bayit and raising their children.
That is the work God created us to do, day to day.
Can I do this, can I work on my emuna and cope with life without getting God involved in my decision-making process and day-to-day issues?
But, that also doesn’t mean I can run away from taking the responsibility for my own decisions and choices by saying ‘God is doing everything, anyway….
Breslov teachings set this out very clearly.
Rav Natan writes that BEFORE a decision, BEFORE an action:
I am 100% responsible to do my homework, to do my hishtadlut, to pray for guidance, to try to do the birur as completely as I can, as to what is correct, and what God wants from me.
AFTER the decision:
The outcome is totally up to God, and what God wants for me.
So, let’s try and tease out how all this applies to the discussion in hand.
Covid 19 is all about getting each one of us make teshuva, and to developing the sort of emuna we need to get into geula, and the world of truth.
As such, the teshuva is built in at every stage of this process.
Personally I try to follow Breslov teachings as much as I’m able. so for the last 10 years, I have been doing my best to totally stay away from all Western doctors, and their ‘cut and medicate’ approach to illness.
For me, health comes down to making the appropriate teshuva across the three levels of body, mind and soul – and then doing pidyonot nefesh for the stuff that’s rooted in previous gilgulim, that I can’t reach myself.
If I get sick because I eat pizza and fries every day, don’t exercise, don’t sleep enough and do drugs – then probably, changing these habits around at the ‘body’ level will go a long way to helping me heal.
If I get sick because I am constantly stuffing down negative emotions like anger, hatred and arrogance, or wallowing in despair and jealousy, or trying to ‘control’ others to try to ‘control’ my own anxiety levels – then starting to work through these emotions in hitbodedut, and starting to do some real (but still gentle…) cheshbon hanefesh to really own my own feelings about things will probably help a lot
If I get sick because I’m disconnected from God, and from Torah and mitzvot, and / or treating other people in a bad way, and / or not living my life in accordance with Hashem’s plan for me – then this is where strengthening the spiritual connection will make a big difference.
So, Covid 19, for me, has been one big test of trying to see the good in others, and trying to accept God’s will without falling into despair, while still continuing to do the birur about what is really going on here.
It’s not been about a physical fear of the ‘disease’ itself.
But for others, the test is different.
For some people, it’s a constant battle wavering between ‘getting vaccinated’ because of peer pressure and government coercion, and staying true to what they themselves really believe.
For others, it’s about respecting other people’s free choice, and the decision to NOT vaccinate, even when they themselves can clearly see vaccination is a gift from shemayim to save humanity.
For others, the test comes down to not fearing ‘Covid’, but fearing Hashem, instead.
Or not fearing the negative effects of the ‘vaccine’, but fearing Hashem instead – and looking for a spiritual response to turn everything around for the best.
Or maybe, the test is to maintain achdut and respect, even when ‘the other’ believes in things, and acts in ways, that you personally find totally repugnant and hard-to-understand.
Or to stand up for what’s true and right, and to go against the flow, even when that is going to cost you big, in some way, and require a lot of courage.
Point is, each person’s test is specifically geared to them, and what they need to work on and fix.
But there are some generalities, across the board.
God wants us to have more emuna, to really believe in Him and to know Ein Od Milvado.
All those people in favor of ‘force-vaxxing’ others to resolve their lack of emuna and ongoing fear and anxiety probably need to focus more in this area.
At the same time:
God also wants us to take more responsibility for what is going on in the world, and what is going on in our lives, and to do the hard work of birur.
Birur doesn’t just mean trying to sort fact from fiction, propaganda from truth, personal bias from objective reality.
It really means doing the birur inside of us, about all the bad middot and false beliefs that are still hanging out in our souls.
Lack of empathy for ‘the other’ is bad middot.
Wanting to be ‘right’ at any cost is bad middot.
Absolving ourselves from caring about what is going on, or getting the hint about what God wants us to change in our own lives is bad middot.
Painting people all people who disagree with us as ‘conspiracy theorists’ or ‘crazy psychos’ who I don’t have to engage with at all – is bad middot.
Because even psychos and conspiracy theories are from God, and have something to teach us, even if it’s just a 1% of something.
I’ll stop there, but I’m very happy to have more of a discussion about this, if there are specific points anyone wants to air out in the comments section.
Let’s end with the wise words of Rabbenu, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov:
Rebbe Nachman spoke about the correct way to deal with harsh decrees:
“[E]ach person must say that the world was only created for his sake, and [the Rebbe said] how every person must endeavor to make up the deficiencies of the world, praying on its behalf – i.e. before the decree [actually materialises].
He also said the following:
“That year  the Rebbe was very preoccupied with the Cantonist Decrees. He was extremely worried about the situation and said they were not an idle threat. He disagreed strongly with the people who were saying nothing would come of it in the end, for how could God do such a thing to the Jewish people?!
The Rebbe said several times that this was nonsense.
We find many occasions when harsh decrees did materialise.
The Rebbe spoke about this a great deal and said that the rumored decrees had to be taken with the utmost seriousness and not be treated lightly.
We had to pray and cry out to God, and to be and beseech Him in the hope that He would hear us and annul them….
If only people had listened to his call to set the earth shaking with prayers and appeals to God, these decrees would have been nullified completely!”
(Tzaddik, Conversations Relating to His Lessons, page 132)
Ultimately, saying ‘everything is from God, so I don’t have to do anything about it or worry’ is spiritual apathy.
It’s spiritual laziness. It’s false emuna.
God wants us to see the ‘bad’ on the horizon, and to pray our hearts out to get the ‘bad’ to disappear – in whichever way God sees fit.
That’s our part of the equation, our part of the deal.
And none of us are exempt.
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