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Monday morning, I headed up North for a short holiday with my family.

***Update below***

We try to go for two nights up North as a family every year, and I told my kids and husband two weeks ago yalla! The mask-wearing crazies are gearing up again, so let’s go straight after Tisha B’av this year, to make sure we actually get a break!

So that’s what we did.

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We stayed in a yurt in a yishuv mamash in the middle of green nowhere, surrounded by Druze villages, where the birds and the bees were by far the loudest things you could hear most of the time.

Yesterday, we did a big bonfire, and as the logs burnt, I spent an hour just stirring the embers (my speciality….) and having a chat with God.

The holiday was pretty good, as these things go.

But I still have so much heartache.

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We’ve had ‘covid-itis’ collectively for a year and a half – and I really don’t see that many people waking up, even now.

Even now, most of the people I know are still totally brainwashed about how the world really works, and who is behind the wheel.

Even now, most of the people I know still think that the world is ‘going back to normal’, once this Delta variant gets dealt with; once there’s peace in the Middle East; once Biden is overthrown by an ever-glorious Trump, back from the political dead.

So many people are walking around with their eyes screwed tightly shut, trying to ignore all the big, red, flashing lights all over the place that SOMETHING MASSIVE HAS TO CHANGE VERY SOON.

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Both internally and externally.

The world of truth is not an optional extra for the part of this process towards redemption, it’s really all there is.

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The last few weeks, I’ve been feeling like the list of people I can really speak to about a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g has been getting shorter and shorter.

Most of the people I know – even the best people I know, who are really smart, and who I really like a lot, and who are mostly very sincere about trying to give God what He wants – just shut down when I start talking about anything that goes against their programming.

I.e., pretty much anything that comes out of my mouth, these days.

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Man, those Frankist Frobelian Freemason early educators have done a FABULOUS job of brainwashing the world, and making the modern human brain one of the narrowest spaces in the universe.

Fine, no-one has to agree that the world might not be spherical – but at least consider the possibility for 2 seconds, without feeling like you are going to throw up.

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And the same is true for conversations about Covid nanotech, that I pretty much just try to avoid in real life now, as so many people I know got ‘the jab’, and the people who didn’t are also careful to avoid that topic, due to ‘blowback’.

There’s only so many times you can have the same arguments with people who think YOU are the crazy one, for not trusting that experimental nanotech gene therapy is 100% the best way to deal with what is essentially a medium-severe flu.

I’m so bored of this topic myself now, I can’t even be bothered to keep trying to puncture all the obvious propaganda on the Jpost website.

Yalla, do whatever stupid thing you are going to do; believe whatever lying journalist and politician and corrupt ‘medical spokesman’ you are going to believe. I don’t care any more.

Except of course, that’s a lie.

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I care a great deal.

That’s why sometimes, this big wodge of tears rises up to my throat and catches me unawares, even a few times a day, until I swallow it back.

What’s the point of crying over this, any more?

What more am I meant to write? What more am I meant to say?

Everyone is going ‘back to normal’, and I already know that means we are going to get some massive, shocking, additional wake-up call, probably very soon.

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A good friend of mine told me that there was meant to have been another etz ratzon for Moshiach to have come motzae Tisha B’av, but it was ‘cancelled’.

Yalla, enough with all these cancelled etz ratzons for Moshiach to come already!!!!!

I told her.

I can’t do that anymore! I can’t sit here waiting for these ‘geula deadlines’ to keep coming – only to not pan out again. My emuna is just not strong enough to keep doing that, and to deal with the disappointment!

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Does this mean I have giving up on Moshiach and geula coming?

No, not at all.

What it does mean, however, is that I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ANOTHER PRONOUNCEMENT, ANOTHER DATE, ANOTHER FALSE PROPHECY ABOUT WHEN MOSHIACH IS COMING.

I think at this stage it’s a big distraction from the yetzer hara, to take me away from all the work I still have to do on my bad middot and my lack of emuna that all this is really good, and for my best.

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Baruch Hashem, compared to so many people, my life is really good right now.

Sure, I still have my share of heartaches, and a big bunch of things marked ‘massive disappointments’.

But fundamentally, the Rav’s brachot are continuing to kick in, and life is broadly very good.

And at the same time, I can’t do this any more.

I’m so sick of the real conversations I just can’t have with most people these days, without tripping over one of their ‘hot buttons’ (or mine….)

You seriously get to a stage where you start questioning your own sanity, because how come no-one else seems to be noticing that the world as we know it is just so wrong, and nonsensical, and obviously fake?

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And that’s why I think that even though some people have woken up, it’s not enough to mitigate ‘the next thing’.

I don’t know what or when it might be, but I do know that the world of truth is going to come crashing down into most people’s lives like a wrecking ball, very soon.

The more we hold on to the lies we are telling ourselves – about everything – the more painful that’s going to be.

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The world of truth is so beautiful.

It solves so many issues so simply.

It gives you clarity and hope like nothing else can.

But it’s going to turn our current existence totally on its head.

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I’m bouncing along the bottom here, that weirdo conspiracy theorist that even my husband and kids thinks is a little ‘crayzee’.

Life is good.

And at the same time, it’s so very bad.

Life is comfortable, and at the same time so very painful, deep down, where all that secret heartache swims about.

How can I hold on, for the next part of this geula process?

How can God wake people up, but keep things ‘normal’ and not shockingly horrific?

I really don’t know.

It seems to me He can’t.

But what do I know.

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UPDATE:

The bit I forgot to mention is that they said Moshiach isn’t going to come now, motzae Tisha B’Av, because Am Yisrael doesn’t really want the redemption enough.

That’s the bit that stung me, really, because we can all see that it’s true.

And so, that means that things will have to deteriorate more, until Am Yisrael DOES want the redemption enough for it to happen.

That’s the bit I find so hard in all this.

Hasn’t the last year and a half – the last 10 years, the last 30 years on and on – been hard enough already?!

Why are we all so incredibly stubborn, literally holding out to the last second to really start to move off our marks, and to make some significant, soul-altering teshuva?

Why are we playing ‘chicken’ with God?

Don’t we know, that if we don’t move aside, make teshuva, get with the program for redemption, we are going to end up totally crushed?

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Tov.

In my hitbodedut, I’m really trying to understand with compassion, and to turn my anger into compassion.

I know, we are all frail human beings, me included, and that sometimes it just seems so very hard – impossible, even – to make the internal changes that are required for us to grow and move forward, spiritually.

I know so many people are operating out of a place of fear, anger, denial and depression right now.

They are stuck in ‘snake brain’, trying to switch off their anxiety with drugs – legal and illegal, netflix, work and ‘fun’.

I understand it, I really do.

I’m also going through all these tests, internally, myself.

That’s what the hour of hitbodedut is for, to face down my inner reality, to look my pain in the face, and to deal with it.

And then, to stand back up, and to carry on living, and trying and doing whatever we can to build the world.

I see so many people running from their pain, into ‘fake’ world, into ‘fake’ vaccines’, into fake fairy tales about moon landings, and happy-ever-after stories about doctors and hitech nerds figuring out how we can live forever…. as robots.

As robots.

As unfeeling, unthinking robots.

Who wants to live forever – or even for 5 seconds – like that?

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We have to learn how to feel our pain, without running from it, or denying it, or blaming it on others, or sinking down into black depressions.

Otherwise, we are already more than half way towards living life like an unfeeling, unthinking robot, and that is why the world is the way it is, right now.

Without hitbodedut, talking to God ideally for an hour a day, it’s impossible to do this.

Mamash, impossible.

And that’s why sometimes, I start to feel so frustrated and overwhelmed with this whole process.

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You don’t have to believe the world isn’t spherical; or that Big Pharma is totally corrupt; or that Rav Berland is the Tzaddik HaDor.

But you DO have to be doing at least some hitbodedut every single day.

That’s the minimum required, to not go through life as a robot with a heart of stone (or silicon…), and to be open to the changes THAT HAVE TO OCCUR, for us to get to the next stage of geula.

Hitbodedut, talking to God in your own words, is a mandatory requirement for entrance into the world of truth.

Maybe, it still won’t ‘work’ they way you hoped, to give you immediate clarity and an outlet for letting the pain out, and for retrieving some feeling in our hearts other than suppressed anger, fear and sadness.

But that’s the only thing left in our hands, the only tool we have to figure this matzav out.

And we all need to be using it.

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Around 2-3 months ago, I suddenly felt the need to have a really big picture of Rav Berland on my wall.

***Update***

Over the last few years, I’ve had small, more discrete pictures of the Rav in various places, sometimes more prominently than others.

When the opposition against the Rav was at its peak, around 4 years ago, I decided I would rather move those pictures to a less obvious spot away from the Shabbos table, than risk getting into shouting matches with guests about what they thought they knew about the Rav, based on the lying media and NWO propaganda sites like Yeshiva World News.

And then with all this ‘Covid 19’ lockdown stuff, we had a lot of people frequenting the house who had strong – and not altogether positive – opinions of the Rav, so even though I had my pictures up in the living room, they were still keeping a low profile.

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But then, around three months ago, I suddenly had this overwhelming urge to put the biggest picture of the Rav I could find, up on the main wall downstairs.

My husband wasn’t so sure that was a good idea, and I also felt a little trepidation about sticking the Rav so obviously in people’s faces, so to speak. Maybe, that’s just asking for arguments and unpleasantness? Maybe, it’s just going to cause unnecessary trouble with certain members of my family that are not as ‘pro-Rav’ as maybe I’d like them to be?

I had all these thoughts going around, like a washing machine, for a couple of weeks.

But ultimately, I came back to the whispering of my soul, that somehow or other, I really needed a massive picture of the Rav on my wall, for peace of mind and spiritual protection.

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I cover a lot of ground on this blog.

I research a lot of things that probably some nasty people would prefer me to leave alone.

And I’ve had the feeling all along, that what is guiding that research, and what is protecting me from harm, is my connection to the Rav, Rav Berland.

In One in a Generation Volume I, one of the leading kabbalists of the last generation explained that the Rav destroys the demons and the dark forces for many miles around him.

And with everything that’s been surfacing here in recent months, I have felt that in my soul, mamash, that I’m sheltering under the Rav’s wings, while I write all this stuff and try to figure out what’s really going on, here.

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That said, having a massive picture of the Rav on the wall is still a big statement.

And I knew it would probably invite ‘comments’, from people who think they know everything because they read the Yeshiva World News.

So, I sat on the idea for a couple more weeks, until one day, the urge to get a massive picture became so strong, I couldn’t fight it down anymore. That day, I picked out a nice image, stuck it on a flash drive, and had every intention of taking it down to the print shop. Somehow or other, I just didn’t make it.

Which was lucky.

Because – long story short – someone my husband knows at Shuvu Banim came over that night, unexpectedly, and brought with him the biggest picture of the Rav I’d ever seen, nicely surrounded by a heavy gilt frame.

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Did you ask for this?

I asked my husband, incredulous.

He looked back at me equally incredulous, because of course he hadn’t.

Yet here we were, the proud owners of a totally massive picture of the Rav, that sends the unmistakeable message to every person that enters our home that we are 100% with the Rav.

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I was thinking about that ‘big picture’, as I read a few of the comments that have appeared here in recent days ‘knocking’ the Rav.

I don’t want to put people off from reading, I don’t want to get into unnecessary fights.

But I’ve come to realise that trying to hide my affiliation with Rav Berland, so that people will take the rest of my investigative journalism ‘seriously’ is not something I’m willing to do any longer.

If you think I’m a crack-pot, biased ‘cult member’ because my search for the truth lead me to Rav Berland’s door – what can I do?

I set all the facts as I find them, I stack up the information as it appears, and draw the obvious conclusions.

I did that for ‘Covid 19’, for the murder in Meron, for all this Frankist-Freemason ‘Real Jewish History’ stuff – and of course, preceding all this, that’s also how I operated with trying to learn what the truth was about all the false accusations levelled against the Rav.

If you don’t think my ‘investigations’ are thorough enough, or factual enough – you are welcome to stop reading the blog.

Because from here on in, my support for the Rav is only going to get more obvious.

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Last week, I happened to go to THIS blog, where I read THIS post.

It doesn’t really matter what it was saying, the point is what one of the commentators underneath wrote, which I’m reproducing below:

Lux Noahide said…

enough!

are we here making calculations to find a destiny and meanwhile the just that can bring Redemption (Rav Eliezer ben Etya) remains under house arrest and at risk of life?

are we not ashamed?

this is all outrageous.

the problem is not the Americans, the problem is not the Arabs. the problem is our eyes, our mouths that don’t stop with lashon hara.

Redemption may come at that moment, but who of us is prepared to recognize Tzadik haDor?

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Wow, I thought to myself.

Good for them for having the guts for telling the truth like this.

As a Jew, I realised I have a lot to learn from the simple, strong emunat tzaddikim of that ‘Lux Noahide’.

Going forward, there are going to be a million and one explanations for why we are all suffering so much; why all these forest fires are still happening (including the one I saw out my window in Jerusalem on Shabbat afternoon); why so many people seem to be dying in so many bizarre freak accidents in Israel; why the ‘bad’ appears to keep winning; why life seems to be so very hard, in so many ways, for so many people.

But it all boils down to this:

The people who are prepared to recognise the Tzaddik HaDor, Rav Eliezer Berland, will have it way easier, as this geula process continues.

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That doesn’t necessarily mean ‘easy’, but it does mean ‘way easier’.

Already, most of those people didn’t fall for all the ‘Covid 19’ hype that saw millions of people being injected with experimental nanobot technology that can hack into their cells.

We already knew that the same police who’d been chasing Rabbi Berland for a decade, and the same corrupt government who’d kept him in prison for years without a trial, and the same journalists that had written one lying story after another simply couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth.

About anything.

But especially about Rav Berland and ‘Covid 19’.

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We also knew that the same ‘rabbis’ who could find the Tzaddik HaDor guilty of crimes he never committed in a million years, and who could ‘excommunicate’ a whole kehilla of tens of thousands of people based on the obvious lies of a sole witness also couldn’t be trusted to give real guidance about what was true and false, when it came to experimental gene therapies masquerading as vaccines.

Yeah, yeah, I know other ‘gadolei hador’ said the ‘vaccine’ is safe for everyone, including pregnant women.

Go tell that to my friend’s neighbor, who lost her unborn child at 5 months, 3 days after getting the Pfizer jab.

I’m sure she’ll find that very reassuring.

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Right from the start of this whole ‘Covid 19’ circus, I have literally felt that the ‘worst is passing me by’, because I’m under the Rav’s wing, following his advice, praying for him, and just generally doing whatever I can to play an active part in ‘fighting’ on behalf of the Rav.

And if that’s not enough for the sceptics – and of course, it’s never enough for the sceptics – there have also been the growing numbers of real tzaddikim who have been putting out more and more obvious messages connecting ‘geula’ with getting with the Rav, and praying for the safety and success of Moshiach.

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Before Covid 19 really took off, we had message like this, from February 2020:

Leading Kabbalist’s stark warning that talking against Rav Berland is linked to coronavirus COVID-19. 

Man o man, was it linked.

As I pointed out in a previous post, the ‘rabid believers in Covid 19’ and the ‘rabid believers of false, slanderous stories against the Rav’ score an almost perfect overlap.

All this is midda kneged midda.

Then in recent weeks, we’ve had more messages like these:

Kabbalist Reveals Reason for 4th Intifada and Warns of Tragedy a 1000 Times Greater

Rav Yekutiel Fish: Tragedies in Meron and Karlin caused by war against Mashiach

Hidden Tzaddik who Foresaw Meron Tragedy Reveals How to be Saved in the Future

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And then of course, we’ve had all those weird ‘supernatural’ fires starting up again in Israel, exactly the same time the corrupt State forced the Rav into a ‘plea bargain’ just so he’d have a chance to actually leave prison at some time in the next year, having been kept imprisoned with no trial for over a year already.

For the ‘crime’ of taking charitable donations….

And the exact same time that the Rav was taking out of the court in an ambulance, that’s when the ground opened up in the ‘Sha’arei Tzedek’ carpark.

And all this just happened to be in Parshat Korach, when those who went against the Tzaddik HaDor were swallowed by the earth.

Move along here, nothing to see, no connections to be made with Rav Berland. All these things are only happening because women aren’t wearing five pairs of bullet proof tights and ‘King Bibi’ finally got dethroned (along with Trump)…

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Yes, I know it’s hard to ‘row back’ from believing all those lies about the Rav.

Yes, I know it’s difficult to get with the Rav, because you already have all those other rabbonim that you ‘belong’ to, in your yeshiva, and in your communities, and most of them aren’t saying a thing about the Rav – or God forbid, they are even saying bad things.

Yes, I know you want Moshiach and geula to come the sweet way while you continue operating like a spiritual robot, with your brain and soul totally disengaged from the world around you, and your real life, and all the clues God is sending down, willy-nilly, about so many things that need to be changed and addressed.

I know, I know.

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But here’s what else I know:

The people who get with the Rav, Rabbi Eliezer Berland, Rav Eliezer ben Ettia, at this point in time, will have a much easier and gentler entry into the world of the truth than the people who aren’t.

Carry on being with your Rav, your kehilla, your community – but also admit that Rav Berland is the Tzaddik HaDor, and do whatever you can to help him fight the spiritual battle for good.

Pray the prayers HE tells you to pray, because he really knows what he’s talking about.

Pay the pidyonot nefesh to him, because that’s what really works.

Spread the Rav’s teachings and books and prayers far and wide, because that’s how you are going to see open miracles in your own life, and be saved from the harshest ‘birth pangs’ of the geula process.

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For the few people who will listen to these words, and not just try to ‘push back’ with more knee-jerk-reaction personal attacks, I promise you will never look back.

My life has been incomparably better, incomparably sweeter in almost every way imaginable, since I got with the Rav.

If you can say that about your Rav, your derech – great. Stick with what works for you.

But if you can’t…. and let’s face it, most of the people I speak to on a daily basis really can’t – then maybe do the experiment, and see what happens.

What do you have to lose?

(Apart from some arrogance and pride in your ability to ‘always be right’….)

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There is only one Tzaddik HaDor.

There was only one Moshe Rabbenu.

Yes, there are also many other great tzaddikim scattered across the Jewish world – but there was only one redeemer who could lead the Jewish people out of galut.

As it was then, so it is now.

The only people who will be left behind will be those who choose to stay in the dark, and to not follow the Tzaddik HaDor out to redemption.

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So, I now have a massive picture on my wall of the Rav.

And if and when people ‘start up’, I make it very clear, very fast, that the time for arguing about the Rav, and slandering the Rav, and ‘bigging ourselves’ up at the expense of the Rav are over, at least in my house.

Supporting the Rav is the ticket out of the gehinnom that so many people today find themselves in.

We don’t pray for him, we pray for us.

We don’t give pidyonot to help him, we give them to help us.

We don’t talk about the Rav to try to prove ourselves ‘right’, or to build up his ‘cult following’, God forbid.

We only talk about the Rav to let other Jews know there is a path out of the suffering they are engulfed in, and a road out to geula the sweet way – and that we can reach that path if we’re holding the Rav’s hand.

That’s all.

But, that’s everything.

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PS: Don’t forget to check out the new blog, Words from the Rav, HERE, that’s bringing bite-sized bits of Rav Berland Torah down in an accessible way.

And go HERE, to see a collection of the Rav’s books and prayers in English, many of which can be got for free.

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UPDATE:

I had the thought that other people might like a picture of the Rav for their wall, too.

So, here are some details of how you can go about ordering one, from CA, one of my readers (and friends…):

Here is the information we received about the pics from Yehoshua and the pictures we could choose from (see attachment above). The picture is printed on canvas.
35/50 cm==150   ₪
50/70cm= 230  ₪
Yehoshua Wiseman
054-844-1131 in Israel, 
 +972-54-844-1131 from abroad
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You might also like this article:

 

A crash course in teasing out the truth.

I’ve been deliberately staying away from this topic for months. But now that the ‘Peace Plan’ is upon us, I seem to be getting a strong push from shemayim to set out some of the facts about what appears to be going on with the current occupant of the White House, so that you, dear reader, can make your own mind up about whether Trump is really ‘Israel’s best friend’, or not.

As this subject is so divisive, and as I want to avoid machloket with other Jews as much as possible, I will try to keep my own comments as limited as possible. And I encourage you to click the links wherever you find them, and to uncover more pieces of this puzzle. This is about becoming your own journalist, fitting all this information together, and asking Hashem to show you what’s true, and what isn’t.

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This is the starting point, from something Rabbi Berland said on Chanuka 5780, here:  ravberland.com

The last battle was at Tzur.

Tzur is south of Bethlehem. The last battle took place there. After two or three months, they said now we’re going to Jerusalem, to conquer Jerusalem, that’s to say to begin a world war, and then America and Russia will come, and they began to send armies from all the world.

WHAT? THE JEWS WILL TAKE JERUSALEM? THAT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!

The entire argument between Yaakov and Esav was over who would take Jerusalem.

YAVAN IS IN ALL THE GENERATIONS. NOW TOO, AMERICA IS MALCHUT YAVAN, RUSSIA IS MALCHUT EDOM.

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Take home message:

The world is being fought over by (at least) two different ‘mafias’, one is called the Kings of Edom (headed by Russia) and one is called the Kings of Yavan (headed by the USA).

Both of these mafias have a legal / governmental face, and a very prominent illegal / ‘deep state’ aspect. Both of these mafias are involved in trying to take over as much of the world’s resources as possible, by fair means or foul.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out for yourself which of these mafias Trump is really working for.

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Whilst I was flying to Uman, I took a book along to read called: Trump / Russia: A Definitive History, by Seth Hattena, who is an award-winning investigative journalist for the Associated Press. Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

“In the early 1990s, a famous real estate tycoon – a regular in Manhattan gossip columns and on celebrity chat shows – found his world collapsing around him. He’d secretly gone bankrupt on three, multi-million dollar projects in a row.

Facing numerous lawsuits, isolated and desperate for cash, but cut off by his American Banks, he turned to dark sources in another country, a country regularly under sanction by the United States: its long-time enemy, Russia.

And thus commenced decades-long deal-making with a growing cobweb of corrupt, criminal and powerful Russians…And ending with a tycoon in the White House.”

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After the Communist USSR fell apart in the late 1980s, Russia and the rest of the former USSR fell into a state of chaos.

The people who stepped forward to take control of the country were essentially those who already had experience of free market economics – i.e. the mafiosos who had been running the black economy under the Soviets.

Many of these mafiosos had ties with Russia’s security services like the former KGB, and these people had gained experience and connections with the West by smuggling things into Russia, and also by helping to smuggle things out.

Google: “The Jackson-Vanik Amendment”, and see what you find.

Russia, and the other former USSR countries, were exclusively run by organized crime for at least a decade. During this time, corrupt leaders in the West collaborated with corrupt leaders in Russia itself, including the alcoholic former Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, to privatize the former USSR’s natural resources.

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In 2011, a Russian anti-corruption campaigner called Marina Salye fled for her life to the US. (It didn’t seem to help much. She died in March, 2012). Many years earlier, she’d been head of a special investigative commission in St Petersburg, who had been investigating Vladimir Putin – then the head of St Petersburg’s Committee of External Relations. Here’s part of her stated complaint against Putin:

“Vladimir Putin has issued licences, without government authority, for the overseas export of bartered oil, timber and non-ferrous and rare-earth metals to questionable and little-known firms, often incorporated the previous day, with licences issued in advance of being signed by Western partners and without documentation of the goods’ availability.

And the prices assigned were for dumping – about two thousand times lower than the prevailing ones. The Commission is now sending documentation of its investigation to the Personnel Office, and Putin may have to answer before his hometown for having deprived municipal coffers of $122 million.”

Instead, Putin became Russia’s president, and the Russian mafia acquired a patina of legitimacy.

This is how so much of the former USSR’s national wealth ended up in the hands of a small group of Russian oligarchs, who became fabulously wealthy overnight. All these people had some connection to the Russian mafia. Many of these people are Jews.

Google:

Jewish Russian Oligarchs

“Davos Pact”

“Boris Birshtein”

And see what you find.

It’s important to note that this type of corruption occurred throughout the former USSR, including the Ukraine.

But life as a Russian Oligarch is risky. Back in 2003, Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was suddenly arrested by Putin’s government, charged with fraud, and stripped of all his fabulous wealth. That sent a very clear message to the other Russian oligarchs and mafia bosses that the best way to protect their wealth was to find a way to get it out of the country, and ‘stored’ in assets in the West, in case the wind one day changed for them, too.

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Starting in the 1970s, there was a huge wave of immigration from the USSR to the USA, which welcomed 200,000 people to its shores. Around 80,000 Russians ended up in Brighton Beach, a community on the periphery of NYC which was subsequently christened “Little Odessa”.

At that same time, Russian organized crime began to flourish in the USA – and the power struggle between the Kings of Edom and the Kings of Yavan took a new turn.

Google the following names, and see what you find:

David Bogatin

Jacob Bogatin

Semion Mogilevich

Vyacheslav Ivankov

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Taking dodgy money from dodgy sources in order to give that money a patina of respectability is technically known as money laundering.

And here is where the story gets interesting.

Guess where so many of these Russian oligarchs and Russian mafia figures and Russian shell companies ended up investing their dodgy money? Here’s a few clues:

Trump Towers

Trump World Tower

Trump SoHo

For example, David Bogatin owned no less than five apartments in Trump Towers before he was arrested for his part in a billion dollar gas tax fraud.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, by 2004 a third of the units sold in Trump World Tower went to people or limited-liability companies connected to the former USSR, with one of Trump’s sales agents telling the magazine: “We had big buyers from Russia and Ukraine and Kazakhstan.”

Donald Trump had no problem whatsoever in selling his over-priced condos to fabulously wealthy Russians with murky business connections. Those sales jacked-up the value of his real estate, pulled him out of bankruptcy – and firmly connected him to a whole slew of wealthy people with useful connections on both sides of the legit / mafia business divide.

Google the following names, see what you find:

Sam Kislin

Michael Cherney

Lev Cherney

Fima Shusterman

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Real Estate is big business in today’s world.

Part of the reason so much real estate is going for artificially inflated ridiculous prices is because it’s a great way of laundering ‘black’ money. You buy something with dirty money, you sell it on for an inflated and unjustified profit, and hey presto, all of a sudden your money is ‘legit’ – it’s just the proceeds of a selling a condo.

No-one can ask questions about that….

Trump World Tower opened in 2002. Shortly afterwards, the Trump property brand started to skyrocket, especially with the Russians, many of whom seemed very happy to follow Trump around, wherever he chose to build his next developments.

Take Trump’s Sunny Isles Towers down in Miami, Florida. So many Russians moved into Sunny Isles locals started calling it “Little Moscow”.

Google the following names, see what you find:

Vladimir Popovyan

Peter Kiritchenko

Michael Barukhin

Elena Baronoff

==

Trump SoHo was unveiled in 2006, in partnership with a real estate company called the Bayrock Group.

Bayrock’s managing director is a man called Felix Sater, it’s founder was a former Kazakhstani called Tevfik Arif. Sater moved with his family to Brighton Beach, and Sater has a long and very interesting story.

Look him up on Google, and see what you find.

Long story short, he was involved with the mob, went to prison for white collar crimes including a pump-and-dump scheme run out of his ‘White Rock’ organization, and then apparently became an informer for the CIA in the Clinton years, helping the US to track down Osama bin Laden.

(I don’t know about you, but that whole thing just sounds kind of weird to me, and my BS-o-meter is twitching again.)

But by 2006, Sater was working with Bayrock on high ticket real estate details, and became very close to the Trump empire. Sater had business cards printed at this time that said: “Felix Sater: Senior Advisor to Donald Trump.”

Call it a coincidence, but Trump properties continued to fill up with wealthy investors from the former USSR, many of whom had very dodgy backgrounds, and sadly, many of whom are Jewish and closely connected to obviously Jewish organizations. Look up the following names, see what you find:

Vadim Trincher

Alex Sapir

Rotem Rosen

==

There’s so much more to say about all this, but I’m going to kind of skip over all the stuff about Paul Manafort helping to rig elections in the Ukraine up until 2013 etc. Look up:

Dmitry Firtash

Oleg Deripaska

====

One thing I will say is that the ‘division’ between Democrats and Republicans is really just for show.

It’s just to keep the masses thinking there is a real alternative. The political system in the US is totally corrupt, and really just masking the ongoing battle between the Kings of Edom and the Kings of Yavan for control of the international economy, particularly it’s darker side of drugs, guns and human slaves.

So, it should come as no surprise that ‘pro-Trump’ Manafort was happy to hire the ‘pro-Hilary’ Podesta Group to lobby Congress on behalf of Manafort’s client, Ukrainian President Yanukovych.

What’s more, the original Fusion GPS file on Trump’s connections to Russian mafia figures was originally commissioned by Republican Paul Singer, and then only taken over by the Democrats at a later stage.

The swamp extends in all directions, on both sides of Congress and the Senate, and is also still to be found in the White House itself. All of the politicians are corrupt, and just the ‘legal’ face of the invisible mafias that are running the world.

For example, Former Ukrainian President Yanukovych was totally corrupt, and there are estimates that $70 billion was illegally siphoned off into foreign accounts during his tenure. (He escaped prosecution in 2014 by jumping on a helicopter that whisked him over to Russia, where presumably he’s still hiding out.)

Meanwhile, Manafort flew back to Washington and went to work for Trump.

====

As I’ve written so many times before, there is no such thing as a 0-100% argument.

There is no such thing as one side being 100% wrong about everything, and the other side being 100% right.

It’s all an admixture, and the birur or clarification process God expects from us is to keep challenging our own assumptions, and our own black-or-white thinking to really dig down and discover the truth.

I am totally a-political. Before I started investigating all this stuff, I certainly didn’t hate Trump, and I probably would have voted from him back in 2016.

Back then, I didn’t realise just how endemic the spiritual and moral corruption actually is in the world. I didn’t realise that all these political parties and presidents and Prime Ministers are really just figure heads, puppets that are being moved around by the Kings of Edom and Kings of Yavan who are really running the show here.

Rebbe Nachman explained in his story The Cripple that ‘the talkers’ would take themselves out before Moshiach comes, and that’s what we’re witnessing right now. One set of evil mafiosos is trying to take out the other, but ultimately, they are both totally bad.

The Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans, just as corrupt, just as morally bankrupt. They are all just the window-dressing. As for ‘Q Anon’ – at this point, I’m pretty sure it’s being run by the Russians. Most of the information it puts out is probably true, but there’s another side to the story that most of us just don’t want to believe, namely that there are no ‘good’ guys in this picture.

====

The real power behind the throne is just playing us all off against each other, keeping us caught up in petty partisan politics, and fooling us into thinking that real change happens at the polling booths.

There is no real change until the real evil is unmasked and revealed. That real evil is bankrolling all our politicians and all our ‘leaders’ – including here in Israel. Just that real evil is also split into different factions, each one trying to get a bigger piece of the pie.

So, let’s get down to brass tacks now.

Trump is definitely part of the evil mafia, definitely not ‘good’ in any way, shape or form, and definitely not Israel’s ‘best friend’. The only question really is which mafia family is he working for, the Kings of Edom (Russia) or the Kings of Yavan (the USA)?

As to why the Jews should care about this, and particularly the Jews of America, it boils down to this.

====

Even a very quick look across the internet shows that there are certain crucial pieces of this whole ‘Trump / Russia’ puzzle that are hidden in very plain sight. I’m not going to spell this stuff out, for a lot of reasons.

But I urge my readers to carefully consider which organisations and charities have deep connections to the former USSR. Who used clandestine routes to smuggle things and people in and out of Russia?

What were the main lynchpins clandestinely connecting the USA and Russia during the Cold War? How were those ‘lynchpins’ affected and potentially corrupted by the Russian mafia’s takeover of the former USSR? Why are the same people, the same organisations, the same charities, coming up again and again and again in connection to Russian mafia figures, and money laundering?

Where are these organisations getting their billion dollar plus annual budgets from?

Who is really funding them, who is really using them as a smokescreen, and what are they getting in return?

These are crucially important questions that I urge the Jews of America to look into, however painful it might be, because ‘before the world of truth can be built, the world of lies has to fall.’

And we are perched on the edge of the next part of that process.

There’s no such thing as a 0-100% argument. Yes, the Democrats are totally rotten and morally corrupt to the core. But that doesn’t mean that everything they’re claiming about Trump is wrong.

Just both sides are only presenting their side of the story, because if they came out with the truth and explained that the whole world is being fought over by two main mafia organizations called ‘The Kings of Edom’ and ‘The Kings of Yavan’, and that all this talk of democracy and governance by the people was a total crock, there would be riots in the streets.

====

We live in interesting times.

Do your own homework, become your own investigative journalist, and start to tease the truth out about what’s really going on. Because sooner or later, what I’m only hinting to here is going to become public knowledge.

And then, anti-semitism is going to explode in the USA like never before.

====

 

Jeremiah’s Prophecy of Messianic Times tells us to ‘ask and see if a male has ever given birth.’

In the last post, I touched on the reference to Jeremiah’s prophecy of Messianic times, 30-35, that apparently inspired the Armenian Church to start buying up large swathes of the Old City of Jerusalem, a few centuries ago.

Before we continue with the Vilna Gaon, and his ‘messianic vision’ stuff, I just wanted to connect a few more dots, about where we might be holding in the whole process of redemption.

On Shabbat, I looked up chapters 30-35 in my trusty Artscroll Tanach, and I’m copying out the first part of the text – which Artscroll flags as “A prophecy of Messianic times” in the margin – below:

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from Hashem, saying:

Thus said Hashem, God of Israel, saying: “Write down for yourself all these things that I am telling you into a book. For behold, days are coming – the word of Hashem – when I will return the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, said Hashem, and I will return them to the land that I gave their forefathers and they will possess it.

These are the things that Hashem spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah:

For thus said Hashem: ‘A sound of terror have we heard; of fear, and not peace.’ Ask now and see if a male has ever given birth. Why do I see that every man puts his hand upon his loins like a woman in childbirth and all faces turn pallid?

Woe! For that day will be momentous, there is nothing like it. It will be a time of trouble for Yaakov, but he shall be saved from it. It shall be on that day – the word of Hashem, Master of Legions – that I will break the yoke [of the conqueror] from your neck and I will tear your straps, and foreigners will no longer enslave him. They will serve Hashem their God and David their king, whom I will establish over them.

But as for you, do not fear, My servant Yaakov, the word of Hashem, and do not be afraid Israel, for behold: I am saving you from distant places and your descendants from the land of their captivity, and Yaakov will return and be at peace and tranquil, and none will make afraid.

For I am with you – the word of Hashem – to save you. For I will bring annihilation upon all the nations among whom I have dispersed you, but upon you I will not bring annihilation. I will chastise you with justice, but I will never eliminate you completely.

====

Jeremiah continues on to say:

  • While the nation of Israel’s ‘wounds’ are acute and look terminal, God is preparing a cure.
  • Jeremiah also explains that: “How can you cry out over your injury, over your pain that is grave? It is because of your many sins, your transgressions that were so numerous, that I inflicted these upon you.” e., all the suffering we all are going through is 100% deserved, and due to our own sins. God is totally righteous.
  • Then, God repeats that He’s “returning the captivity of the tents of Yaakov”, and that He’s going to start seriously dealing with Yaakov’s oppressors.

Then, in election mode, God says to Jeremiah that:

“His leader will be from his midst and his ruler will emerge from within him….You will be a people unto Me, and I will be a God unto you.”

I.e. we’re approaching that time when our ‘leader’ is not going to be a corrupt, Westernised, pseudo-goy puppet, but a real Jewish leader, who will return the nation to serving Hashem.

====

And Chapter 30 then ends with this:

Behold, the storm of Hashem: A rage shall go forth, a tempest that will seek rest; it will rest upon the head of the wicked. Hashem’s burning wrath will not recede until He has accomplished it, and until He has upheld the plans of His heart. In the end of days you will be able to understand it.

At that time – the word of Hashem – I will be a God for all the families of Israel, and they will be a people to me.

====

So, here’s a few thoughts on the above. Before Shabbat, I checked in with Sky News, and this headline grabbed my eye:

Freddy McConnell: Transgender man who gave birth hits out at ‘de facto sterilisation’

The piece continues:

One of the few transgender men in the UK to have given birth has said misinformation from the medical profession is “de facto sterilisation”.

Freddy McConnell, who made a documentary film about his experience, spoke to Sky News about what it was like to be a pregnant man and to give birth….

Freddy McConnell, who was legally registered as male at the time of the birth, does not want to be recorded as the child’s mother.

====

(I know, I know, believe me I know. May Moshiach come and rescue us very soon….)

But in the meantime, it appears to peg us at a very significant time in Jeremiah’s prophecy for the end of days, vis:

Ask now and see if a male has ever given birth. – CHECK!

And now what comes next?

Woe! For that day will be momentous, there is nothing like it. It will be a time of trouble for Yaakov, but he shall be saved from it. It shall be on that day – the word of Hashem, Master of Legions – that I will break the yoke [of the conqueror] from your neck and I will tear your straps, and foreigners will no longer enslave him. They will serve Hashem their God and David their king, whom I will establish over them.

====

I had one more thought about this as I was typing it up.

Over on the ravberland.com site, the story came out that some of the Rav’s followers in Miami got together to pay a pidyon, to have the Rav ‘move’ the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian away from the State of Florida.

(You can read the full story HERE, replete with recordings and WhatsApp messages, where the Rav is clearly heard saying that either he’ll stop Hurricane Dorian over the Caribbean, or it will track up the coast 100 km out to sea. In the end, Dorian did both of these things.)

Dorian basically stayed stationary over the Bahamas for the best part of two days, destroying between 90-100% of the infrastructure on Abaco Island, and an estimated 70% of Grand Bahama Island’s infrastructure, too. The death toll is expected to jump into the thousands, when they finally get around to cleaning up over there.

I don’t know about you, but this was a little disturbing to me. Why was targeting the Bahamas for destruction more ‘moral’ than having a hurricane slam into Disney World? So, I went to do some research – and whaddya know?

The Bahamas is a very big, very important stop on the trafficking route into North America. Guns, drugs and people are all being smuggled in and out of America all the time via that route, which if you continue on for a couple hundred more miles, also leads out to the Virgin Islands and the infamous ‘Lolita Island’.

==

Now, it all starts to make sense:

Behold, the storm of Hashem: A rage shall go forth, a tempest that will seek rest; it will rest upon the head of the wicked. Hashem’s burning wrath will not recede until He has accomplished it…

It sounds like a contradiction in terms, to have a ‘tempest that will seek rest’ – that’s not usually what happens with storms and massive hurricanes. They just keep moving until they blow themselves out.

Dorian was very unusual, in that it maintained Category 5 status across 2-3 days, while staying stationary – ‘seeking rest’ – on the Bahamas, until the whole place was effectively totally flattened and rendered uninhabitable for a good long while.

====

Jeremiah’s verse tells us two more things:

  • Dorian was placed ‘upon the head of the wicked’ – there’s a lot of very bad stuff that’s been going down in and around that chain of Caribbean Islands.
  • The ‘storm of Hashem’ wasn’t going to ‘recede’ until ‘He has accomplished it’.

What the ‘it’ is, is open to debate. But it seems at least plausible that Hurricane Dorian may just have permanently disrupted a major trafficking route for the forces of evil. From where I’m sitting, it looks like:

Jeremiah’s ‘end of days’ prophecy seems to be jumping a little closer to home.

And we still have the elections in Israel in two days’ time, that could also be a significant turning point.

What did the Lubavitcher Rebbe mean, when he said there would never be another holocaust?

One day, Rebbe Nachman was walking along with a group of his students, when they happened to walk past a home where someone had just passed away. The bereaved family members were crying and shrieking, and beseeching God in a very distraught way. Rebbe Nachman turned to his followers and told them:

“What they are doing at the end, I want you to do at the beginning!”

It’s human nature to want to stick our head in the sand, and to avoid all the unpleasantness and the scary things going on around us. Why think about it? Why worry ourselves?

But Rebbe Nachman made many statements where he urged his followers to do the exact opposite.

“Why do we allow God to bring evil decrees to the world?!” he once said to them.

We should be praying, and beseeching, and clapping our hands, and dancing, and making the teshuva required to really sweeten these decrees!

==

Right now, we can still do something about the ‘scary stuff’ we can see looming in the future, and that every single one of us can feel lurking under the surface. 

God doesn’t want us to put our heads in the sand and pretend everything is A-OK, and that people can continue spitting in God’s face in a million different ways but it’ll still all end up being fine and dandy.

How can that be?

God created the world according to certain rules, and one of the biggest is the concept of reward and punishment. There are real consequences for bad behavior, sometimes very big consequences. If a person continues to go against what God really wants for them, and how He really wants them to be living their lives – and they don’t wake up and make some sincere teshuva – then they will have to deal with the consequences of their bad behavior.

====

In the meantime, putting our head in the sand is not helping anyone – not even ourselves!

God wants us to be crying out to Him, and making teshuva, and realizing that unless we are really holding firm to the Tzaddik of the generation, we could honestly get flung a million miles away, as God continues to shake the world.

“Regarding the Messianic age it is written: ‘To grasp the ends of the earth and shake the wicked from it.’  However, one who is attracted to a True Tzaddik can grasp hold of him and not be cast off. Holding on to the Tzaddik, he can remain firm.”[1]

==

Rabbi Berland isn’t telling us about the thousands of rockets pointed at Eretz Yisrael because he wants to pointlessly scare the pants off us.

He’s just pointing out the obvious – the bleedingly obvious – to rouse us to really start praying, and working on all the bad middot and teshuva we need to make to get these harsh decrees sweetened.

That’s why I get a little frustrated when I read emails like this:

“I’m keeping up with all the world news, craziness and all like always but I try to bring myself away from the doomsday stuff. It’s so scary when it’s so close to the end. The words Rav Berland is sending out now are really making me nervous. It makes me daven harder but I can’t imagine Hashem taking out anything on his children at this point. We just passed כ סיון which I learned all about recently. So many horrors have happened to us, I just can’t see anymore happening. Too many earlier tzaddikim like the Lubavicher Rebbe said it will be with rachamim and all Jews will be ok, I am trying to keep calm with that. I know what the autistics are saying but I am hoping Hashem will only fulfill the good.”

====

Do I understand that all this stuff is scary, and that we’d for sure all prefer things to come the sweeter way with no more bloodshed and suffering?

Of course!

Is the ‘sweeter way’ going to happen, if we don’t make every effort to do all the things I keep pointing out again and again and again, namely:

  • Praying our socks off – and making every effort to join in with Rabbi Berland’s prayer gatherings, however we can manage it.
  • Making some real teshuva, including working on our bad middot and ‘getting real’ about just how imperfect we actually are. 
  • Hanging on to the true tzaddik of the generation – whoever that guy might be – and telling other people about him, too?

Nope, it isn’t.

====

Which brings me to another point of clarification.

Over the years, I’ve read so many comments from people who are convinced that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe apparently said that the geula  is only going to come totally the sweet way, with no more death or suffering.

Even my correspondent, above, mentioned this:

“Too many earlier tzaddikim like the Lubavicher Rebbe said it will be with rachamim and all Jews will be ok.”

(Incidentally, apart from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, I don’t know of the other tzaddikim who have said anything like this. If any reader wants to share me some sources, I’d be very grateful.)

Now, I’ve been trying to track down the statement, or statements, that the Rebbe actually said, to give people this impression, and so far, this is what I’ve turned up (with some help from my friend, C.A. – ta!)

Before we continue, let me just point out that wherever possible, I’ve been trying to track down verifiable statements that were made by the Rebbe himself, and not just other people’s explanations of what they think he was saying.

There is certainly a time and a place for interpreting our Sages words, but the starting point has to be a clear explanation of what they actually said to begin with.

==

What the Lubavitcher Rebbe said about ‘no Jew being left behind’ when geula comes:

“Leah, ‘for now my husband will be united with me.’ In an ultimate sense, this verse refers to the unity of the Jewish people with G‑d. That unity will be revealed in the Messianic age, when all the Jews will leave the exile; not one Jew will remain. In the redemption from the Babylonian exile, many Jews, among them the Torah sages and the Levi’im, remained in Babylon. However, in regard to the future redemption ‘a great congregation will return,’ ‘you, children of Israel, will be gathered one by one,’ no Jew will remain in exile. Thus, in preparation for this redemption, efforts must be made to increase Jewish unity as explained above in regard to the Ushpizin related to the present evening.”

From here:

5th Night of Sukkos, 5745 (1984)

====

What the Lubavitcher Rebbe said about every THING being redeemed:

The redemption will involve freeing all the elements of existence that have been subjugated in the exile. Nothing will be lost.2 On the contrary, everything will be redeemed. Every single Jew will be redeemed. We will leave “with our youth and with our elders… with our sons and with our daughters.” And “their gold and silver will accompany them.” All the positive activities and achievements of the Jews (and also the non-Jews) in the exile will not be nullified. What will be nullified is the concealment of the world’s true inner being which is brought on by the material substance of the world and the subjugation to the rules of nature that exists at present. But all the positive aspects of the exile will remain, and indeed will be elevated.”

From here:

Shabbos Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim, 13th Day of Iyar, 5751 (1991)

==

The Lubavitcher Rebbe on the holocaust:

I also found this news report from December 31st, 1990 on the JTA website, which quoted the Lubavitcher Rebbe as disagreeing with a statement made by the late Rabbi Schach, z’tl, that the holocaust came about as a form of Divine retribution because of the millions of Jews who had thrown off the Yoke of Torah and Mitzvot. Rabbi Shach also said that something similar could happen again, God forbid.

This is how the Lubavitcher Rebbe was quoted as responding to those statements, in the report:

“[Rabbi] Schneerson was especially vociferous in his attack on the notion, expounded by [Rabbi] Schach, that further retributive suffering might befall the Jewish people if they fail to abide by Jewish law.

“This suggestion is unconscionable,” the rebbe declared, without mentioning who had made it. “The future bodes only well for the Jewish people. There will never be another Holocaust. There will be redemption and joy.””

==

It makes for interesting reading, doesn’t it?

If this last news report I brought was accurate, then the Rebbe does seem to be clearly saying there will never by another Holocaust. Let’s take each part of this last statement and explore it a little more closely:

The future bodes only well for the Jewish people.

 Who can argue with this? The principles of emuna state clearly that God is doing everything, and that everything that God does – even the bad, apparently yucky stuff – is ultimately for our own good. And of course, the ultimate ‘future’ is redemption, Moshiach, world peace etc.

But the Lubavitcher Rebbe is NOT saying that there won’t be any more suffering or death before we get there.

There will never be another Holocaust.

Amen, let’s really hope so.

Rabbi Berland has said on a few occasions that if you look through Jewish history, you see there was some sort of terrible destruction, pogrom or holocaust every 70 years or so.

A big part of why he went into exile and willingly took so much disgrace upon himself was to prevent this next ‘holocaust’ from happening. And that effort is continuing today, with the prayer gatherings, and all the terrible physical suffering the Rav is going through with his non-stop serious illnesses.

A couple of months ago, he also stated that unless more of Am Yisrael get with the program and start doing our bit to help sweeten the harsh judgments on the horizon, he may well have to take yet more disgrace and exile on to himself, and that it will be much, much harder even than what came before.

The mind boggles as to what that could actually mean.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe was an enormous Tzaddik, and he overlapped with Rabbi Berland.

He certainly knew about Rabbi Berland, and he could see what was coming.

(It’s a side note, but my Lubavitch friend told me that the Rebbe always used to get very upset when people referred to him as being Moshiach. Even though the Rebbe often said that the Moshiach was here, he NEVER said that he himself was the Moshiach. It’s just more interesting food for thought, that I’m putting out there to mull over.)

Is it too far-fetched to say that the Rebbe could see there would be a Tzaddik 30 years in the future who would sacrifice himself totally for the Jewish people, in order to prevent an otherwise ‘inevitable’ holocaust from happening again?

Or to put it another way, both Rav Shach and the Lubavitcher Rebbe were right.

But we only get to avoid the ‘inevitable’ holocaust if we’re take the threat of it very seriously, and cry out to Hashem and making the appropriate teshuva. Sticking our heads in the sand and kind of hoping for the best just isn’t going to work.

Lastly, we have:

“There will be redemption and joy.”

Again, who can argue with this? Amen and amen and amen.

BUT – that doesn’t mean there won’t also be more suffering and people dying.

In the 29 years since the Rebbe first made this statement, has there only been ‘redemption and joy’? Has there been no suffering?

Since 1990, Israel has gone through three Intifadas, and a number of wars.

Since 1990, so many people have lost their loved ones in tragic circumstances.

So many marriages have gone to the wall. So many people have lost their faith, or their minds. So many people have had to deal with challenges of an enormous magnitude.

It just isn’t realistic to sit there saying “all Jews will be OK” without qualifying that statement by adding but only if they make the necessary teshuva. Only if they stop destroying the world and spitting in God’s face. Only if they get close to the true tzaddikim.

====

Otherwise, how exactly is this meant to work?

That a totally unrepentant Mr Rainbow-Chasing-Chazer-Eating-Haredi-Hater with the worst middot in the world also gets the red carpet rolled out for them, to come and have a VIP tour of the Beit HaMikdash and personal meeting with Moshiach?

Really?

When the Lubavitcher Rebbe says that every single Jew will be redeemed, and that no Jew will be left behind, we need to remember that the same could be said of the Exodus from Egypt.

Every single Israelite who made it through the plague of darkness alive, was redeemed.

But four fifths were lost, before things even got to that stage.

There’s a scary midrash that “predicts” only 700 Jews will live to see the coming of Moshiach and the Temple being rebuilt. Now THAT is a scary thought, even for me.

But what if the geula coming b’rachamim just means anything over 700 people make it through to the finish line?

==

Like I said, the point of this post isn’t doom or gloom.

Rather, it’s to snap us out of all the unhelpful and unrealistic wishful thinking about geula, to make the point that until and unless more of us wake up, start joining in the prayer gatherings, start rallying more Jews around the flag of the real tzaddikim and start working on the enormous bad middot that are preventing us from really doing what’s required, here, the geula coming the sweet way j- with no more suffering – just isn’t going to happen.

Rav Avigdor Miller noted something similar about what occurred just before WWII. He said that God didn’t want to bring the harsh decree of Hitler and the holocaust, but He was waiting for the Jews to band together, make teshuva, and to start crying out for mercy, the same way they did at the time of Haman.

Sadly, that didn’t happen.

Why not? According to Rabbi Miller – the secular Jewish media and Jewish atheists were to blame. They wasted an ocean of ink denouncing Hitler, but couldn’t spare a single drop to encourage the Jews to rally around their true tzaddikim, and return to God.

God forbid, that should happen again.

[1] #22, His Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, published by the Breslov Research Institute

====

UPDATE:

A reader just sent me a translated Kuntres apparently written and edited by the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s own hand, with the following message:

“Regarding your most recent blog of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, there is unquestionably evidence throughout the Rebbe’s sichos where he indeed strongly hinted that he could be Moshiach. Several places he said that that Nosi HaDor is the Moshiach of the Dor. There is an entire kuntres called Beis Rabeinu Shebebavel , entirely edited by his own hand, with this concept, where he explains the uniqueness of 770, among other things it being Beis Moshiach. Anyone who learns this kuntres, it’s hard to arrive at any other conclusion besides the Rebbe hinting that he could be Moshiach. Here it is, in the original, and with an English translation, if you would like to take a look for yourself:”

You can download it as a PDF here: Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Kuntres on Beit Rabbenu

(The last link ‘broke’, so this is a PDF that will automatically download. I found it very interesting reading.)

There’s a lot of confusion about this subject, but I want to stress that the sources talk very clearly about their being TWO moshiachs, Moshiach ben Yosef, and Moshiach ben David.

In the post I wrote about who’s holding up the geula, I brought the following quote:

In Kol HaTor Chapter 2, Section 2, Letter bet, the Vilna Gaon says the following:

 “The general purpose of the two moshiachs, Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David, throughout all the generations has been to protect and fight against the three ‘heads’ of the klipot (evil husks): Eisav, Yishmael and the Erev Rav…..

“….the Erev Rav is our greatest enemy, the one who separates the two moshiachs. The klipah of the Erev Rav works only through deception and roundabout ways. Therefore, the war against the Erev Rav is the most difficult and bitterest of all. We must strengthen ourselves for this war, anyone who does not participate in the battle against the Erev Rav becomes, defacto, a partner with the klipah of the Erev Rav, and was better off not being born in the first place.”

It’s important to understand that these two moshiachs are not in ‘competition’.

It’s not a case of ‘my Rebbe is bigger than your Rebbe’.  The two Moshiachs are on the same side, and trying to work together, to bring the geula, but they both have different approaches and achieve different results. Rebbe Nachman explains this concept in a beautiful way in one of his stories, which I covered in this article: Moshiach ben Yosef vs Moshiach ben David.

I think maybe the time has also come to take a closer look at whether it’s possible for a Moshiach to come from the dead.

This is a very sensitive topic, I know. But I think it needs airing out respectfully, and with as many sources behind it as possible to see what conclusions our Sages came to, and how they got there.

A big part of the problem is that so many people have ideas about ‘Moshiach’ and geula that aren’t at all rooted in Torah sources. For example, there is a discussion in the Gemara (Sanhedrin 98b) that closely examines the idea of whether the Moshiach can come back from the dead. It’s not a ‘lunatic fringe’ issue, like it’s so often made out to be, it was a serious question that was debated by some of the biggest Sages that ever lived.

The ultimate conclusion is ‘no’, but if you follow the debate, you can see it’s not at all as black and white as it’s often portrayed to be.

BH, I will put together as many Torah sources on the subject as I can over the next few days, and we will learn about it together. As much as possible, it’s time to build some bridges, to put all the ‘hysteria’ to one side, and to take a calm, gentle and measured look at this topic.

With an awful lot of help from Hashem.

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Rebbe Nachman explains the difference between Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David

Over Shabbat, I was reading one of Rebbe Nachman’s stories, which I realized is describing the difference between Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David. I’m bringing an abridged version of it below, together with the commentary that goes together with it from Rav Natan, and from Likutey Moharan I:20 [in bold, square brackets]. My own comments will be underlined.

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New Stories: #209 in Tzaddik, by the Breslov Research Institute

 

The beginning of the Summer, 5564 (1804). The Rebbe said: I will tell you what I saw. And you tell your children.

There was someone lying on the ground and around him people were sitting in a circle.

This is Moshiach ben Yosef.

Around this circle was another circle. And around that circle was another circle, and so on – many circles. Then around them were sitting more people in no particular order. The circles contain Moshiach ben Yosef’s followers.

The one who was sitting in the middle – he was leaning on his side – was moving his lips and all those around him were moving their lips after him.

[This refers to teaching / learning Torah – this soul is the source of all the Torah explanations.]

After this, I looked and he was not sitting there – the one in the middle, that is. And all those sitting around stopped moving their lips. I asked, “What is this?” They answered me that he had become cold and had expired and he had stopped speaking.

After this, they started to run, and I ran after them. I saw two palaces – very fine, beautiful buildings. Sitting there were two commanders. They all ran to these two commanders and started arguing with them.

[This refers to the concept of machloket and controversy – the opposition which is aroused against the Tzaddikim when the power to draw forth Torah explanations is withdrawn.]

“Why did you deceive us?” They wanted to kill them.

The followers of the original Moshiach ben Yosef are very unhappy that they didn’t actually get Moshiach / geula, in the end. Rebbe Nachman now explains the spiritual reasons for this, by way of a parable.

The commanders fled outside. I saw them, and their nature was very good in my eyes. I ran after them and I saw in the distance a beautiful tent. From there they cried out to the commanders: “Turn back and seek out all the merits you have and take them in your hands and go to the light which is hanging there. There you will accomplish everything you want.”

They turned back and took their merits – i.e. all their mitzvahs – there were bundles of merits there – and they ran to the light. I ran after them and saw a gleaming light suspended in the air. The commanders came and threw their merits to the light.

[They mentioned their merits and good deeds, and tried to get the geula that way.]

From the light, sparks fell into their mouths. Then the NoR, lamp, turned into a NahaR, river, and everybody drank from the river, and creatures were formed inside them. When they started to speak the creatures came out of them and I saw them running and returning. They were neither men nor any kind of animal – just creatures.

[These creatures are angels, who get their strength from Edom, who has been appointed over all the punishments of the wicked.]

After this they decided to go back to their place.

This is referring to Eretz Yisrael / Beit HaMikdash / the state of spiritual purity that existed at the time of the Garden of Eden, and which will exist again in the world-to-come.

But they said: “How can we go back to our place?” Somebody said: “We should sent to the one who stands there holding a sword which reaches from heaven to earth.”

[This is a reference to the angel of Edom, Esav’s angel, aka the Samech Mem himself.]

Edom, i.e. the West / Christianity is what’s stopping the Jews from returning to Israel en masse and rebuilding the Bet HaMikdash, and also has the ‘power’ the Jewish people requires to punish and subdue the wicked.

They said: “Who should we send?” They thought they should send for the creatures, and the creatures went there. I ran after them and I saw him. He was terrifying. His stature reached from the heaven to the earth. In his hand was a sword reaching from heaven to earth. It had many blades.

One of them was sharp – this was for killing. One of them was for poverty, one of them for weakness. There were also many other blades for other punishments.

They started pleading: “All this long time we have been suffering at your hands. Now help us and bring us to our place.” He said: “I cannot help you.” They pleaded: “Give us the blade for death and we’ll kill them.” But he didn’t want to. They asked for a different blade, but he did not want to give them a single blade.

[He didn’t want to help them to subdue the wicked people, because of the mistake they made by trying to ‘force’ the geula via good deeds etc, instead of breaking their hearts, begging and entreating Hashem to bring it.]

They went back.

Either back to ‘normal’ life, forgetting all about Moshiach / geula, or back to their bad habits before they made teshuva as a result of learning the Moshiach ben Yosef’s Torah teachings.

In the meantime, there was an order to kill the commanders, and they cut off their heads.

[The ‘head’ can refer to daat, internalized spiritual knowledge, as well as the more obvious connotation as the ‘head’ of a particular movement or group.]

Meanwhile, the sequence of event returned to what it had been before – namely that someone was lying in the ground surrounded by circles of people, and so on.

This is now referring to Moshiach ben David, and his followers.

They ran to the commanders – everything happened as described before – except that now I saw that the commanders did not throw their merits to the light. They simply took their merits and went to the light and broke their hearts i.e. did some hitbodedut, which Rebbe Nachman frequently characterizes as spending an hour being broken-hearted before Hashem, while you do a cheshbon hanefesh and acknowledge your faults, flaws and errors.

And they began to beg and make entreaties before the light-  another reference to praying – and sparks fell from the light into their mouths. They entreated more and the light turned into a river, and the creatures were formed etc.

They told me, “These ones will live” – i.e. Moshiach ben David and his followers will actually make it through to geula and the world to come – because the first ones deserved to be killed for throwing their merits to the light and not making entreaties like these latter ones. I didn’t know what this meant.

They said to me: “Go into that room and they will tell you the explanation of this.” I went and there sat an old man. I asked him about the matter. He took his beard in his hand and said to me: “My beard is the explanation of what happened.” I still don’t know,” I said. “Go to that room,” he replied, “and there you will find the explanation.”

I went there and saw a room infinitely long and broad, entirely filled with writings. Wherever I opened I saw the explanation of the story.

[This vision is connected to Lesson 20 in Likutey Moharan Part 1.]

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HERE IS SOME OF WHAT REBBE NACHMAN WRITES IN LESSON 1:20:

“When one prays before giving over a [Torah] lecture, one must pray with supplication, begging God for gratis instead of asking for one’s due….

“But Moses [i.e. the redeemer / Moshiach ben Yosef] did not do this. He rather cited his own goodness and righteousness…as one who grabs something forcefully and without consent, for he sought in the power of his good deeds….

“…whoever tries to ‘force the moment’ (literally, ‘pressures time’) – the ‘time’ pressures him, causing one to die before one’s time. [This is why Moshiach ben Yosef died ‘prematurely’, before the job of bringing the geula was completed.] For this reason, one should never pressure oneself for anything, but beg with supplication. If God grants it, good, and if not, not.”

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Next, Rabbenu turns to the subject of attaining the Land of Israel.

“[T]he land of Israel is one of the three things that can only be attained through suffering (Brachot 5a) and the main suffering is the obstacles of the wicked, who slander the land. These wicked must first be subdued with a sword and death, and only then can one enter the Land of Israel.

“However, the power to punish the wicked can only be acquired from the power of Edom, for that is his power, as in: “You will live by your sword” (Genesis 27:40), and he draws sustenance from the astrological sign of Mars. [Which is related to bloodshed and war, and the Jewish month of Nisan – the month of redemption.]”

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Rebbe Nachman now explains that the Angels which can defeat and kill the wicked are formed from the original Torah insights of the Tzaddik / Moshiach ben Yosef / Moshiach ben David.

But, when the Tzaddik’s followers don’t put an emphasis on personal holiness – i.e. guarding the brit, guarding the eyes, modest behavior and dress – these Angels then lack the power to actually destroy the wicked people who are slandering the Land of Israel.

Depending on how ‘weak’ these angels become, in descending order:

They can’t kill them; then they can’t punish and intimidate them; then they can’t rouse the nations of the world against them; then they can’t even silence them from speaking evil in our presence “so that their words do not enter the ears of the masses. And sometimes even this power they lack – all according to the degree of holiness that is lacking.”

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Rabbenu then goes on to explain that the lack of personal holiness amongst the Jews is the main thing empowering the wicked people who are slandering the land, and preventing the Jews from returning to the Land of Israel.

Moshiach ben David succeeds where Moshiach ben Yosef failed, because he prays before he gives over his Torah lessons, and he focuses on increasing personal holiness amongst his followers, not just doing more good deeds and mitzvahs.

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Rebbe Nachman then explains the nine rectifications of the beard, and how they lead to the Land of Israel, as follows:

  • Take the staff – this refers to the Tzaddik’s Torah lectures that he gives over to his followers. This Torah has to be drawn with prayer, not with ‘force’, in order for the rest of the process to work.
  • Gather the people together’ – to subdue the evil elements the community contains.
  • Speak to the rock with supplications’ and prayers – this refers to the need to have yirat shemayim, or Fear of Hashem.
  • ‘In their presence’, to bond with them – the Tzaddik’s soul has to become ‘bound up’ with his followers / the Jewish people.
  • To draw fiery words – actually an allusion to drawing down Divine mercy on the Jewish people.
  • To draw Torah – the Tzaddikim are judged to a hairsbreadth, and if they are blemished in some way, they can no longer draw the Torah required to bring geula.
  • To create angels.
  • To receive power from Edom to subdue the enemies / wicked who are slandering the Land of Israel.
  • To enter the Land of Israel.

If any of these steps are missing, we can’t ‘enter the Land of Israel’ / truly get to the geula shleima.

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Ad Kan.

There is so much more to say about all this, and it seems to me that so much of what we’ve been discussing here on the blog is alluded to in this lesson in quite an awesome way.

(If you want more insights into the very deep concepts being brought in this story, take a look at Day 3 of Rebbe Nachman’s tale of the Seven Beggars. The ‘heart of the world’ also seems to be refering to Moshiach ben Yosef and his followers.)

Moshiach ben Yosef failed to bring geula, because the emphasis was on stressing how many mitzvoth and good deeds were going on, as opposed to praying heartbroken prayers that God should bring the geula, as a free gift. Trying to force the issue just led to the Moshiach ben Yosef dying prematurely, leaving his movement without a ‘head’, i.e. a real direction, or daat, internalized spiritual knowledge of what to do next.

Hopefully, Moshiach ben David will have more success.

These things are so awesomely deep, there are so many spiritual rectifications going on. It’s totally beyond us to understand what’s really happening by ourselves, and only our true Torah sources and real rabbis can guide us in the right direction.

Honestly, the strange noises have never really disappeared since they first started up around six years ago, but the last few days, they seem to have gone up in intensity. Here’s a few of the headlines from the last 24 hours:

Trumpeting, metal grinding sounds heard in northwest Bristol, UK sky

Strange sky noise phenomena captured in Dublin, Ireland

Strange trumpeting sounds recorded in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

‘Weirdest thunder’: Strange noises heard in Ohio sky

Remember that Gemara taking about ‘voices’ the year before war? (I remember it because it’s quoted in Volume 2 of One in a Generation). Here it is, to refresh your memory:

In the Gemara (Sanhedrin 97a) it describes the pre-Messianic era as follows:

“It’s taught in a Baraisa: Rabbi Yehuda says, ‘In the generation when ben Dovid [i.e., the Moshiach] comes, the meeting place will be used for debauchery; the Galilee will be laid to waste; and the Gavlan will be desolate. The border people will wander from city to city and not be shown favor. The wisdom of the scribes will become putrid, and those who fear sin will be despised. The generation will have the face of a dog, and the truth will be absent.

As it’s stated, ‘Truth will be missing, and the person who flees from evil will seem like a crazy person.’

There will be eating, drinking and rejoicing, and the knowledge of Torah will return to those who study it. In the sixth year there will be voices. In the seventh year there will be wars. And in Motzoei Sheviis [the year after the seventh, or Shemittah, year] ben Dovid will come.”

In the meantime, the Notre Dame Cathedral just went up in flames in Paris, and here’s a little history about what might be going on with that, courtesy of my 18 year old’s friend:

Notre Dame also burst into flames sometime before 1230, and renovation work was completed on it sometime around 1240 – around the same time that Pope Gregory I decided to burn every single copy of the Talmud in France – around 10,000 – after hearing complaints against it by a poisonous Jewish apostate called Nicholas Donin.

“According to the historian Jeremy Cohen, Nicholas Donin’s principal concern was that the Talmud had begun to supersede the Bible for the Jews. If so, however, it constituted a theological problem for Christians.”

You know what – it still does.

Not least because so many of the secrets of how the world really works, scientifically, are laid out in. The Gemara resolves all the problems with ‘old earth’ versus ‘new earth’ arguments, talks about plate tectonics, and explains human health and physics in a way that much of modern science is either only just stumbling over now, or has yet to discover.

The Talmud includes the Gemara, and the Mishna, and is more colloquially referred to as the ‘Oral Law’.

It’s also often referred to it as ‘Rabbinic Law’, as it was codified by the Rabbis. And as we know, kristians really don’t like ‘orthodox rabbis’, as anyone who has actually read the new testament can attest to.

So, Donin’s complaints against ‘Rabbinic Law’, which lead to the French King Louis IX and Pope Gregory putting the Talmud on trial, then burning it at the stake, included that it was blaspheming Yoshki, and also making kristianity look bad. Of course it was!

And it still is, Baruch Hashem.

Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, the Maharam, reportedly witnessed the burning of these thousands of copies of the Talmud. Interestingly he wrote a Piyut called Shali Srufa BaEsh (Mine [i.e. the Talmud] is burnt in fire) which ends with the words:

“It will be declared to burn his daat [religion, religious knowledge] in hokim [rules], so praiseworthy, the one who will repay them for their deeds.”

In the meantime, the new Democrat hopeful over in America, Pete Buttigieg has started called VP Pence a ‘Pharisee’, which is getting some American Jews upset, as ‘Pharisee’ was used by the tzadukim of Second Temple Times in much the same way as ‘ultra orthodox’ is used by people who don’t like orthodox Judaism today.

But in an interesting twist, it seems to be liberal, Reform Jews who are finding the use of the term ‘Pharisee’ antisemitic.

The plot thickens…

But, something is definitely starting to move in the world.

And it seems to me, that the pendulum is finally starting to swing away from Esav, back towards Yaakov.

We live in interesting times.

In the old days, I used to make plans to do a long hitbodedut every single day of a 3-day Purim heading into Shabbat – and sometimes, they even used to come off.

But not, it seems, these days.

I’ve actually been struggling with a lack of motivation since Rosh Hashana, when I deleted Emunaroma to avoid getting pulled into any more ‘machloket’ with pretend-perfect crazy people.

And for three months, I did nothing much, because I didn’t want to have any more machloket in my life, and whatever I write, it always seems to end up there, somehow or other.

So then, back in December, I felt God wanted me back online, and with a heavy heart, I agreed.

Because I really don’t want any more machloket in my life!!! I just want an ‘easy’ life now, thanks very much, Hashem.

For months, I’ve been avoiding getting into anything too controversial again, as much as possible (although in our PC world, full of snowflakes just waiting to get offended so they can take out all their inner turmoil on you, that’s really much easier said than done.)

But I’ve been trying.

Now, you’d think that making a resolute effort to pursue the ‘easy’ life would be making me far more relaxed, chilled out, and overall happy-feeling. Believe me, I also thought that would happen.

But, man, was I wrong.

Instead of being more chilled out, laid back, exercising more, using all my energy to whip up healthy cakes, and go to the gym, and to spotlessly clean the house and iron my husband’s shirts (poor man…), I’ve actually been struggling to wake up most mornings, because what’s the point? My kids are big enough to get off to school without me, no-one needs a sandwich made, or a pair of sneakers found, so what’s the point?

 Sure, I’ve still been doing stuff – lots of stuff, even – but nothing really has been exciting me too much, or grabbing me. Why? Because while it’s kinda meaningful, it’s also kinda bland. And bland is not enough to have me jumping out of bed in the morning.

But ‘interesting’ stuff is always inherently risky, in any number of different ways. It can draw people against you, it can draw you into disputes and patterns of thinking that are very unhealthy and destructive. It can lead to a lot of stress and complication….

So, I’ve been caught on the horns of a furious dilemma.

But today, Purim day, I realized something profound: I’m here to serve God, for the good, and also for the bad. I’m not here to have an easy life. And pursuing that ‘easy’ life is actually making my life anything but easy.

Externally, it’s relatively peaceful and tranquil, Baruch Hashem. Internally, I’m fighting a raging tempest that wakes me up 4 times a night, and gives me no rest. I’m falling apart physically. I can’t ignore God’s prompts anymore.

This is so similar to what happened to me before we moved to Israel. The risks associated with moving were so huge – in London, we both had good jobs, a nice house, a community, family, the language etc etc. It was far too scary to even contemplate aliya.

But then, God sent me a bunch of inexplicable panic attacks, and a series of bad nightmares about getting stuck in London during a terrorist attack (this was months before the 7/7 terror attack actually occurred, which killed 52 people in London) – and after the third time, I told my husband we have to do it, we have to move to Israel.

Because God was giving me no peace, and my ‘easy life’ was becoming a living nightmare.

And it’s happening again.

That’s what I realized, this Purim.

There is no running away from God.

Yesterday, I went back to Hevron, to go and so some hitbodedut at the Mearat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

So often, when I’m struggling with big decisions, big confusions, big inner turmoil, I’ve gone back to sit at a holy place – like Hevron, like Kever Rochel, like the Baba Sali, like Uman – and the clouds start to part, and a light starts to shine on a way out of the madness.

Like everyone else, I have a lot going on.

So, I was in Hevron yesterday, pondering on a lot of different things, when I happened to pick up a little booklet of Rav Shalom Arush’s ‘pearls of emuna’, that someone had left next to the grille overlooking the tomb of Avraham.

I picked it up, opened it up randomly, and got to a passage that (from memory) said something like this:

Rebbe Nachman writes in Likutey Moharan that the whole point of life is to keep giving the honor, the kavod, back to Hashem. And human beings are very bad at this, and they just want to keep trying to wrestle the honor that’s due to God back to themselves, in all types of different ways.

He brought direct quotes from Likutey Moharan, but I can’t remember the reference. But that was the gist.

And as always, it dealt so precisely with so many of the things I’m wrestling with, right now.

Like, why I am so terribly bothered and disturbed by all the rampant ‘self-promotion’ that’s going on all over the place, where even the yearning for geula seems to have been harnessed to a Paypal account.

And like, why I’m so terribly bothered by all these ‘rockstar rabbis’ and ‘rockstar rabbanits’ who speak so very eloquently, and who plaster themselves all over Youtube, and who seem to pop up like a rash on colorful glossy posters on lampposts and walls all over the Holy City of Jerusalem (and elsewhere…)

And like, why it upsets me so much that so very many of our ‘leaders’ – religious and otherwise – are clearly just ‘leading’ because of what’s in it for them, and their egos, and their bank accounts, and their social media following.

God is out the picture, fundamentally, even in the orthodox Jewish world.

So few people today are doing their Torah classes lishma, in order to give the honor due to God.

That’s strong language, I know, so let me try to explain what I’m talking about with some real-life examples.

A few years’ back, one of my neighbors strong-armed me into attending a ‘self-development / emuna’ workshop, by a well-known ‘rockstar rabbanit’ type in her home, because the rabbanit wanted a guarantee that at least 10 people would commit, “to make it worth her while”.

I baulked when my neighbor told me the cost was 50 shekels a class, and that I’d have to pay 400 shekels up front, to cover the whole 8 weeks.

Why so expensive?! I wanted to know.

Then I went to check out the slick website, the slick promo video, and I saw I’m dealing with a serious business person here, who is packaging their ‘Torah’ in a very commercially-sensible way. And I could see how making it financially ‘worth her while’ was actually the goal, the focus, of everything she was doing.

And then I baulked even more, because we’re warned away from people who turn their Torah learning into a ‘hammer’ with which to build up their own personality cults, and bank accounts.

But my neighbor wouldn’t relent, so I agreed to come and try one class (for 50 shekels…) and then to decide if I wanted to continue. I sat there, listening to some very warped ideas about how we can ‘force’ God to do what we want, and to give us what we want, and I came away extremely disturbed.

Because that’s total baloney. The real definition of emuna is accepting God’s will happily, while trying to work on the bad middot that are ‘blocking’ all the good stuff that God wants to send down to us.

But I guess that’s not such a commercially-viable message, and that no-one would want to pay 50 shekels a class just to be told their own bad middot are causing them all the problems.

Another time, a different ‘rockstar rabbnit’ rolled into town, and again it was an-singing, all-dancing event that was so expensive to attend, it actually provoked a storm of outrage in the village.

Why so expensive?! Everyone wanted to know.

But then, when you saw the fancy venue that was hired, and the expensive light and sound crew, and you counted the number of dancers, and comedians, and singers and performers who were the ‘warm up’ for that rockstar rabbanit, it all made perfect sense.

It was slick entertainment being packaged as Torah, and it was totally focused on the ‘feel-good’ factor, instead of the ‘actually becoming good’ factor – which again, is a much harder sell, commercially.

Again, I came away with a very uncomfortable feeling about it all, especially when I saw the queue of women lining up to get a ‘blessing’ and advice from the rabbanit after the show. I know firsthand how much damage bad advice can do to people who have been fooled into believing they’re dealing with a bona fide tzaddik.

You throw away your own critical thinking, you override your own gut feelings – and ultimately, the person isn’t really a tzaddik, doesn’t have any more of a connection to God than you do, and is really just dressing their own opinions and biases up as ‘ruach hakodesh’, or some sort of prophetic spirit.

In a nutshell: it’s extremely dangerous.

Another time, I was strong-armed into attending yet another Torah class given by yet another ‘rockstar rabbanit’, this time in Jerusalem. Again, I was left underwhelmed by the quality of the Torah being taught, and the character of the person giving it over, and overwhelmed by the insistence of the helper who waved her ‘donation cannister’ in the face of everyone who entered the room, and demanded a 30 shekel ‘donation’ before she’d let you sit down.

Ah, Torah lishma! Torah teaching for its own sake! Torah learning for God!

Not.

Not at all, actually.

I know rabbis and rabbanits need to eat, I really do. I know they need to put food on the table.

But as soon as the financial consideration becomes the imperative, all that person’s Torah, all that person’s wisdom, all that person’s ‘advice’ and insight, it’s all being harnessed to power their own honor and bank account, and God is out of the picture.

Even Rebbe Nachman tells us (in Sefer HaMiddot, Tzaddik, #18):

There is a tzaddik whose fame is reknown, who later falls through lust for money.

I.e., even a bona fide tzaddik can fall into a very bad place when financial considerations becomes the main engine driving their activities.

Also in Sefer HaMiddot (Tzaddik #57), Rabbenu tells us:

There are those that expound on the Torah with eloquence, yet their words lack truth.

But man, do they make for some good entertainment!

The rabbis and rabbanits who are truly serving God lishma, truly teaching Torah lishma, often do so at such an enormous cost to themselves, and their own comfort zone, and their own finances and ego.

That’s one of the ways you can tell who is ‘real’ and who isn’t, in our confused, upside-down, back-to-front world.

I prefer to learn Torah from people who I know from firsthand knowledge often lack the funds to pay their own electricity bills. And who often go into enormous debt putting out Torah teachings, or building new kollels and yeshivas, as Rav Natan did on behalf of Rebbe Nachman, and Breslov chassidut. And who literally go through a ‘fire and water’ of disgrace and humiliation, because they want all the honor to go to God, and not to become some ‘big name’ on the Torah circuit.

Personally, I’m not on that level, no-where near it. While I’m clearly not writing to earn money (haha!) I still write to feel good about myself, to feel as though I’m doing something useful in the world. It’s not 100% lishma, it’s not totally for God

And that’s why it’s so humbling for me to watch and experience how it looks when Torah is truly being learned and taught – and lived – lishma.

This Torah isn’t light entertainment, this Torah doesn’t make for pretty Youtube videos, the people teaching this Torah aren’t showing up on the roster of speakers at the Dead Sea for Pesach.

This Torah is challenging the listeners – continually – to put their hand up and admit they aren’t perfect, and that they need to knuckle down and work on their own characters and relationships.

And that’s just not something anyone wants to pay good money to hear, is it?

But this Torah makes it blindingly clear that the honor belongs to God.

And no-one else.

And that’s how I know it’s real.

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UPDATE: I had a question about how paying a tzaddik a pidyon nefesh relates to what I’ve described above. BH, I will collate a bunch of sources, and answer that with some daas Torah next week some time.

It’s a complicated subject, so I can understand the confusion, and with God’s help, I will try to clarify the difference.