Tag Archive for: Breslov

For some reason, I wrote that title with Ashkenazi spelling…

On Friday night, I had a little taste of geula.

An English-speaker from Rav Berland’s community called me up, and asked me if he could come for Shabbos, with two friends.

I thought about it for a mo, then told him Sure!

Why did I think about it for a mo?

Because I knew my kids would be home for Shabbat, and in the past, they have been fairly ‘anti’ people from Shuvu Banim.

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When we lived in Musrara, 7-8 years ago, we tried to invite some of the English-speaking kehilla who were hanging out at the Rav, but it was hard on the kids.

They were going through their rebellious teenage stage, and here were a bunch of people who preferred the women and men to sit and separate tables, and who were often wearing shawls.

One time we went to my husband’s then chevruta for Sukkot, and there were two tables – one for men and one for women – with a mechitzah dividing them. I watched my then 14 year old stab the plastic table cloth into shreds with her fork, and I knew she wasn’t happy….

That was before all the controversy about the Rav erupted full-force.

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Once that happened, my kids and their dati leumi friends got very ‘anti’ for a while.

There I was, writing and researching books about what had really happened with the Rav that showed it was all made up out of whole cloth, and writing long screeds on my blog trying to explain the truth of what had really happened to other people.

And in the meantime, me and my husband had about two years where we couldn’t even mention the words ‘Rav Berland’ without setting off World War 3 with our kids and their friends.

It was a very challenging time.

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About two years ago, something fundamental started to change in the equation.

I think probably it was triggered off by ‘Covid 19’, when my kids started to understand that a lot of the things I’d been telling them about just how corrupt the State of Israel really was, actually were true.

And then Ahuvya Sandek was killed, deliberately, when the police car chasing his ‘flipped’ the car he was in by expertly ramming it, and the police officers involved just stood there for 40 minutes and watched, while Ahuvya slowly died from the injuries he sustained by being crushed underneath the car.

From that point on, both my kids were firmly of the view that the police in Israel were ‘anti religious Jews’ – and capable of doing even the most evil things.

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Slowly, slowly, they started wanting to discuss more about what had really happened with the Rav, and while I wouldn’t say they are raging Rav fans even now, they have a lot more respect for him and his kehilla – and also for their parents, for being associated with it.

So.

This was the first time in years we were having out-of-the-closet ‘Rav people’ for Shabbat, and I hoped it was going to be OK.

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I went to the Rav Friday night, walked back – and I could hear a strange American voice coming from the couch.

My kids were talking to someone one of them had met in the Shuk, an American 20 year old who was touring across Israel for a month before going back to university in the States.

Long story short: She was touring around with the ‘Green Olive’ tour company, had been to places like Ramallah and other areas where she had apparently been tear-gassed by the IDF, was a card-carrying member of J-Street – and the rainbow straps of her backpack clued me in that there was other stuff going on here, too.

Hmm.

But she was actually very nice, very respectful, and was happy to be challenged (gently) on her opinions.

She also made me laugh, when she told me that Jews for Jesus had set up a ‘free coffee’ shop on her campus to missionise to the Jewish students there, and that she and her friend were taking them to task for ‘cultural misappropriation of the Jewish identity’.

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So.

I still have no idea about the three guys who are coming for Shabbat, and how all this is going to jive with the ‘anti-Zionist’ J-streeter with rainbow straps who bluntly stated she didn’t believe in God.

But it for sure was going to be an interesting night.

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Long story short: It was one of the most special Friday nights I think I’ve ever had.

Not because people were hiding what they really thought or think, and being all fake ‘politically correct’.

Everyone was saying exactly what they thought, about a range of hugely ‘controversial’ topics – and everyone around the table was still respecting the other person, even though they often violently disagreed with what they were saying.

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One of my guests told us the story of his near-death experience, that happened around 5-6 years ago, when he was caught in a fire in Jerusalem.

He wasn’t burnt – at all – but he inhaled smoke, and it nearly killed him. In fact, it did kill him – he had a clinical death for 20 minutes.

He told us that during that time, he was being judged in the heavenly court by three rabbis: Rav Dov Kook of Tiveria, Rav Chaim Dovid Stern of Bnei Brak, and the head of the beis din was the Rav, Rabbi Berland.

The Rav stood up in shemayim, and decreed that he should go from mavet (death) to chaim!!! (life).

(Tachlis, someone also paid a pidyon nefesh for him, and the Rav himself came to pray for him at the hospital, as well, but the bottom line is that he recovered, fully, and without any negative side effects from being clinically dead for 20 minutes….Amazing.)

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My guest also gave over a couple of other things that he ‘got shown’ when he was technically dead.

One of them was that EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO US, ESPECIALLY THE BAD STUFF, IS ACTUALLY FOR OUR HIGHEST GOOD.

It’s difficult to grasp that.

But when someone who has been dead for 20 minutes tell you that’s what he saw – you believe him.

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Another thing he said is that it really is an ‘upside down world’, and the people who we look down on the most in this world are usually the holiest people.

We diss other people for being less learned… less ‘observant’…for not living in Israel…or maybe, for living in Israel…for serving in the IDF… for not serving in the IDF…for learning full time in yeshiva…for not learning full time in yeshiva…for going to Uman for Rosh Hashanah…for not going to Uman for Rosh Hashanah….

What do we know, really?

There are for sure evil people in the world doing a bunch of evil things, but most of the people you and I know in our day-to-day lives are actually mostly just doing their best to try to figure things out and ‘do the right thing’.

Even though of course, so many of us have some very strange ideas these days about what ‘the right thing’ actually is, thanks to all the deliberate inversion of moral values and confusion being sown all around.

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That Friday night gave me a lot of hope that the Jewish people are going to pull together, and really pull through the madness that is currently prevailing in the world.

Do I agree with J-Street philosophy?

NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!!!

Can I still see the good in my ‘J-Street’ guest, as she tours the poor Palestinians and decries the actions of the IDF?

Yes, I can.

And for her part, she sat through a three hour meal with a bunch of religious Jews, including a large percentage of ‘Shuvu Banim’ talking openly about some of the miracles they’ve witnessed first hand from Rav Berland.

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Who’s Rav Berland, and why is he so controversial?

She asked me.

Go and look him up afterwards, I told him.

But just know that most of what you read is based on a bunch of media lies.

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So.

Achdus is the name of the game.

Achdus, where we continue to respect the other person, even when violently disagreeing with some of their ideas. Where we continue to recognise the good parts that still exist in the other person, while not ignoring the ‘bad’, or stuff we don’t like.

And where we don’t put our fellow Jew in the ‘enemy’ camp, just because they tell us things we don’t like to hear, challenge our assumptions, or believe things that we don’t.

That was the taste of geula I got on Friday night.

And I’m hoping that it’s going to take root in a bunch more places now, going forward, not least on the blog.

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Shabbos day, one of my kids came over to me and told me:

I really enjoyed it yesterday. Please invite more people from Shuvu Banim for Shabbos.

What can I tell you?

Moshiach must almost be here, mamash.

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Let’s continue trying to thresh out what is really going on here.

My correspondent, M., sent me a dozen more emails and asked me to put his arguments up here. I have no problem doing that – minus most of the personal insults he’s freely peppering his discourse with – because trying to clarify what God really wants from us is what this is really all about.

And while we’re on that subject, let’s also point out that disagreeing strongly with someone else, with their view, their path, doesn’t mean we then have to put the other person in the ‘enemy’ camp.

I can disagree with you – strongly! – and still respect you as a person, and still see that you are still full of good, and do a lot of good, and have a lot of good things to say.

OK, now let’s dive back in to M.’s arguments, in italics. My responses will be underneath, in regular font.

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So therefore because ur not ok with wounded and dead arabs who refuse to leave we have to continue to suffer yidden maimed and murdered for the rest of human history until Moshiach comes. You fulfill the maxim of the gemora…

“Those who are merciful to the cruel will in the end become cruel to the merciful…”

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There’s a few assumptions that need clearing up here.

The POINT is that using violence to try to get Arab residents to leave Eretz Yisrael against their will wouldn’t work to solve the problem on a number of levels, for a number of reasons.

Let’s walk through what would really happen, if someone was stupid enough to try this approach.

> There would be an  all-out war in Eretz Yisrael, because the Arabs wouldn’t just sit there quietly while their neighbors in Jaffa or Lod were moved out at gun point. 

There would be rockets landing in Israel from Gaza, from Lebanon, from Syria, maybe even the Iranians would join in with their fabled nuke…

So tachlis, this approach would end up with way more Jews wounded and dead – and still wouldn’t solve the problem.

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And there’s another issue here, which is that countries like the USA, the UK and the EU are really behind all the Arab violence in Israel.

The terrorists are just puppets on a string.

Hamas was literally created by the State of Israel.

So, who is the real ‘enemy’ here?

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Rav Nachman says Moshiach will bring peace without having to fire a single shot huh…?

Well someone infinitely greater than him, the Rambam wrote in Hilchut Melachim Perek 11… that one of the qualifications of Moshiach ben David as to how he will prove that he’s the real deal… the genuine article is by fighting the wars necessary to liberate the land and people of israel… bring back all of the exiled yidden from the four corners of the earth and if it isn’t already built before his arrival then he will build the third and final bayit…

Rav Nachman didn’t know this Rambam…?

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Of course Rebbe Nachman knew this Rambam.

The point is, that he’s teaching that Moshiach ben David will do all this without firing a shot.

Let’s go back to Moshe Rabbenu, and how the Jews left Egypt and overcome Pharoah and his army.

The whole thing was miraculous, from start to finish. Millions of ‘bad’ people died in Egypt (including many of the Jews themselves, who didn’t want to leave galut and refused to believe that Moshe Rabbenu was the ticket out of Egypt…)

Pharoah’s army was totally wiped out at the Reed Sea.

And Moshe Rabbenu didn’t fire a shot.

All this was accomplished with prayer and the Jewish people’s sincere teshuva and emuna in Hashem, AND His prophet Moshe.

We’re taught that the redemption from Egypt is the ‘blueprint’ for the final redemption, too. What Rebbe Nachman is describing is a repeat of what occurred with Moshe Rabbenu, nothing more, and nothing less.

Why is that so hard to accept?

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So let me get this straight… according to you when Hashem sent Shmuel Hanavi to tell Shaul HaMelech to go to war and wipe out Amalek Shaul was correct in his not wanting to do so as described in the Medrashim surrounding the incident and Hashem was wrong to order it because violence and vengeance is for Hashem’s purview and only in His domain to do by Himself because when human beings get involved in waging war it is dirty and messy and in the human scope of things solely the province of Esav HaRasha… the level of sheer absurdity here is beyond all measurement and is truly ludicrous…

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This argument is a straw man.

I’ve said repeatedly that when a prophet ordained by God – like Moshe Rabbenu, like Shmuel HaNavi – says that God wants certain people killed, then it’s obviously what you do, because doing what God wants is a mitzvah.

But we have no ‘prophets ordained by God’ to tell us this stuff today.

The time of prophecy ended 2,000 years ago.

And as I keep stressing here, we have no idea who the ‘real enemy’ is, as the Arabs are just the stick in the hands of the real power behind the throne.

As more and more people wake up to understand that the ‘real enemy’ are the elites above us, who keep orchestrating and planning all these wars, and fuelling all this hatred between ordinary people, it makes the question of waging war between ordinary people moot. And when the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy fails, that’s when we can really start to focus on where all this evil is actually coming from, and deal with the problem at its source.

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Your arguments ring hollow and are so shallow and so untenable that they cannot even begin to approach an answer to these and the other challenges I have put up to u which so far u refuse to air… i urge u to post my responses so far in order to facilitate the debate back and forth… u didn’t include any of my arguments based on t’nach… nor does your logic explain why David fought so many wars… nor does it indicate what the Chashmanoiim should have done other than resort to violence and revolution to throw off their evil oppressors’ yoke and win back their freedom to observe mitzvot… nor do u even come close to explaining how the purim story would have concluded had Mordechai and Esther blew kisses at Haman and his Amalaki minions instead of going out and killing them all…

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OK, let’s go through the examples my correspondent gave of where war is mentioned in the Torah and Tanach.

  1. Avraham fighting the Kings to free his nephew Lot (see Lech Lecha 14 1-25).
  2. Hashem’s command to destroy the 7 Caananite nations, when the Jews were about to conquer Eretz Yisrael
  3. Shmuel HaNavi’s command to Shaul to destroy the nation of Amalek.
  4. King David fighting his wars against the Philistines.
  5. The Chashmonaim fighting against the Greeks (which included huge amounts of Hellenised Jews.)
  6. The Purim story.

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The first thing to say, again, is that whenever God tells you to do something, or His anointed prophet tells you to do something, you do it.

No-one is arguing with that, at all. But that’s not the situation that we find ourselves in, in 2022. We have no ‘prophets’ to tell us what to do, and we have a military and police force that is 100% controlled by reshaim.

Also, if you look at all these ‘wars’ we find they were all miraculous.

It wasn’t the ‘guns’ that won the war, it was the prayers and the miracles.

We saw the same thing here in Eretz Yisrael, during the Six Day War and also the Yom Kippur War – but the miracles took a while to kick in, in 1973, and almost 3,000 Israelis died as a result, when the nation was just ‘relying on its guns’.

And there is a huge difference morally between a war of defense, a defensive action where you are protecting yourself from other people’s violence and aggression, and an offensive action to go out and kill people stam.

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And lastly for now in this go round… is the Ohr HaChayim HaKodesh who wrote about Shimon’s and Levi’s response to Yakov’s objection to their deed in wiping out Ir Shechem for practical considerations not moral ones… Yakov never said they committed an unwarranted atrocity… he just said I am few in number and now you have put us all in danger vis a vis the Cnaani nations surrounding us…

They said back… “hak’zonah naseh achoteinu…” “should we have then allowed them to turn our sister into a harlot.. ?”

The medresh says here they said… “the waters were murky (or muddy) and we cleared them up…”

Meaning the Ohr HaChayim says (paraphrase) (look it up)… “Yakov was incorrect… had the two brothers not done what they did to punish them for what they had done to dina it would have been open season on B’nai Yisroel and everywhere they would have gone all of them would have been easy pickings had they not put an end to the notion that they were weak and intimidated by the sheer force and numbers of these goyim… their courageous act put the fear of G-d in them and thus overawed they left the family alone and gave them an extremely wide birth…”

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The discussion we are having now is still motivated 100% by practical considerations.

Practically, the idea that the Jewish nation can just shoot our way out of our problems, or ‘forcibly remove’ Arabs from Eretz Yisrael at gun point, is a non-starter – for so many different reasons!

It doesn’t work in the real world.

It never worked in the real world.

THAT is the point.

Let’s say you try and do that now, what happens next?

Thousands of rockets from Gaza, rockets from Lebanon and Syria, and a nuke from Iran lands on your doorstep….

And the West will just sit there egging it all on, because the Jews acted in a way that shows ‘they deserved it’…. Talk about another holocaust.

PRACTICALLY, Rav Kahane’s ideas for how you solve Eretz Yisrael’s problems don’t work.

So clearly, there has to be another way of solving those problems.

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As Rav Meir always said… “i don’t want love from the goyim… I want respect and fear if possible…” also… “I much prefer a strong and virile Israel that is strong and hated by the entire world than an Auschwitz which is loved and memorialized and cried over…” to wit I can only say amen… truth.out…

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Really, who cares what Rav Meir ‘wants’?

The question – the only question – is what does God want?

By God, we aren’t stuck in limited paradigms where military violence is the only solution to our problems.

God has so many ways of resolving our issues…. Millions and millions of different ways of resolving our issues in the best possible way.

Once the Jewish people really comes back to Hashem, really comes back to having yirat shemayim, really comes back to having emuna, and eradicates the sinat chinam that has been plaguing us for 2,000 years, already, then God will show us what those solutions really are.

It’s possible that at that point, a prophet will arise and tell us to go to war in the traditional sense. But it’s more likely, judging by our previous experience, that God will arrange for our enemies to disappear miraculously.

Maybe, He’ll take a few hundred men with shofars and tell them to walk seven times around the UN building, or the Knesset, until the whole thing falls down by itself.

Maybe, He’ll arrange for millions of our enemies to be supernaturally-electrocuted in their sleep, as happened to Sanncherib’s army when it was besieging Jerusalem at the time of King Hezekiah.

Who knows?

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The last thing I wanted to mention here, is that our Temple got destroyed at the hands of a bunch of people who were making exactly the same arguments we are hearing here.

Here’s what my correspondent came back with:

Doesn’t matter that prophecy ended a long time ago… Rav Meir teaches we have the Torah commandments of war and vengeance to follow… these are mitzvot meaning Divine orders and commandments… precise halachot no different than those of shabbos and kashrus…

Rav Meir also taught that we have the precedent of all those events by our holy ancestors to follow their lead as he says their deeds serve and function as “a light unto our feet…”

So we don’t have to have prophets to know what to do… we already have been shown the true Torah path…

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Really?

Here’s my correspondent’s last word (for now….)

When the Rambam writes of milchemet mitzvah he lists three of them which comprise the mitzvah…

Only the war against Amalek requires prior prophetic prompting and impetus the other two do not… the one to clear out the 7 Canaani nations and the other one to rally to defend Eretz Yisroel from an invading army… both of which do not need prophecy as they are already commanded and are absolutely and irrefutably logical and eminently common sense self defense actions…. 

Just substitute the present Arab nation for the canaanim the zayin amamim… as both the Ramban and the Abarbanel teach and instruct…

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Really?

You’re just going to ‘substitute’ the Palestinians for the Seven Canaanite nations on your own say-so, and go ahead and commit a genocide on that basis?

Really?

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In fact the Ramban adds a fourth milchemet mitzvah to the Rambam’s list… and it is a third one that requires no further nevuah due to its precedent setting establishment in Parshat Mattot… wars of vengeance as Hashem commanded Moshe to carry out against the Midyanim for what they caused their daughters to do to us at Shitim by the averah of Ba’al Peor…

The Ramban says this is yet another category of milchemet mitzvah for all time on the books to render back to the goyim who attack us with mida k’neged mida action brought down upon them by our military… the avenging army of every chillul Hashem wrought against our honor and ergo axiomatically simultaneously wrought against the glory and kavod of Hashem whom we rep upon earth… read it and weep because this is true authentic torah judaism and nothing else is…

Rav Nachman and Rav Berland teach hippiekeit mores not Torah law.

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Tachlis, Rebbe Nachman’s teachings have helped hundreds of thousands of Jews to develop a real relationship with Hashem, and to start having more emuna and humility.

Tachlis, Rav Berland’s teachings have also helped thousands and thousands of Jews – including yours truly – to recognise that there is no excuse for bad middot like arrogance, hatred, vengeance and anger.

Tachlis, that ‘hippiekeit’ got 25,000 people coming together in person to pray for the welfare of Am Yisrael a few days ago, at the Mearat HaMachpelah.

And it will get hopefully tens of thousands of people to Uman for Rosh Hashana, to ‘sweeten the judgements’ hanging over our nation there, for the coming year 5783.

These are real, concrete achievements (and let’s be clear, I’m totally understating the true, positive impact of Rabbenu and Rav Berland on the Jewish world today.)

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As I said above, we can disagree with each other, but still respect each other.

Or at least, that’s the path I’m trying to follow.

That’s the path of achdut, that’s the path of continuing to see the good points in people who have some funny ideas we might not agree with, or even violently disagree with.

If that’s ‘hippiekeit’, then so be it.

That hippiekeit is giving me a good relationship with my husband and kids, it’s encouraging me to work on overcoming my bad middot, it’s helping me to tolerate differences of opinion, and its motivating me to pray sincerely for God to remove the evil from the world, because I see that guns is not the answer.

And if that’s all it ever does… dayenu.

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As you might expect, the last post hit a nerve with a few people.

It’s inevitable that when we’re discussing important ideas, cherished beliefs about the best way forward for the Jewish people, wherever they might live, that passions will be stoked and tempers may occasionally flare.

A few days ago, I asked my husband to pick me up another one of the Rav’s prayer booklets called Kabbalat Bizyonot (‘to recieve humiliation’)

When I remind myself that all the yucky comments I get are 1) usually deserved and 2) paying down my many sins, that’s when I can continue writing things and exploring important subjects that will probably trigger an avalanche of yucky comments, without getting too upset or defensive about it.

Bezrat Hashem.

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Some of those comments came over email from someone who I still respect a lot, who identifies himself as a follower of the late R’ Meir Kahane.

He lives in chul, and he strongly dislikes the State of Israel.

Here is a little of our email exchange, which I will keep anonymous as the point is to not try to embarrass or attack him back, God forbid, but just to explore some of the very important issues that came up as a result, here on the blog.

It began with the verdict the Supreme Court handed down, rejecting the appeal of Amiram ben Uliel.

We were all upset about this enormous miscarriage of justice, but my correspondent then decided to springboard off of that, to start attacking the Breslov belief in prayer and personal teshuva being the main ‘weapon’ in the ongoing fight against evil.

Here’s a little of what he said, paraphrased to respect his anonymity:

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You finally have to admit that dancing and clapping and jumping up and down and reciting endless Tikkun Klalis is just not going to be enough.

It’s just not strong enough to get the job done all by itself in order to take down and permanently remove the thoroughly evil Erev Rav once and for all.

And I just know that had Amiram prevailed yesterday, you were going to ascribe credit to your Rav and to Rav Nachman had Amiram prevailed yesterday.

You would have said that their approach, their derech had “sweetened all of the dinim” for Amiram.

But now perhaps you clearly see how crucially we need a war and a revolution –  a physical one not just a spiritual one.

Rabbi Kahane was right!!! The path of David HaMelech, Shmuel HaNavi and the Chashmonaim is the correct approach and is the only way to go, going forward…

“Tremendous faith in the Al-mighty and a truly strong Jewish army is the true and only path to the geulah shelaymah…” Rav Meir Kahane H”yd.

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We’ll come on to the question of whether Rav Meir Kahane ‘was right’ in a moment.

First, let’s set out what Rebbe Nachman says about how geula shleimah really occurs:

Mashiach will conquer the entire world without firing a single bullet.

Siach Sarfey Kodesh 1-67

So we see, there is a profound contrast between what Rebbe Nachman is teaching, and what the late R’ Kahane taught.

Who is right?

Let’s see if we can tease that out a bit more.

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Before I got into Breslov, when I first moved to Israel 17 years ago, I read a few books by R Kahane, including Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews.

He argued the case about the corruption of the State of Israel very eloquently. When it came to stating the problems in Israel, I think it’s fair to say that R Kahane was 100% right.

Here’s an example of where R Kahane was right:

“Democracy and Judaism are not the same thing.”

In our days, it’s obvious that ‘democracy’ is an illusion, as our puppet politicians are bought and sold by the real powers behind the throne to progress policies and ideas that are increasingly against what’s best for the people.

Covid 19 and ‘climate change’ policies made that blindingly obvious.

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BUT.

When it comes to discussing the ‘solution’ to our problems and issues in Israel, it seems to me that R Kahane was wrong.

Let’s explore why.

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What did R Kahane advocate, as being the ‘solution’ to Israel’s problems?

Let’s go through the main ideas.

He wanted an “exchange of populations”, where the Arab citizens of the State of Israel and the newly-acquired territories of YESHA would be bused out of Israel.

The following is a quote from Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews (p.250):

All Arabs who are prepared to accept the State of Israel as the exclusive state of the Jewish people and of no one else, will be allowed to remain in the land with the status of “resident stranger”, as per Jewish laws.

They will be granted personal rights, but no national ones. They will have general economic, social, cultural, and religious freedom, but will not be citizens of the Jewish State and will have nothing to say in its future in any way.

Accepting this status, they are welcome to remain, and are entitled to all the respect and decency that Judaism demands we grant to all humans who are resident strangers in our land and who bow to its laws and concepts.

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In theory, it sounded like a possible solution.

In practise – it was totally unworkable. Here’s what R Kahane suggested should happen to Arab citizens of Israel who weren’t happy to become ‘resident strangers’ (from his book ‘They Must Go’):

Those who refuse to accept noncitizen status shall be compensated for property, but not given a bonus, and shall be transferred only to Arab – not Western – lands. The transfer shall be effected peacefully, if possible, but if the Arab still refuses, then forcibly and without compensation.

Tachlis, which Arab country was going to accept these people?

Where was the money meant to come from, to pay for all this?

And let’s just think about what it really means, what it really would have looked like, to ‘forcibly’ move millions of Arabs out of Israel.

That means using violence to get these people out of their homes, and onto buses, somehow.

That, in turns, would have meant lots of dead and wounded people.

Are you comfortable with this scenario, tachlis?

Because I’m definitely not.

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So, it’s a theoretical idea, but tachlis, it was never a real, workable solution.

Back in the 1948 war, God did an open miracle, and many of the Arab residents of Israel ran away from the country under their own steam, urged on by their own leaders to leave while the Arab forces conquered Israel and massacred all the Jews here.

That happened in a few places, most notably Tsfat, which today still has no obvious Arab population.

When God does things, miraculously, they result in a lasting bracha.

And miracles like this occur when the Jewish people pray and make some sincere teshuva, especially about their own bad middot, lack of emuna and arrogance, thinking that we run the world instead of understanding that Ein Od Milvado.

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Another key ‘prong’ of R Kahane’s approach was the ‘tooth for a tooth’ reaction to Arab violence against Jews.

Here’s a direct quote from him:

 “I approve of anybody who commits such acts of violence. Really, I don’t think that we can sit back and watch Arabs throwing rocks at buses whenever they feel like it. They must understand that a bomb thrown at a Jewish bus is going to mean a bomb thrown at an Arab bus.”

That actually happened.

Some of his followers attacked a bus full of Palestinians ‘in retaliation’ for Arab violence and went to prison for it, to give just one example of this idealogy in action.

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Let’s ask the question: Is this behaviour halachically acceptable?

I’m not a posek, but I still know that Jewish law operates on the basis of the guilty parties being punished for their crimes after their case is heard in a beit din, and the evidence of their guilt is presented.

If a particular Arab throws a stone at a particular bus – go and find the Arab, hear his case, and deal with him as the halacha mandates we should.

But to just go out and start ‘throwing stones’ at Arab buses randomly?

How is that meant to help, tachlis? 

All it does it create more ‘victims of violence’ with more grudges against the other side, who in turn also want ‘vengeance’.

It’s a recipe for permanent war and violent unrest.

There has to be a better way.

====

Where did R Kahane’s approach actually lead, tachlis?

He himself was murdered in cold blood, after he was repeatedly persecuted by the security establishment and banned from participating in the Knesset on the grounds that his policies were ‘rascist’.

His son and daughter-in-law were also gunned down by ‘terrorists’ who almost certainly were cut-outs for the State of Israel.

The State also used the caricature of the ‘violent, gun-toting Kahanists’ as their fig leaf when they were arranging the massacre at the Mearat HaMachpelah, which was blamed on Baruch Goldstein.

And then again, they hid behind that fig leaf when they murdered Rabin then blamed it on their own agent provacateur Yigal Amir.

And let’s bring this bang-up-date: the so-called ‘Price Tag’ movement is what enabled the State to blame the Dumah massacre on the Hill Top Youth, and to justify torturing confessions out of people like Amiram ben Uliel.

====

We can’t beat ‘Esav’ at his own game, of using violence to achieve an outcome.

The State was super-happy to have a bunch of gun-toting ‘religious settlers’ show up, that it could then use to demonize the whole movement, while the State carried on committing atrocities in their name that it then used to smear these ‘settlers’ even more.

The Hill Top Youth are still being persecuted, tortured and even killed today, in the name of ‘national security’.

It’s all part of the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy being used to keep good Jews at each others throats here, while the forces of evil continue to rule us.

====

So, how does more violence solve our problems in Israel?

If you look at what’s happened already, it should be clear that more violence doesn’t solve any problem, it just complicates the situation even more.

Why is this?

Because God has set things up, that we will have Arab terrorists to deal with, and ongoing threats of war and nukes to deal with, until we really make sincere teshuva and come back to Hashem wholeheartedly.

====

Rav Berland has said repeatedly, that all the terrorists and Nazis and Al Qaidas – they are all just created from our own sins.

If we make teshuva, then the terrorists and Nazis will disappear all by themselves.

Here’s another more recent statement from the Rav, from the prayer gathering in Hevron last week, that around 25,000 people attended (!)

One doesn’t need any weapon, doesn’t need the army, doesn’t need anything!  

The moment that we go with the Tikkun HaKlali, then we conquer – “and the toil of nations they inherited” (Tehilim 15:44) — we conquer the whole world!! 

And this year, may we merit to a complete redemption, speedily in our days, Amen

====

Let’s end with my email correspondent’s view of this approach (paraphrased).

I’m afraid your view of Torah-true Judaism is rather jaundiced by a galut-ridden mentality beaten into us by the goyim for 2000 yrs.

Rav Binyamin Kahane writes in the end of his Haggadah of the jewish idea that the greatest kiddush Hashem there could ever be is not just for Hashem to do all the avenging for us and to make His name great once again throughout the world.

Greater still would be the witnessing of that same people who had been ground down under the boot of its oppressors for all of history and for them to arise and shockingly give back to the nations a little taste of their own medicine… mida kneged mida.

Nothing could be more fitting or higher than that level of standing up for Hashem’s honor in the world and avenging our own.

====

I totally disagree.

Vengeance is the Lord’s.

Violence, klei Hamas,  is the craft of Esav.

And personally, I find it very hard to believe that having a bunch of Jews ‘nuking Gaza’ – or Iran – or throwing stones at Arab buses, or using violence to mass-deport Arab citizens out of Israel would look like a ‘kiddush Hashem’  to anyone.

We ‘stand up for Hashem’s honor’ by spreading His light in the world, and showing that ‘nature’ doesn’t exist, Ein Od Milvado, not by jack-booting all over the place and shooting people down.

====

Again, I am not speaking against the memory of R Meir Kahane as an individual.

I know he inspired a lot of people, and I don’t know enough about what was really going on to have an opinion either way.

This is a discussion of his ideas, his ideology.

And at least for me personally, I can’t see that his main ideas could ever really have been workable solutions, in the real world, to the problems we face as a nation.

So call me a follower of a ‘galut-ridden, xtian-inspired, medieval superstitious’ version of Judaism all you want, when I say I prefer ‘God’ to ‘guns’.

But if you look tachlis at where the violent, hate-filled approach to solving our problems actually led, my ‘medieval superstition’ still looks like the better option – by a long way.

====

I’m very happy to discuss these ideas respectfully here on the blog, and I think it’s very useful that we air out these different approaches to resolving our problems, as a people.

But PLEASE try and avoid attacking me personally, or resorting to insults instead of dealing with the real questions raised in this post.

I know this stuff gets people very hot under the collar, but if you think I’m wrong, please stick to pointing out where you think the error lies, instead of having a go at me for being a terrible example of humanity.

Thankenchou.

====

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The story starts, as so many of them do, with a comment one of my Shabbos guests made, a few weeks ago.

She asked me if I knew the best way to get to Uman for a visit, because apparently people were going out there and back, in the middle of the war.

In the middle of the war?!

I asked her, incredulous.

Yes. And not only that, one of my kids then told me that she personally knew a bunch of people her age who have been going to Uman and back since at least Shavuot.

I shook my head in disbelief. Wow, that’s crazy! They must be really brave….(and also somewhat mentally impaired….)

====

A few weeks after that, I heard one of the women at the Rav’s evening prayers on Ido HaNavi discussing a trip to Uman, that was going to be there for Rosh Chodesh Elul.

In recent years, before Covid, literally tens of thousands of women would visit Uman in Elul, many of them on organised trips with ‘rockstar rabbanits’.

Over the years, I came to loathe those groups so much, I made sure to avoid Uman in Elul (not least, because the kever was always stuffed to bursting and I found it very hard to pray there – or even think – with all the loud choruses of AMENNNN!!! going on around me.)

But I remembered my Shabbos guest…. asked for details…. and passed them on to her.

====

Turns out, she had a prior commitment for those dates, and couldn’t go.

But she told me the trip was going to Cracow, and then via a bunch of other tzaddikim including the Noam Elimelech, before getting into Ukraine via train from Poland, and then driving out two days later via Moldova.

Hmm.

In hitbodedut, I started to get the prompt to at least go and check the trip out. No commitments! No promises! Just go and check it out online, what’s the big deal??

So I did.

Then, I started to get the prompt to renew my passport, so hopefully I could get through the Ukrainian border without being interrogated like I was a card-carrying member of ISIS. Or even worse, a Russian.

====

But God, I really don’t want to go. There’s a war going on there, don’t you know?

He knew.

But just go and renew your passport, what can it hurt?

It currently takes between 2-3 months to even get a appointment at the place in Bnei Brak that does temporary passport renewals for two years, that you pay 400 shekels for, so I thought I was on safe ground here. But whaddya know? When my daughter checked the appointments for me, there was one free for the next afternoon.

Hmm.

====

So, I had the new passport.

But I was still very nervous about going, because the last couple of times getting across the border into Ukraine has been an excrutiating ordeal for me, even when there was no war going on.

And the Ukraine tourism website was still listing a bunch of ‘Covid restrictions’ that visitors had to abide by.

Nah, there are no Covid restrictions anywhere, the organiser told me.

But is it safe? I wanted to know.

Totally safe!! There is nothing going on, the Western side of Ukraine. I was there a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t even see a single soldier.

Hmm.

====

My husband asked me to put a question into the Rav, about a) whether I should go to Ukraine with the trip and b) whether I would come back safe and sound.

So I did, and I got the thumbs up on both accounts.

I booked the ticket – but I told myself, I could still back out at any time, if I started to get overwhelming panic or fear that it wasn’t a good idea.

That panic and fear actually never came, this time around, so last Monday, I was off to Uman.

====

I will BH write more about the Cracow / Polish part of the trip in another post.

The city was very interesting, for a lot of reasons, and the old Jewish graveyard contained the bones of many of the people I’ve been researching a lot into, including the Megaleh Amukot, the REMA, Yom Tov Lippman Heller and the BACH. Amongst others. I picked up a lot of clues, and we’ll discuss that another time.

So, the Polish part of the trip was actually pretty much ‘a holiday’, in the accepted sense of enjoyable, interesting and relaxing.

I.e. the exact opposite of what you usually expect when you’re going to Rabbenu.

But the ‘Uman’ part of the trip began as soon as the coach dropped off my group of 30 vilde hayas at the train station on the Polish side of the border.

====

Picture the scene: A soviet-era train station.

500-600 stony-faced Ukrainians who are barely speaking, standing in line to get through Polish passport control and on to the train.

And then a group of 30 Israeli vilde hayas who are the loudest thing to have hit that town since it was shelled in War War II, all yelling at each other while they take selfies and videos and try to push to the front of the queue.

I was mortified… and also scared.

I know from personal experience that Ukrainian border police are not a joke, I’m a Jew from the UK who likes to keep a low profile in chul at the best of times… and here I was, stuck with a bunch of loud, rude and pushy Israeli vilde hayas trying to board a train to get into a Ukraine under martial law.

====

The whole day on the coach, I’d been praying the Rav’s prayers from a booklet that contained about 100 of his prayers on getting to and back to Uman safely.

I also asked my husband to do me a pidyon with the Rav to get across the border safely.

There was nothing else to do.

====

Let’s gloss over the total logistical nightmare that was the train.

The Israelis were trying to do the usual thing of ignoring allocated seats to sit where they wanted, but the Ukrainians were having none of that, and they were calling over the train staff every five minutes to complain.

There wasn’t enough room for the suitcases, so many of them ended up in the hall by the doors.

The toilets had no water in the taps (but you only found that out after you’d squished the soap in your hand…)

But really, the main thing was that the Ukrainians only check your passports while the train is already moving through the ‘dead zone’, where presumably, you’ll get let off in the middle of no-where, if they decide you can’t come in.

The only passport the Ukrainians had a problem with… was mine.

====

For half an hour, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a train, I had two Ukrainian women with guns telling me:

Why there is problem with passport?!?!?

I told them that I didn’t know. Because at that stage, I really didn’t know.

You know there is a war here?!?!?

Yes, I nodded.

Why you come here?!?!?

I told her the truth: I’m going to Uman to pay for peace in Ukraine.

Why your passports says you not leave the country?!?!

The most aggressive inspector with the biggest gun kept on screaming at me.

I had no idea how to answer her question. After all, I clearly had left the country because here I was, trying to get back in to it.

====

Long story short, the Rav’s pidyon kicked in, and at some point they stamped something in my passport, then moved on further down the carriage.

I watched them from the corner of my eye for half an hour, wondering if they were just going to finish going through the carriage before throwing me off… but the worst never happened, Baruch Hashem, and eventually I dozed off.

====

The group of loud, but tired and now somewhat subdued vilda hayes dragged their suitcases out into the middle of a dreary, grey Ukrainian town and lo, a sight for sore eyes was parked right next to the exit from the train station:

The coach from Poychale.

(Poychale is one of the main transport companies into and out of Uman, owned by Jews.)

====

Half an hour later, we got to the BESHT in Medzhibuzh, and the whole time, we only saw two soldiers manning a checkpoint in the middle of the road near the town, who peered quizzically at this Poychale bus blasting Rabbenu trance music so loud you could hear it from a mile away.

The BESHT was great.

Relaxing. Good food. Quiet. I couldn’t see any Jewish ‘refugees’ there, the few hours we spent in Medzibuzh, but there were still a lot of Ukrainian locals in the complex, I don’t know if they were just on holiday or living there.

I prayed seven Tikkun Haklalis, then went to sleep a bit, because that evening, we were heading off to Uman.

====

Picture the scene:

All the roadlights are out in Ukraine (at least that bit of it), so everything is mostly pitch black.

At least in Uman, there is a curfew between 11pm and 5am, when no-one is meant to be out on the roads, and the Tzion is closed.

And in the middle of all that, here comes the Poychale coach, blasting Rabbenu trance music while 15 young women are literally dancing and bouncing all over the back of the bus, like it’s some sort of ‘rave on wheels’.

But I knew that dancing was what was breaking all the ‘klipot’ surrounding Uman, and especially, Uman Rosh Hashana 5783.

====

We pulled into Uman at exactly the same time the Rav appeared at the prayer gathering in Hevron, attended by thousands of people, to pray for the success of Am Yisrael, and for the gates to be opened for Uman Rosh Hashana 5783.

That wasn’t a coincidence.

====

What can I tell you about Uman?

Shiners’ tent is up.

The ‘American Friends of Kiev’ vans are buzzing around.

The food is much less fancy then previous years, the toilet paper is back to ‘Soviet era’ grey stuff, but generally, the area feels more relaxed than it has done for two years, war or no war.

There is still electricity, water and wifi.

It feels very ‘normal’ there in almost every way, except if anything, there is way less police and menacing military personnel walking around.

I went to Gan Sofia for a couple of hours with a few of the girls in my group, while others went to the local Shuk in Uman.

In most ways, it’s totally business as usual, and I didn’t feel in danger there at all.

====

Uman is not really the issue.

Even getting to Uman isn’t really an issue, although it is a long and gruelling trip, physically.

The main difficulty will be in crossing the border.

====

The trip out, I spent 11 hours cramped into the back of a minivan where there was no space for me to put my feet down, as the woman in front of me decided her need to lie down properly in her chair over-rode my need to be able to even sit in my seat.

Even with the aircon on, it was still over 30 degrees at the back of the bus, and I was trying not to drink as I knew from past experience that toilet stops, if they happened at all, only happened once in around 10 hours.

The van got stopped three times at the crossing between Ukraine and Moldova.

The other van which contained the first half of our group was searched minutely.

They made everyone take out every single suitcase, and they searched every suitcase thoroughly, using sniffer dogs.

====

When I noticed the panicked looks on the faces of a couple of the ‘weed heads’ on my bus, I called my husband and asked him to do another pidyon with the Rav, to get our bus through OK.

Thank God, by the time they got to our coach, they were tired and barely looked at the suitcases they told us to take out and open.

====

Then another woman from our group got stopped for being under 18 and without a legal guardian on the trip.

They let everyone else through, but left her on the other side and weren’t going to let her through.

I called my husband back, and asked him to do another pidyon with the Rav, specifically for her.

Half an hour later, we were all through, BH.

====

We’d spent four hours in the sweltering heat of a minivan with no aircon during that border crossing.

We had four hours before the flight was taking off, and still three hours of driving to do.

It was pretty stressful.

But with God’s help, we made it, and today I’m back here typing this.

====

There are a lot of things I feel, but that I can’t really share, because they will just sound lame.

There were a lot of tikkunim going on with this trip, huge amounts of tikkunim going on.

But I really feel that the gates to Uman for Rosh Hashana 5783 are now open, for anyone who wants to come to Rabbenu lishma, for it’s own sake, and not just to have a fun experience with the hevra hanging out dancing to trance music in the middle of Pushkina while you stuff in a kosher shwarma.

====

There were at least 100 other women who came to Uman for Rosh Chodesh Elul just now, as well as my group.

And there were at least 100 men, too.

We met four other women from Israel who took the same route we did back, via the Moldova border crossing. They were only stopped for 10 minutes, then let through very easily.

But I know others have been going and coming back via Poland, Hungary, Romania….

And with each visit, each example of personal mesirut nefesh, the darkness recedes a little bit more, and the light shines a little more brightly.

====

So, that was my experience of going to Uman last week.

Very stressful, in most of the usual ways that seasoned visitors to Uman will understand, but not dangerous.

====

A couple more things to note:

1) I could see that most of the ‘suffering’ that most of the people on my group were experiencing was 100% due to their own bad middot.

The ones who couldn’t make their peace with not having WIFI access; or nice food, or comfortable travelling arrangements, or having the seat they wanted on the plane, or having to wait in-line like other mere mortals – those people suffered a lot.

We all suffered  a little on the physical level, let’s be clear.

But they REALLY felt it. In a whole bunch of ways.

====

2) If you go, go armed with lots of prayers, lots of blessings from the Rav, and do a pidyon to get across the borders OK and stay safe.

A third of my group were ‘Rav people’, a third were neutral, and a third were kind of ‘anti’.

That last group had the hardest time, in a bunch of different ways, but especially emotionally.

By the end, it was really noticeable who had a ‘good’ trip, despite all the physical hardships, and who didn’t.

Uman is above nature.

It works way more on prayers and teshuva, than bribes and protekzia.

And this year, Rosh Hashana, 5783 more than ever.

====

PS: Here is what Rav Berland had to say about travelling to Uman from last week’s Shivivei Or, which my husband has just shown me.

(Translated from pg 17, Shivivei Or No. 276)

Everyone should buy a ticket for Uman.

In the meantime, they only authorised 4,000. When everyone registers [to buy these tickets] then they will authorise more.

Whoever doesn’t have a ticket to go via Suchava [in Romania], this is near to Iassi, should travel via Warsaw.

There will be a train from Warsaw, but it will be 20 hours.

Whoever wants to travel in two hours should register today, or tomorrow at the very latest.

====

You can find more details about some of those flights, via the people I just went to Uman with, Netivim tours, HERE.

I have absolutely no links with Netivim tours, financially or otherwise.

What I can tell you, is that they are getting brachot and advice from the Rav for their travel schedules to Uman this year.

And that also (on a practical level…) if you book with them also make sure you BOOK THE TRAVEL FROM THE AIRPORT TO UMAN AT THE SAME TIME.

That’s not included in the price, and the last thing you need is to get stuck at the airport without even an overheated minivan to take you on your way.

====

To people who don’t ‘get’ all this – it’s hard to explain how important all of this really is.

I had a lot of insights during this trip to Uman about who is really behind the very real evil in our world, that were directly connected to what I saw, read and experienced during the trip.

BH, I will start to put more of those pieces together for you, over the next couple of weeks.

And for those who do ‘get’ all this… go book your ticket.

If a middle-aged housewife can hack it and come back totally safe and sound, then what’s your excuse?

TBC

====

 

I got sent a link to a news site showing that the bris of Netanyahu’s grandson took place in the Breslov Meah Shearim shul today.

You can see it for yourself, HERE.

This is off the back of the whole discussion we had HERE, about how Netanyahu’s son-in-law, Daniel Roth and his daughter Noa used to be Chabad, or Gur – and are now apparently Breslov.

Since I put that post together, I’ve had a bunch more new information start to reveal itself, about the links between one stream of Breslov – the stream that you can basically categorise as being ‘anti’ Rav Berland, and which is centred on the Meah Shearim shul – and Chabad.

First things first: we’ll finish up looking more at who is whitewashing Yoshki in the apparently ‘orthodox’ community, and who they are linked to in the next post, BH.

Then, we’ll try to tell the tale of ‘Two Breslovs’, one that includes Rav Berland and which has no obvious links to Frankists, and another that seems to be stuffed full of formerly ‘Chabad’ people, and others with a lot of interesting people in their family trees, and lots of interesting connections to people in the Israeli government, who are centred around the Breslov shul.

I have no idea where all this is going, btw.

Just continuing to put the simple information out there, as I uncover it.

Because God’s seal is truth.

And the truth matters.

====

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Today, I had two emails from two different people, both basically asking me if Breslov is also ‘Frankist’.

I’ve covered this a couple of times, in different ways, in different places on the blog, but I took all this as a hint that Hashem is moving things to the stage where He wants things more clearly spelled out.

So here goes.

Let’s start with what was happening more than 200 years ago, and how so much of the schmutz that actually belongs to Chabad, and their family tree, was (and actually still is….) being projected onto Rebbe Nachman, and Breslov.

====

This is the first email I got on the subject today:

I’m reading this back article of yours [Close Mishpocha] from another one called Beating swords…

I’m reading down the story of Rav Nachman and I’m sickened by it… leaving his newborn son with Frankists to raise…?

How is all of this not Sabatean…? How is Rav Nachman and Breslov not treif as the day is long…? How can u be a follower…?

I don’t get it… please clarify… and this time you can’t just say Rav Nachman is the exception… the pearl or the diamond that miraculously emerged out from the mud… come on… for crying out loud… he himself left a son of his behind to become a pagan idolater and a who knows what else morality wise…

====

You can go back and read the Close Mishpocha article for yourself HERE, and I highly recommend that you do, before continuing, as there’s lots of new stuff to cover and absorb in this post.

Here is what I replied to my correspondent:

I checked the story of R Nachman’s son, and it’s made up.

Basically, Athol Bloomer is a Frankist descendent, ‘Hebrew Christian’. When I first started doing all this research, his stuff about Rebbe Nachman was one of the first things I came across, and I was totally shocked by it.
So I started digging, and it took me about two months to figure out that Athol Bloomer still has close ties to Chabad, and that basically all the Frankist connections from Chabad were being ‘projected’ onto Rebbe Nachman, and scrubbed out of the picture for the Alter Rebbe and his descendents.
Rebbe Nachman does descend from some Sabbateans on his father’s side, but it seems that his grandfather Nachman Horodenka was trying to make some sincere teshuva, which is why he left his son, Rebbe Nachman’s father Simcha, in the care of the BESHT to raise as a very young child, even though he himself was still alive.
==

There are a lot of mysteries to figure out still.

And one daughter of Rebbe Nachman did marry a grandson of the Alter Rebbe, Aharon Zaslavski, as a second marriage after her father died, and that Aharon Zaslvaski is in the middle of a LOT of open Frankists, same as all the Chabad Rebbes.
There are some diamonds in the dirt of these families. The BESHT is also from these ‘interesting’ people, the ARIZAL is also from these ‘interesting people’, and Rabbenu also is.
Where you have the biggest tumah, you also have the biggest light.
See here, for another discussion of how Athol Bloomer mixes up a lot of facts with fiction, apparently deliberately, even when it’s not as explosive as Rebbe Nachman and Chabad:
====

You can find an interview with Athol Bloomer on the ‘Association for Hebrew Catholics’ website HERE.

Screenshot:
====
So, we have to ask ourselves:

Why would a missionising ‘Hebrew Catholic’ who descends from a number of Frankist families be trying to put shmutz on Breslov and Rebbe Nachman, while effectively covering things up for Chabad?

Again, go back and read Close Mishpocha in detail, but the basic point is this:

Time again, I have found stuff ‘projecting’ Chabad’s dirty laundry and dodgy business onto Breslov.

The Alter Rebbe had a son, Moshe Schneuri, who was PROVEN to have converted out to xtianity at least once, and yet all that got buried and covered up, while Athol Bloomer’s claims about ‘Frankist Rebbe Nachman’ got air time even on the Kotzker blog, which usually makes a lot more effort to try and clarify historical information, before posting it up.

====

Why am I a follower of Rebbe Nachman and Breslov?

Because right from the beginning, I found that Rabbenu’s advice and guidance really worked, to help me become a better person, and more connected to God and the spiritual side of things.

I read books like Rebbe Nachman’s Advice, or Wisdom (English translations of Sichot HaRan, Chayei Moharan) and I was amazed that here was a rabbi – a rebbe! – who was also struggling, sometimes, with feelings of yeoush. Who also could say that he knew absolutely nothing. Who could also own up to his faults and difficulties, in his service of Hashem, and show other people the way to get past bad middot like anger and depression.

It totally blew me away.

Because it was REAL.

It wasn’t hagiographic pap, like pretty everything else you’ll ever read about every Jewish rabbi or rebbe or leader.

The writings about Rebbe Nachman showed a real person, with real struggles, who managed to overcome his yetzer hara and break it, to become ‘Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’.

And then, he left behind a ton of practical advice on how we could also follow in his footsteps, and do the same.

====

Rabbenu talks about his followers knowing the ‘real Hungarian wine’ of chassidut, because they’ve already tasted the good stuff, the real teachings that CAN help them to overcome their issues and bad middot, and feelings of despair.

There are a whole bunch of cheap imitations out there, as we’re increasingly discovering.
But anyone who is sincerely trying to follow Rabbenu’s path of doing an hour of hitbodedut a day, and dancing and clapping when hit by harsh judgements, and reading the Tikkun HaKlali, and paying pidyonot, and going to Uman – they will tell you that it works.
If you stick with it, life starts to be incomparably sweeter, and you find that slowly, slowly, truth and light expands more and more in your soul, and the darkness and bad middot start to get squeezed out.
So, I follow Breslov and Rebbe Nachman because it works to make me a better person, and to help me overcome my yetzer hara and stick closer to God.
====

Now, let’s get back to the historical side of things.

Breslov was ‘unusual’ right from the start.
Right from the start, while all the other Sabbatean-Frankist ‘chassiduts’ were rubbing each other’s backs and bigging each other up (internercine fights over which ‘rebbe’ should inherit the movement not withstanding) – the main Sabbatean-Frankist families were fanatically ‘anti’ Breslov, anti-Rabbenu, and ‘anti’ his teachings, especially about prayer.

They ‘projected’ their own Sabbatean-Frankist leanings onto Rabbenu himself, and started persecuting him and his followers mercilessly.

After Rabbenu’s death, the persecution went up levels and levels, with the leaders of the other chassiduts basically telling their followers it was OK to even murder Breslovers, and that every attempt should be made to persecute them economically and socially.
An assassin was even sent to murder Rabbi Natan Sternhertz, the Rebbe’s main pupil and editor of the Likutey Moharan, in his bed.

But the assassin broke into the wrong house in Breslov, and murdered the wrong ‘Rabbi Natan’.

====

And this persecution of Breslov and its leaders and followers wasn’t a ‘one off’.

It has continued down the years, almost non-stop.
I highly recommend you go and read the book Untold Tales of the Hasidim: Crisis and Discontent in the History of Hasidism, by Professor David Assaf. Chapter Three, in particular, describes some of the ongoing persecution being meted out by the other chassidic leaders themselves, to Breslov and its followers:
(You can download the full PDF of this for free on ReseachGate, HERE.)
====

This fanatical persecution of Breslov by other chassiduts always puzzled me a great deal.

I could understand the secular, xtian, authorities persecuting chassidut; I could kind of understand the (made-up….) ‘dispute’ between the Litvaks and Chabad (which I now think is another deliberate Chabad distortion of history, to hide what was really going on behind this argument, as I’ve written about elsewhere.)

But I just couldn’t understand why other chassidic rebbes would literally send people to try and murder Rav Natan in his bed….

Until now.
====

Rabbenu is the only one who was openly writing about ‘Jewish demon scholars’.

He was the only one speaking about Jacob Frank, for posterity.
And from what I can see, at this stage, there were literally just a handful of rabbis and rebbes left when Rebbe Nachman was alive, who hadn’t been ‘infected’ by the Sabbatean-Frankist heresy.
Even after Rabbenu died, the Savraner Rebbe (from the Wertheimer family of court Jew Frankists) wanted to marry his oldest daughter, Odel, after she was widowed – and R’ Natan told her not to do it.

Because he knew that it was part of the ongoing Sabbatean-Frankist attempt to ‘subvert’ Breslov, too, after Rabbenu’s death.

And this is also why there was no ‘Rebbe’ after Rabbi Nachman, because any subsequent ‘Rebbe’ could have been corrupted down the line, and if not him, his children, by intermarrying with the Sabbatean-Frankist ‘rebbes’ all around.
====

Are you starting to see, how so many of the ‘mysteries’ around Breslov start to clear up, magically, once you understand the true ‘Sabbatean-Frankist’ context?

So now, let’s talk a bit about what started to happen 50-60 years ago, when Rav Berland came on the scene, and started bringing in a whole bunch of baal teshuvainto Meah Shearim.

Today, it’s the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Bender, zt’l.

Rabbi Levi Yitzhak was one of the last true Breslovers to be by the Rebbe on Rosh Hashanah, before the communists effectively made the gatherings illegal, and murdered most of the small, spiritually-sincere group of Breslovers left in Uman, before WW2.
====

You have to understand, that real Breslov was NEVER politically connected.

It’s followers were NEVER wealthy businessmen and merchants with government connections and askanim.
Breslov only ever attracted people who really wanted to learn how to serve God, and overcome their own bad middot.
When Rav Levi Yitzhak Bender made it to Meah Shearim after the war, he found a tiny group of Yiddish speaking ‘Breslovers’ most of whom were not actually keeping Rabbenu’s instructions – at all – about things like doing hitbodedut, getting up for chatzot, reciting the Tikkun Haklali etc.

So, the true ‘flame’ of Rabbenu was kept alive by R’ Levi Yitzhak – who most people had never heard of, because he kept a very low profile for most of his life.

That flame only started to develop into the roaring fire of Breslov today, when Rabbi Berland came along and started learning from R’ Levi Yitzhak, and bringing baal teshuvas into Meah Shearim.
====
There’s so much to say, but let’s sum it up like this:

Most of ‘old school’ Meah Shearim, including the Breslov bits of it, descend from Sabbatean-Frankist families who still have strong links, even today, with the secular Zionist state of Israel. Just it’s all hidden.

So, when a sincere outsider like Rav Berland showed up, and now he’s bringing in a bunch of baalei teshuva who want to do things properly – and presumably, who could also start blowing the whistle on all the disgusting, abusive ‘minhagim’ we’ve been learning about recently, that go on in these hard-core Sabbatean-Frankist communities – he quickly became Enemy Number One for the ‘Breslov’ psychos in Meah Shearim.
And the rest is history.
====

Let’s pull this back around to Chabad, now.

Chabad ‘historian’ Chaim Dalfin put out a book a while ago called ‘Breslov & Chabad’.

I learnt a lot from that book, which at some point, I hope to come back to.

For now, it’s enough to know that I learnt that the only reason Chabad has a tent up in Uman on Rosh Hashana is because they are trying to do ‘outreach’ for Chabad there; and that some of Breslov’s ‘newer’ leaders, like the Koenigs of Tsfat, actually come from long-time Chabad families.

====

Why am I mentioning this?

Because as Breslov’s ‘star’ started to rise, around 50 years ago, and as Rabbenu’s teachings lit up the hearts of hundreds of thousands of baalei teshuva – the Sabbatean-Frankists suddenly woke up to the ‘threat’ of what was happening, and all of a sudden, Breslov was flooded by a bunch of ‘new Breslov’ leaders.

People like R’ Eliezer Shick, the so-called ‘Tzaddik of Yavniel’. And people like R’ Gedaliah Koenig, a chabadnick, who built up Kiryat Breslov in Tsfat right on the most historically significant bit of the Old City – completely destroying what was underneath.

And people like R Yaakov Meir Shechter, the rabbi of the official Breslov shule in Meah Shearim that is home to the Breslov psychos (who are part of the extended Schneerson family…) who have been the main, State-sponsored persecutors of Rav Berland.

====

And of course, there are also the Na Nachs, and people like R Yoel Roth, who grew up in strong Satmar chassidic homes, but all of a sudden, are now Breslov.

Which brings us on to the second email about Breslov I got today:

Did you read this?

Snippet:

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that his daughter Noa had given birth to a baby boy. The child is the fifth grandchild of Netanyahu. Netanyahu received the news while visiting London.

Netanyahu’s daughter Noa, 42, is a ‘ba’alat teshuva’ (returnee to Orthodox Judaism). She is married to Danny (Daniel) Roth, and the two are members of the Breslov hasidic sect and live in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem.

The children of Noa and Daniel are named Rachel, David and Shmuel. Noa is the daughter of Miki Haran – Netanyahu’s first wife.

And this:

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Netanyahus-controversial-lawyer-also-connected-to-PMs-son-in-law-474255

====

I checked out Daniel Roth, Netanyahu’s son-in-law, a couple of years ago, when I was first getting into all this.

The Roth’s aren’t Breslov.

If they are anything, they are Chabad.

(From HERE.)

Or maybe, Gur:

If you go HERE, it’s an old ynet article about the bris of their second son, which links the Roths to R’ Avigdor Nebanzahl and Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.

Point is, none of these people and places are Breslov.

====

This snippet about Daniel Roth comes from Ha’aretz, HERE:

For some years, DanielRoth has been trying to launch a business based on ties between Israel and China. Among other things, he founded companies and a public-benefit corporation, through the law firm of Netanyahu’s close associate David Shimron.

This screenshot comes from the Jpost, HERE:

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Now, take a look at this blog post about ‘Danny Roth’ from the Times of Israel, back in 2016:

Screenshot:

  ====

In case you were wondering, ‘IoT’ stands for ‘Internet of Things’.

Snippet:

Danny Roth is helping build greater trade and deal flow between Israel and China.

His China Israel Exchange develops programs and initiatives with government, academia, and industry, with the goal of strengthening the economic and cultural ties with both nations.

Focusing on digital health, Roth has an upcoming road show of Israeli companies…the program will feature 16 Israeli companies in IoT (Internet of Things) and digital health….

====

Remember, this was six years ago, already.

When Covid 19 was still just a twinkle in Netanyahu’s eye.

====

HERE is the main website for Roth’s China Israel Exchange, still going strong.

Here is it’s mission statement:

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We’ll stop here.

You can just go on for ever with this stuff, but I just wanted to really spell out that there are HUGE differences between Breslov chassidut and Rabbenu’s path, and all the other ‘Sabbatean-Frankist’ groups out there.

I’m not saying that all of Breslov is good.

There is a ton of ‘fake’ Breslov too, today, as more and more people have tried to hitch their wagon to Rabbenu’s rising star.

And I’m not saying that things that aren’t Breslov are automatically ‘bad’.

The birur continues one person, one soul at a time.

And even if people come from ‘bad’ families, they can always make teshuva, and become some of the best people in the world.

Especially if they’re following Rabbenu’s advice, and treading in his footsteps to get out of the muck.

====

You might also like this article:

I had quite a few comments and emails basically asking the same question: why does the truth matter?

Why stir things up?

Why ‘break things down’, when it’s so very uncomfortable and ‘unpleasant’, to see what’s really hiding under all these stones we’re flipping over.

I had a long car drive yesterday, and I was listening to Yosef Karduner’s ‘Simple Talk’.

The first song on the album basically answered the question in a very powerful, very simple way.

You can listen to it here:

====

It’s basically a passage from Rebbe Nachman’s teachings, (Likutey Moharan Lesson 7, Part I) that Yosef Karduner set to music.

Here’s a little of what the song says, in English:

Know: That the ikker (main point) of galut (exile) is really only due to a lack of emuna.

Because the ikker of the geula (redemption) depends upon emuna….

Help us to understand about this lack of emuna…

It’s impossible to get to emuna, other than by way of truth.

And it’s impossible to get to truth, other than by way of drawing close to the [true] tzaddikim and following their counsel….

For the advice of the [true] Tzaddik is totally truth.

====

The true Tzaddikim give us the true advice, of how to rectify ourselves and the world, and how to see things, and how to get close to God and develop real emuna.

When we follow that ‘true’ advice, things start to work, and things start to get sweetened, and we get geula the sweet way, instead of with all the suffering and pain, God forbid, that comes from clinging on to all the klipot, and the lies that fuel them.

Rabbenu’s advice is very simple:

Do an hour a day of hitbodedut, try and judge yourself over every thought, word and action, dance and clap to sweeten the harsh judgments, and work on really developing emuna that ein od milvado, there is only Hashem.

====

Prayer is what fixes the world.

Hitbodedut, Tikkun Haklalis, talking to God, sincere shmoneh esrei, dancing and clapping and singing – this is what is really fixing the world.

Plus developing a connection to the TRUE tzaddikim, so we can follow their TRUE advice for how to give God what He really wants from us.

If we don’t know who is a true tzaddik, and who at least might be what Rabbenu refers to as ‘Jewish demon Torah scholars’, we can be following the wrong spiritual path all of our life – with the best of intentions – and never get to where we so very much yearn to be.

I.e. in a world of true peace, harmony and emuna.

(Look at Likutey Moran Lesson 12, Part I, for more on these ‘Jewish demon Torah scholars. They are connected to the klipa of Lavan, that Hava shared some interesting thoughts about HERE.)

====

To those that say ‘who are we, to be engaged in this process of birur?’

Rabbenu says this (Lesson 5, part I, Likutey Moharan:)

Each and every individual must say to himself, ‘The entire world was created only for me’ (Sanhedrin 37a).

“And since the world was created for me, it is my responsibility to look after and have in mind the betterment of the world at all times, to fill the needs of the world and to pray for its inhabitants.

====

People are suffering all over the place, and that can and will intensify until the world of lies finally falls, and we have geula.

And each of us has a part to play, in dismantling that ‘world of lies’ – particularly the inner world of lies, that tells us we are such big tzaddikim, and that we never get things wrong, and that the problem is only and always in everyone else.

====

To those who ask ‘how do we know which path is correct, to bring geula?’

Take a look at Likutey Moharan Lesson 20, Part I, where Rabbenu expands in more detail on the ‘story’ he brings in the book ‘Tzaddik’ (in English translation), in the section called ‘New Stories, No. 209’.

It’s a story of many people sitting around someone who is ‘lying on the ground’, apparently teaching Torah to those who are sitting in a circle, surrounded by more and more circles of people.

This is an allusion to a spiritual leader, or ‘Tzaddik’. This ‘Tzaddik’ then dies, and here is what happens next:

====

After this, they all 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. “Why did you deceive us?” They wanted to kill them.

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 (ohel). 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 – there were bundles of merits there  and they ran to the light. The commanders came and threw their merits to the lights. 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 of them. Whey 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….

====

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

Meanwhile, the sequence of events returned to what it had been before…

…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, and began to beg and make entreaties before the light, 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” – because the first ones deserved to be killed for throwing their merits to the light and not making entreaties, like these latter ones.

====

We see from here that ‘doing mitzvahs’ – while it’s wonderful and good – did not achieve the end result by itself.

Because people get puffed-up with pride and arrogance when they are doing a bunch of mitzvahs, and then they start demanding ‘Moshiach NOW!!!’ and thinking that God has to give it to them, because of all the mitzvahs they are doing.

That approach fails, and the ‘commanders’ have their head cut off and everything has to go begin over again, from scratch.

That second time, there’s another Tzaddik teaching circles of students, who also dies.

But now, the ‘commanders’ – the students that take over the leadership of the movement, and who are also trying to get to geula and Moshiach – try a different approach.

====

They are still doing mitzvot, and keeping Hashem’s Torah.

But they know that THIS isn’t what bring the geula, directly.

What brings the geula is ‘breaking their hearts’, and begging and entreating ‘the light’ – i.e. Hashem.

I.e. hitbodedut, judging ourselves, reciting Tikkun Haklalis, everything we highlighted above as Rabbenu’s main advice, or etzot.

====

In Lesson 20, Rabbenu explains a little more.

There, he says this:

“Moses was meant to take his dominion of might (i.e. staff) that he earned from his mitzvot and good deeds, and ‘gather the people’, for when people are gathered, there are evil ones among them, and the staff of might is meant to subdue their evil.

Then, ‘speak to the rock in their presence’….pouring out one’s words and prayers with supplication, like a pauper and a beggar.

‘To the rock’ refers to the Supernal Heart…

But Moses did not do this….'[H]e struck the rock twice…’ meaning that he struck the Supernal Heart, as one who grabs something forcefully and without consent, for he sought in the power of his good deeds…

====

“These were the waters of strife.”

For this reason, one should never pressure oneself for anything, but beg with supplication. 

If God grants it, good, and if not, not.

====

All these ‘false messiahs’ started off with very beautiful intentions.

Rabbenu himself says about them:

I saw them and their nature was very good in my eyes.

But they were following the wrong advice, the wrong etzot, and it ended in disaster, both for them, and the people who were following after them.

So now, here we are again, trying the whole thing again, and this time, we need to proceed with maximum humility, maximum prayer, and to know that ‘doing one more mitzvah’ isn’t what’s going to bring Moshiach, especially if we’re trying to force the issue, and ‘assert ourselves’ against Hashem.

Prayer, hitbodedut, Tikkun Haklali, dancing and singing, mesirut nefesh and recognising that really, we are just spiritual paupers and beggars – this is what succeeds, where that other path failed.

====

It’s the difference between this:

L’chatchila Ariber (Niggun of the Rebbe Maharash): The tune and the name of this melody represent Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch’s famous adage on dealing with challenges:

“The world says, ‘If you can’t crawl under an obstacle, try to climb over,’ but I say, ‘At the outset, one should climb over!'”

And THIS:

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And it makes all the difference in the world.

====

We are all in this together.

(This is going to be a really long post. Make yourself comfortable.)

I know some readers feel I am ‘going after’ Chabad, whatever that actually means, by trying to get to the bottom of our very tangled collective family tree, but in this post, I’m going to explain how the only thing I’m ‘going after’ is the truth.

Here’s how all this started, around two years ago, when the persecution and ‘trial by media’ of Rav Eliezer Berland kicked off again, in Israel.

I was starting work on ‘One in a Generation’ volume 3 – which at this stage, will probably never happen – when I got the idea in my head that I should try to pin down who exactly was running the State of Israel, so I could start to understand more of why exactly they were persecuting the Rav, like this.

Very quickly, I got deep into ‘Frankist-Freemason’ territory, and my mind started to be blown by what I was learning.

====

And then, I got to THIS strange post, on the Kotzker Blog, which quoted the notorious Frankist descendent Athol Bloomer describing how he believed he descended from Rebbe Nachman, thus:

“Rebbe Nachman of Breslov was married twice. His first wife Sashia of Brody (Alexandra Body/ Braude) was the daughter of the secret Frankist Rebbe Benjamin Ephraim Braude (aka Alexander Margoliot/ Sender Brody) of Sheklov. She was the mother of most of his children. His wife died in 1807 and he remarried soon after to Devorah Brody (Braude) a daughter of the Frankist Rebbe of Sheklov and his second wife Rachel Mayer a granddaughter of Rebbe Jacob Frank. In 1808 Rebbe Nachman disappeared with his new wife to Lvov for 8 months to await the secret birth of his son named Jacob ben Rebbe Nachman (BaRoN) who he left with the Frankists to rear. This son later used the name Yankel Baron…”

The writer then claims to be descended from Yankel Baron.

“Yankel Baron (b.1808 Lvov) married Bracha Zaslavski (b.1819) a daughter of Aharon Zaslavski and Chaya (b.1801) a daughter of Rebbe Nachman [i.e. he married his niece]. Bracha’s sister Miriam Chaya Zaslavski (1820-1860) married Michael Brennan (b.1820 Sheklov) a grandson of Rabbi Nathan (Nosan) of Nemirov the Chief Disciple of Rebbe Nachman. Michael’s father was Moshe ben Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov (BReNaN/ BRENN) who became a follower of the Alter Rebbe’s son Moshe ben Schneur Zalman [who had become the leader of the Jewish Catholics (secret Frankists)]. Moshe (b.1795 d.1865 Kilkenny Ireland) and his wife Sarah Auerbach (b.1807) (daughter of Adil and R. Yoska) was removed from the family tree and records of the family by the Jewish community…”

====

Let’s be very clear, that I got to this post right at the beginning of my search into ‘what was really going on’, within the Jewish community, and before I’d done all the tons of research I have now done.

And there was this claim, sticking straight in my face, that Rebbe Nachman was somehow directly connected to the ‘Frankists’ and even had Catholic-Frankist descendents??!?!?

At that point, I had a choice.

I could either carry on pretending that I’d never seen this claim, and just not check out it’s factual basis and accuracy – and then forever have that gnawing feeling that perhaps I was lying to myself, and fooling myself about something way too big to really ignore.

Or.

I could take a deep breath, and try to figure out what was true.

Because God’s seal is truth. And even when it’s our beloved way of life, our religious ‘beliefs’, our connection to a Rebbe who has mamash changed everything around for the better – we still need to know the truth, about who that person really is, and where they are really coming from.

====

So, that’s how I started to research this topic so seriously, that it has literally consumed the best part of two years.

And that’s why I’m telling you, that we are all in this together.

Very soon in my research, I noticed that ‘Breslov’ was being used to deflect attention away from ‘Chabad’, and their genealogy and family tree. Basically, nearly everything that was being ‘pinned’ on Breslov, and Rabbenu’s followers and descendants, usually without any basis, I was finding over there in real life, on the Chabad side of the equation.

That’s how I started researching that “secret Frankist Rebbe Benjamin Ephraim Braude (aka Alexander Margoliot/ Sender Brody) of Sheklov” that I’ve written so much about.

Athol Bloomer’s accounts are a potent mixture of truth and lies – and figuring out what is what has been quite the process.

====

While Chabad’s deep ties to Frankists and Sabbateans are becoming more and more obvious, I’ve continued to have that niggling question:

What really happened to Rebbe Nachman’s daughter, Chaya, and her marriage to ‘Aharon Zaslavksi’?

And for the rest of this post, I’m going to try to answer that question.

====

As I’ve been saying all along, the Jewish people is just one, big family.

There is good and bad mixed up inside every single one of us, regardless of our ‘affiliation’. This is not a question of one ‘group’ being 100%, unimpeachably ‘perfect’ and everyone else being wrong.

Every single person has work to do, to identify, refine and ultimately uproot their bad middot.

And that applies to Chabad, to Breslov, to the Litvaks, to the Sephardim – to absolutely everyone.

Just it seems to me, authentic Breslov people are way more honest, about the spiritual struggles that are really going on ‘under the bonnet’. They are actually engaging in that work of ‘fixing middot‘ a lot of the time, especially by way of regular hitbodedut.

And when you are engaged in the task of recognising your own bad middot, it makes it way easier to spot them on the outside, too.

====

So, let’s get back to Aharon Zaslavski, the second husband of Rebbe Nachman’s daughter, Chaya.

Here’s the basic background:

Rebbe Nachman, and Rav Natan, after him, were exceedingly careful about who Rabbenu’s children married.

With hindsight, I’ve come to realise that the religious Jewish community was so infiltrated by ‘secret Sabbateans’ and ‘secret Frankists’ of every stripe, at this point in time, that finding an upright spouse for your kid, amongst the families with yichus, was becoming an almost impossible task.

And make no mistake, Rabbenu also had ‘yichus’.

====

His paternal grandfather, Nachman Horodenka, was the nephew of the famous Sabbatian prophet, the Eshel Avraham.

Nachman Horodenka’s second cousin was the Chacham Tzvi – their grandparents were siblings, and they have the same great-grandfather, namely ‘Jacob (the Elder) Halevi Koppel Heller Frankel.

On Rabbenu’s maternal side, he was descended from the Baal Shem Tov.

In turn, the Baal Shem Tov was part of the wider ‘Isserles’ clan, connected to the REMA.

The infamous Shor / Gunzburg family of Sabbateans also descends from the REMA and /or, the REMA’s brother, Eliezer Isserles (I’m still unpicking all the deliberate mixing up… stay tuned.)

So Rabbenu’s family was mamash in the middle of that very strong current of ‘Sabbateanism’ that was still eddying throughout the whole of the Jewish community, and in the process of crystallising into ‘Frankism’.

====

The holy Baal Shem Tov came to ‘rectify’ Sabbateanism.

He took a lot of their teachings, their ‘more spiritual and miraculous’ approach to life, and he infused it with the kedusha required to sweeten it, as part of his new approach of chassidut.

Before the BESHT came along, there were a lot of ‘miracle workers’ and ‘Baal Shems’ – but they were using the names of demons to basically do black magic.

‘Black magic’, or ‘practical kabbalah’ is where you are trying to make something happen in the natural world, using unnatural means.

This can still result in ‘miracles’ – and it often did result in miracles, and miraculous ‘cures’ – but those miracles are coming from an impure place, and they run a very high risk of entraining the ‘miracle worker’ to the world of evil that he thinks he’s controlling.

====

Rebbe Nachman talks about this, in his story of ‘The Cripple’.

There, he explains that:

The [Demon] King now said to [the Sage]: “Because you are such a unique man, I will give you a book with all the families of the devils. There are spiritual masters who only know one family, and even that they do not know completely. I will give you a book with all the families….

….Later on, when the Sage reached his time to pass on from the world, he called together his children and commanded them, saying:

“I leave you with this book. You see that I have the power to use this book in holiness, and nevertheless I do not use it. I simply put my trust in Hashem, may He be blessed. Neither should you use it. Even if there be among you one who is able to use it in holiness, even so, do not use it, and rather, trust in Hashem.”

====

Conjuring the names of demons – even for ostensibly ‘good’ purposes – is a very risky business, spiritually.

And we see from this story, that the BESHT’s new approach was to replace all this ‘practical kabbalah / black magic’ of trying to ‘force’ things to happen in the world, with a faith-based approach of practical emuna, instead.  Of course, I’m oversimplifying, but the basic idea is that we accept God’s will, but also pray to God to change things and to ‘sweeten things’, instead of trying to take matters into our own hands.

It’s the difference between ‘hitting the rock’ and ‘speaking to the rock’.

====

So, the BESHT came out of that same family where so many of his relatives were the leading lights in the underground ‘secret Sabbatian’ movement.

He lived at a time where ‘practical kabbalists’ were working ‘miracles’ all over the place as ‘Baal Shems’ – or ‘masters of the name’. And the ‘names’ they were using for their miracles were the names of demons, as alluded to by Rebbe Nachman, in his tale of The Cripple.

I’m still unpicking Rabbi Nachman Horodenker’s side of the story, but I can tell you he descends from the same ‘interesting people’ I’ve been researching for a while.

Rabbi Nachman Horodenker lived at the time when Jacob Benjamin Loeb Frankel’s ‘Frankist’ movement was gaining steam across Podolia and Galicia – with literally hundreds of adherents who were RABBIS in their community.

At this point, I think R’ Nachman Horodenker was trying to split off from these influences by drawing close to the BESHT. And I think that’s also why he arranged for his son Simcha – Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s father – to be raised in the BESHT’s own home from a very young age, even though Rabbi Nachman Horodenker was still alive.

====

So, Rabbenu was born into a family with a lot of illustrious yichus, most of which connected him straight into the heart of the growing Sabbatean-Frankist revival.

I am still in the process of trying to figure out the specific links, but I am certain that the Alter Rebbe and Rebbe Nachman were blood relatives, via their shared ‘Isserles’ connections.

And as we know, members of these ‘illustrious’ families all married each other, again and again and again, throughout history.

So, when I first learned that Rebbe Nachman’s daughter Chaya had married ‘Aharon Zaslavski’, who is meant to be the Alter Rebbe’s grandson via his daughter Frieda, I wasn’t shocked.

This marriage took place after Rabbenu’s death, and was Chaya’s second marriage.

====

Chaya’s first marriage was to Zalman ben Yaakov Yosef, of Zlatipolia.

According to the Breslov Research Institute’s book, Until the Mashiach, Chaya has one child from her first marriage, called ‘Nachman Chayales’. He married the grand-daughter of Shlomo of Karlin and Baruch of Medzhibozh.

(Like I said, it’s a very small gene-pool…)

Apparently, she then had three more children with ‘Aharon Zaslavski’, including:

Yechiel – who married his cousin Sterna Sashia, the daughter of Nachman Chayales.

Adil – who married Avraham of Kiniev.

And:

Rochel – who married an unidentified ‘Yitzchok’.

====

This is what I learned, all those months ago, before I knew just how ‘deep’ in the Sabbatean-Frankist parsha the Alter Rebbe’s family actually is.

So then, as a natural next step to trying to ascertain the truth of Bloomer’s fantastic claims about Bracha Zaslavski and Yankel Baron, I started looking into the family tree of Aharon Zaslavski, himself. And very quickly, I found myself in an historical quagmire.

This comes from HERE:

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Stupid me, I thought it would be relatively easy to figure out who he was, and who his father was.

Two years’ later, I am still deep in that extended process of trying to figure it out, but let’s see where we get to, today.

Here’s the ‘official story’ of Aharon Zaslavksi’s family, from Chabad:

Rebbetzin Freida SCHNEURI (b. Leozna, Poland) married to Rabbi Eliyahu ben Rabbi Mordechai KLUTZKAR. They had two children:

* Boruch married the daughter of Binyomin KLETZKER.
* Aharon ZASLAVSKI from Kremenchug. He married Chayeh daughter of Rebbe Nachman.

Family book of Rabbi from Ladi, ref #13

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Frieda Schneuri is meant to be the oldest daughter of the Alter Rebbe.

Her son is the ‘Aharon Zaslavski’ who married Rebbe Nachman’s daughter, Chaya. But if you look carefully, you’ll notice that he also married someone else, who strangely, is not mentioned in the ‘Family book of Rabbi from Ladi’, which chronicles the Alter Rebbe’s official family tree.

Aharon has another wife, called ‘Chaya Sarah Alexanderov (nee Shneuri or Schneourson)’.

And here’s where we are probably going to learn something very interesting.

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THIS screenshot, above, comes from the MyHeritage site for ‘Rbzn Rivka Schneerson (born ALEXANDROV).

It names her parents as none other than Aharon Klutzkar-Zaslavsky and ‘Chaya Sara Debarmikder’.

Rbzn Rivka Schneerson marries the Rebbe MAHARASH, the 4th Rebbe of Chabad who we talked about HERE, and is the mother of the 5th Rebbe, the RaShab.

Now, we have a bit of a conundrum to unpick.

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On geni HERE, we see this:

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This names Rbzn Rivka’s parents as ‘Aaron Moshe Alexanderov’ and ‘Rbzn Chaya Sarah Alexandrov’.

That makes Rbzn Rivka the g-g-granddaughter of Jacob Frank(el), via her paternal grandmother Rebbetzin Leah Golda Alecsanderov (nee Broida).

If that’s all we discovered today, dayenu.

We already knew that the Rebbes’ families were blood relatives of the Eshel Avraham and Jacob Frank.

But it still doesn’t explain how ‘Aharon Zaslavsky’ – and his ‘secret Frankist offspring’ – totally fits into the picture, so let’s just try and figure this out a tiny bit more.

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If you go HERE, you’ll see the geni entry for ‘Aaron Moshe Alexanderov‘:

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This tree is based on the account of the Rebbe Rayatz (6th Admor of Chabad), who tells us that Reb Moshe Alexanderov, Aharon’s father, is the son of the Alter Rebbe’s favorite chassid, Rabbi Alexander ‘Sander’ ben Tzvi Hirsch of Shklov.

I’ve been piercing a lot of information together the last few months, and I’m 90% sure that this ‘Alexander Sander’ is the brother of none other than Baron Joshua Zeitlin (Zeitlis).

I don’t want to overwhelm you with info, so park that for now.

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Compare and contrast what’s above, with THIS, the family tree for Aharon’s mum, Lea Golda Alexanderov, the Eshel Avraham’s grand-daughter:

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I know, my head is also spinning from all this.

It’s not so much the information, it’s all the lies.

That ‘Reb Sender’ who is Aharon Zaslavsky’s maternal grandfather is the same guy fingered by Bloomer as the:

“secret Frankist Rebbe Benjamin Ephraim Braude (aka Alexander Margoliot/ Sender Brody) of Sheklov”.

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(Astute readers may have noticed the massive problem this presents, in terms of Chabad genealogy.)

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Let’s see if we can throw a bit more light on this by looking at Aharon Zaslavksi’s brother, Boruch, who is meant to have married the daughter of ‘Binyamin Kletzker’.

Binyamin Kletzker was another famous talmid of the Alter Rebbe, and has a lot of stories told about him, like this, from HERE:

Few Chassidim intrigue us as much as Reb Binyomin Kletzker.

His greatness was that he was a phenomenally successful businessman, whose every action and decision was influenced by and in accordance with the Chassidus he learnt. Those teachings permeated him to such an extent that quite often, to the shock of his associates, he would become absorbed in a thought of Chassidus in the middle of his transactions, reflecting on it for an extended period of time.

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I’m pretty sure THIS is the same guy, R’ Binyomin Volf Klatzki Gunzburg:

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Binyomin Vulf Klatzi Gunzburg is the first cousin of Naftali Hirsch Gunzburg, the dad of Gabriel Yakov Gunzburg.

You know, the grand-dad of this guy:

Baron Joseph Gunzburg (who was doing very similar things, at very similar times, to the 4th Rebbe MAHARASH of Chabad.)

Binyomin Vulf Klatzi Gunzburg is also married to the niece of the Vilna Gaon, R’ Eliyahu Rivlin.

(Yes, that’s a new piece of information I discovered just yesterday. The Vilna Gaon was apparently ‘R’ Eliyahu Rivlin’, the son of ‘Shlomo Zalman Rivlin’.

Just think how many ‘Rivlins’ shaped and are still shaping the modern State of Israel, and then start to understand why so much of this has been covered up.)

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There are no siblings – at all – listed for ‘Binyomin Vulf Klatzi Gunzburg.

As you may have noticed, I could go on forever with this stuff…

But here’s the takeaway, for this post:

We can’t be scared to follow the truth down, wherever it takes us, and however uncomfortable it really makes us.

Once we know what is really going on, and why our communities and world is so very broken, then we can really start to take the steps required, and say the prayers required, to fix it.

It’s as simple as that.

If we don’t know ‘the problem’, we can’t work out ‘the cure’.

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Do I think that Rebbe Nachman has some ‘Frankist’ descendants today?

It’s possible, but at this stage I think it’s unlikely.

Rabbenu brought back ‘the gift of opposition’ for Breslov chassidut from Israel, which means Breslov is constantly being picked apart and criticised. That makes it a very difficult place for ‘secret Frankists’ to hang out, generally, and also means Breslov generally has very little secular power or influence.

It does seem, tho, that there WERE ‘close mishpocha’ of Rabbenu who really were very deep in the Sabbatian-Frankist parsha, and who seem to have a habit of ‘projecting’ all their own stuff onto authentic Breslov.

As is still happening today, with Rav Berland and Shuvu Banim.

Remember, when one of these people was quoted extensively in the Israeli press accusing the Rav of being another ‘false messiah’ and another ‘Shabtai Tzvi?’

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But the point is, really, that there is good and bad in everyone’s closets.

There is good and bad in everyone’s hearts.

There is good and bad in everyone’s actions.

We are all an admixture of good and bad, that needs clarifying and rectifying.

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Going forward, I want to issue a plea:

Let’s just figure out the truth of what is really going on here, as a nation, as a people, so we can work together to figure out the solution, and get geula the sweet way.

Chabad for sure has tremendous good in it too, and tremendously good people. Breslov for sure, as a movement, still has its fair share of crazy psychos with bad middot, including the people who have been persecuting the Rav for the last 20 years.

We need to move past the ‘sectarianism’, and the ‘my Rebbe is bigger than your Rebbe’ stuff, and all the ‘pretending’ that our leaders are perfect saints who never had any doubts, or any crises of faith, or had any massive inherited skeletons in their closet.

And just figure out what is really going on here, so we can join together and fix it.

As one nation, with one heart, all trying to serve the One True Hashem.

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The truth shouldn’t scare us.

Even all those ‘false messiahs’ had some spark of good, and were trying to somehow ‘fix’ the world spiritually – just they made some massive mistakes, got mixed up with demonic forces, and very quickly fell into even bigger spiritual mistakes that we are still suffering from today.

But Rabbenu teaches:

If you believe you can break, believe you can fix.

So yalla, let’s do it already.

Geula is waiting.

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A while back, Rav Berland said every home should have at least one of his prayers.

And from other hints and clues from the Rav, I understood that having a prayer from the Rav in the home connects you to him, and brings you into the circle of spiritual protection.

What am I talking about?

This is a snippet from Rebbe Nachman’s story of the The Cripple:

One time, a new king [of the demons] was declared…he looked and noticed some men sitting (they were the wise man and his people), and he sent some of his men to abuse them, as was his custom always.

When the wise man’s people saw them, they became afraid, but the wise man said to them, “Do not fear.”

When the devils came near them, they could not reach them, because of the circle the wise man had drawn around them. The King [of the demons] sent other men, and neither could they. He flew into a rage and went himself, but he also could not come near them.

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Let’s just say, I relate to this story a lot – and more and more, as time goes on.

So I have a bunch of prayers from the Rav that I regularly say, and right now, these are the two that really speak to me the most.

I am posting them up here, with the transliterated Hebrew (best) if you want to also say them, plus an English translation, so you understand what you are actually saying.

Prayer Number 1: To not be scared of anything and to pray for the Rav

Transliteration:

Ribonu shel olam, kol yakol, zakeyni lisfog hakol. 

Lekabal hakol b’ahava, v’lo lefached mey shum devar.

V’lo lehit-ya-esh af pam, v’le-hamin she Hashem mashgiach al kol tzad ve sha’al, al kol neshima ve neshima.

V’argish et Hashem, be kol nefesh, ruach, neshama, chaya, yehida sheli, v’bkol tenua ve’ tenua sheli.

V’etpalel yomam v’lilah al haRav ve haRabanit, she yehiyu tamid bree-im, v’tamid hazakim.

V’yiyeh itanu at kol ha 120 shana, v’yikansu itanu le Gan Eden, im ha neshama v’haguf, be briut etana.

Ve l’olam lo yihiyu holim, v’yihiyu tamid tzloolim, v’ brurim, b’higayon bari v’tzalool.

Ve tamid shkoolim l’asot ratzon Konam, v’hefetz yotzram.

Ve yarootzo tamid la’asot et ratzon Hashem, le’lo le’ot ve’ayefoot klal.

Ve ani tamid eyiyeh zariz(a) le’asot ratzon Koni, be see ha’shlemot v’simcha.

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Translation:

Master of the World, Who can do anything, give me the merit of absorbing everything, and to recieve everything with love.

And not to be scared of anything at all, and never to become despairing – even once.

And to believe that Hashem is controlling every step of the way, on all sides, and every breath and every breath.

And to feel Hashem, with all my nefesh, ruach, neshama, chaya, yehida [the five levels of soul], and with every action and movement I make.

And I should pray day and night about the Rav and the Rabbanit, that they should always be healthy, and always strong.

And that they should be with us until 120 years, and enter Gan Eden with us, with the neshama and the body, in firm health.

And that they should never be sick, and should always be lucid and clear, the very epitome of lucidity and clarity.

And to always weigh up to do what the Creator wants, and seek out His will, and that they run to do the will of Hashem, without any slowness or tiredness at all.

And I should always be zealous to do the will of my Creator, with maximum whole-heartedness and happiness.

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This particular prayer showed up last month, when I was totally freaking out about 5—G lamp-posts, and AI face recognition cameras and body scanners all over the place, and a few million other things.

It worked really fast to calm me down, and when I combine it with half an hour of singing, dancing and stomping all the ‘bad’ away – it’s magic.

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Here’s the second prayer that I really relate to, right now.

Prayer Number 2: To accept humiliation with love and happiness,

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Transliteration:

Ana Hashem, kol yakol. Zakeyni lekabel bizyanot b’ahavah, et kol ha bizyonot she b’olam, be’ahavah tamid.

Ve lo ehyeh baz lekol adam, she yesh be zeh et ha aveira she lo to’achlu al ha dam.

Ve she tamid esmach be’bizayonot she ya’asu li, ve ekabel otam be’lahat ve be’ahavah, ve be’simcha.

B’ahavah amitit, leshem shemayim.

Ki k’sh’adam mekabel bizyanot, ze be’hina shel chatan v’kallah, she nimchalim lo kol avonotav.

Ki kol mi she mekabel bizyanot be’ahava, nishma’im kol tefilotav, ve kol tefilotav mey esrot shanim metkablot miyad.

Ve oleh le nukva de pardashka, le nekev yamin, she me sham, ha’yayin v’ha’yayin d’ha’yayin.

Ve yuchal le’rapeh et kol haholim, ve le’he-hiot metim.

Ve ha malachim Nuriel, Gavriel, Michael, Raphael yilavu oti yomam ve’lilah.

Ve al yadeh ze, eknes im gufi le Gan Eden.

Ve al yadeh ze, ezkeh le ‘kad ha kemach lo calata, ve tzepachat ha shemen lo haserr’.

Ve al yadeh ze, titaber bi etzem neshmat Rabbenu HaKadosh ve’hanora.

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Translation:

Answer me, Hashem, Who can do anything!

Give me the merit of accepting bizyanot (being shamed and embarrassed) with love – all the bizyanot in the world, I should always accept it with love.

And that I shouldn’t embarrass any other person, because this contains the sin of ‘don’t eat over the blood’.

And that I should always be happy with the bizyanot that is done to me, and I should accept it with ardour and with love and with happiness, with true love, for the sake of Heaven.

Because when a person accepts bizyanot, this is from the aspect of a bride and groom, who have all their sins forgiven [before the wedding].

For, everyone who accepts bizyanot with love, all their prayers are heard.

And all their prayers from the last few decades are immediately accepted.

And they go up to nukva de’pardeshka, to nekev yamin, from where comes the wine of the wine of the wine. [These are all kabbalistic references.]

And then one can heal all the sick, and revive the dead.

And the angels Nuriel, Gavriel, Michael and Raphael will accompany me day and night.

And by way of this, I will enter Gan Eden with my body.

And by way of this, I will merit to “the jug of flour does not finish and the cruse of oil isn’t lacking.” And by way of this, embue me with the essence of the soul of Rabbenu Hakadosh v’ha nora.

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So you see, it’s worth my while to have crazy commenters here, always looking for new ways to try to upset me and embarrass me publically.

Although I know it’s not always easy for others to read, so I’m sorry for that.

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I just want to end with some snippets of an update I got sent about the Rav, Rabbi Berland.

The Rav was brought in for investigation.

They can take him just for getting information. And they can be much more strict than someone actually convicted of something…for so long as they want and under worse conditions.

This time the Rav is going to be held under stricter conditions.

The Media says otherwise with false stories and from these false stories, the police go out and arrest people. One of the names given was Rav Berland. So he was arrested and taken in for questioning. It is important to know that since he was arrested, they are not accusing him of any crime; it is just for information.

All this is ONLY what the police are saying to the Media. Headlines say he is admitting to crimes, but this is incorrect. A body was never found. Someone, long ago, asked the Rav about saying kaddish. Rav ruled yes, you can say kaddish over a missing body. They are trying to manipulate his ruling to say kaddish into some kind of admission that he knew something. “I’m sorry that your brother is missing, you may say Kaddish,” is what he said. And the police turned it into something false…

They are trying to break up the community of Shuva Banim. They want everything to crumble around the Rav, even cutting off his phone calls to the community.

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We are witnessing another technique of the police to keep him locked up even though there is no trial.

They can do this, it is very unjust, but they have this right. This can go on for many years. And they can win, even without having a trial. They know that he is in bad health and can not survive in prison. They will keep him in as long as possible and force a plea bargain and that means admitting to things he never has done. They found 3 cancerous growths in his body while he was in prison that were not treated [the first time around]. One kidney was removed.

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Doing a pidyon is against the law, according to them, but they can not prove this and over 380 days they detained him….without a conviction, without court.

Rav was in hospital for 3 operations during this time. Whenever he is in hospital his health becomes much worse. The Police have an easy job, they do not have to prove anything in court and can just lock him up. This is enough, because of his health, to force a plea bargain. In 2016, same thing in 2019, and same thing now — using this method. This is their way.

We must have alot of patience. Prayer can change the natural way of things.

Police can continue this for years, without discovering anything against the Rav. Even judges in the Supreme Court in Israel, say without a trial, this SHOULD be illegal. The defendant can not really defend himself. This is a Soviet, Communist method. It’s just like the mafia…to force someone to admit to things he didn’t commit.

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Once you understand, that the same people who helped to create the ‘Soviet, Communist’ method, and the same people who helped to create our modern mafia, are the exact same people who created our modern State of Israel – which is going all out to try to destroy Rav Berland and his community – it gets way easier to see what’s really going on here.

The Rav is spear-heading the fight for good, and for authentic, Torah-true Judaism, and that is the only reason they are putting all this effort into trying to take him out.

They want us all to just keep mindlessly following after their Golden Calves, and bought-and paid for fake ‘moshiachs’ forever…

And to keep putting all our soul power and mitzvot and prayers into corrupted vessels, that really don’t and can’t change the world, because they aren’t connected to kedusha and true good.

That’s what all this is really all about.

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So, understand that the media is the enemy of Torah and truth and geula.

The media is just doing the bidding of the evil people behind the scenes who have an unbridled appetite for destruction. And then ask yourself, why does this same media continually ‘praise’ and suck up to certain ‘orthodox’ Jewish groups, whilst continually writing baseless slanders about Shuvu Banim and Rav Berland?

That is the question.

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