Tag Archive for: Rebbe Nachman

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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One idea that keeps getting sent my way is that we should somehow stage a ‘violent revolution’ against the powers-that-be.

If I was an unbelieving non-Jew, who really just viewed the whole world as some big ‘shoot out’ with the guy with the biggest gun winning, then maybe that would be something that would interest me.

But I’m not.

I’m a believing Jew, and I believe that God runs the world.

And I also believe that all the ‘evil’ we have to encounter in our lives, both on the national and personal levels, is only powered by our own sins.

We make teshuva, properly, and come back to Hashem, sincerely – all these ‘problems’ disappear by themselves.

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But a lot of people don’t like that idea.

Even in the Jewish world, a lot of us are still believing that ‘acting like Esav’, and using guns and violence to ‘eliminate evil’ is the only way to go.

I cannot disagree with that idea strongly enough.

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Where did using guns and violence to ‘resolve our problems’ really get us, as a people?

It landed us in a country where violence is the only language most people speak to get their own way, and their ‘problem solved’.

And that’s why you get elbowed out of the queues by people pushing to the front, that why you get psychos screaming at you for not ‘solving their problems’ fast enough, that’s why you get people mugging others, people assaulting others, people forcing themselves on others in so many different ways, people hurting others….

All this is a version of that same idea that ‘using violence solves my problem’.

And it’s about as un-emuna – ANTI-emuna!!! – as you can get.

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God is running the world.

Whatever God decides to do, He decides to do.

There is a mitzvah for me to defend myself and to ‘rise and kill first’ if someone is literally coming to kill me – but it stands to reason, it’s obvious, that if I can find ANY OTHER WAY OF DEALING WITH MY ATTACKER THAN KILLING HIM, THAT’S PREFERABLE.

Because human life is sacred.

And respecting the sanctity of human life is what really separates a truly God-fearing person from those who are cheapening, degrading and destroying human life, all around us.

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What follows is an excerpt of a piece I wrote around two years ago.

It’s still relevant today.

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

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

The full verse from the Torah reads:

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

Clearly, Yaakov Avinu is very unhappy about his sons – forbears of the Jewish people – acting like his brother Esav, and killing people left, right and centre whenever they got angry and ‘felt justified’ in doing so. This is not the Jewish way.

The voice is the voice of Yaakov – it’s the voice of prayer, the voice of emuna, the voice of knowing that God is really running the world.

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

Killing people is not our craft, it’s the craft of Esav. Of course, we’re meant to defend ourselves with all means possible, and to make every effort to save our life (although why moving to Israel doesn’t seem to make it on to that list is a bit of a mystery to me, I have to admit…) But there is a world of difference between discreetly arranging security for shuls, schools and Jewish neighborhoods and strutting around for the media like Moshele the Terminator.

Esav is way, way better at killing people and murdering people than we are. It’s a very dangerous game to get involved. There are somewhere between 20-25 million people in the US with white supremacist tendencies. They are Esav mamash. A lot of them have machine guns. A lot of them are just waiting for ‘Moishele the Terminator’ to cross the line and actually kill someone, even in self-defense, so they can use that as a pretext to come after Jews all over the place.

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Of course, what I’m writing here also has implications for the State of Israel, and for the whole idea that the IDF and the military is what is protecting the Jews here.

This is an idea that has profound, far-reaching implications, and I certainly can’t cover off all the angles in one post. But I will say that every time I hear apparently orthodox Jews advocating for ‘carpet bombing’ Gaza, and other extremely violent acts, I shudder. Is this really how Jews are meant to act and behave? Isn’t ‘carpet bombing Gaza’ a perfect example of klei hamas? Isn’t that just what the terrorists and the neo-Nazis would love to do to us, too?

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

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These are big questions, they need to be dealt with and discussed carefully by our qualified Sages and rabbis, and let’s be clear that in the State of Israel, that’s simply not happening.

Our country is run by people who have adopted the ‘stolen craft’ of Esav as their main religion, and we are all paying the price for it. Which brings me to the next point I want to make, about how the idea that killing and murdering people is somehow the best solution to every problem gained so much traction in the first place.

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A lot has changed since I wrote this two years ago.

Like, for example, these days the FBI is actively trying to track down and ’round up’ people with guns in the USA, who they consider to be a threat to the powers-that-be.

Woopy-do, great you have five machine guns in your cupboard – but how is that going to really help you, when they powers-that-be knock on your door and give you a choice between handing your weapons in voluntarily, or being arrested?

What, you’re going to dig yourself in and begin a shoot-out with law enforcement? 

Really?

You think you can out-gun a government, an army, who is spending billions and trillions on figuring out the best way to kill people who get in their way, and who has no moral qualms about murdering millions and billions of people?

Really?

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Violence is not the answer.

Teshuva and prayer is the answer, long-term.

Of course, in the short-term, in the here-and-now, if I see a terrorist coming over to stab someone, of course I will do everything in my power to neutralise them and prevent them from hurting people.

That’s not ‘violence’, that’s Torah-mandated self-defence.

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We are Jews.

We aren’t ‘Esav’.

Jewish wars, Jewish battles, have never really been ‘won’ with hi-tech ways of mass-killing other people.

Read Tanach, understand that all our successful wars were won with open miracles, and were fought by people who had emuna and truly believed in Hashem.

Even in our times, the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War were won by open miracles, not because the State of Israel had an amazing military.

It was corrupt and barely functioning then, and it’s still corrupt and barely functioning today.

Ask anyone who actually serves in the IDF and they will tell you the same.

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Many of our problems appear intractable right now, because it IS going to take open miracles to solve them.

They only get solved by God, when enough of us start adopting the route of praying and following the advice of our true tzaddikim like Rebbe Nachman.

I sat in an airport in Kiev two years ago, under armed guard with a squad of Ukrainian soldiers as they put me and my family on a bus in the middle of the airfield and then had a doberman run around the bus to make sure no-one could ‘escape’.

I spent the whole hour clapping, because what else could I do?

An hour later, they let us off that bus.

And two hours after that, we were let out of the airport miraculously, and allowed to spend the next three weeks in Uman, for Rosh Hashana.

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I have seen open miracles time and again, following Rabbenu’s advice and paying pidyonot.

People don’t like to hear that.

They prefer to think they could somehow ‘break out a machine gun’ and fight their way out of their issues.

That’s ridiculous nonsense, at best – and it’s also totally anti-emuna.

God is the One putting us in all these unsolvable difficulties, and God will solve them as and when He sees fit, once we get the message that we can’t do this stuff without Him.

So please, stop telling me that we need ‘an armed uprising’.

That stuff is for non-Jews, it’s for Esav.

Our way, our path, is prayer and teshuva, and following the advice of our real Tzaddikim, who really know what they’re talking about.

And each time we forget that, we pay a very big price for it.

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I wasn’t going to write anything today.

On some deep level, I’m feeling more and more like I just want to let all this stuff go, and do something else with my time.

(That’s probably just a Summer thing, it happens every year at this point in the calendar.)

Why keep going on about how community has been hijacked by evil Erev Rav?

Why keep shoving more and more information out there, about just how bad all these ‘Covid 19’ shots really are, when that is becoming so obvious to so many, with each day that passes?

Etc etc.

But then I got a couple of emails, with links to a couple of things, that are really showing me why I have to carry on writing what I’m writing at the moment.

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The true evil behind this scheme has been very careful to put ‘externally identified Jews’ in nearly every position of power, as the scapegoats for when all this blows up.

Pfizer’s boss Bourla is identified as being Jewish.

Rochelle Walensky head of the CDC – Jewish.

Tal Zaks, head of Moderna – Jewish AND Israeli.

Trump – and his ‘Jewish’ family members – initiated ‘Operation Warp Speed’ to push Covid restrictions and shots all over the USA.

And let’s not forget, that Netanyahu and a bunch of phoney ‘rabbis’ and ‘enforcers’ were right at the forefront of persuading other countries to go into lockdowns, force-masking, social distancing and then force-vaxxing.

Sure, all that stuff was happening in China, but no-one cares what happens in China.

But when ISRAEL, that light unto the nation, that country of ‘clever Jews’ who know a lot about medicine, started locking down and masking up – I know that made a huge impact on the psyche of regular people in so many other countries, to follow suite.

And that was probably the point.

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So, I have to keep writing to explain that these ‘Jews’ are not God-fearing, however they appear externally, and very probably are somehow connected to that Sabbatean-Frankist-Freemason nexus, that hijacked our community many centuries ago.

Even though I know this whole discussion is very painful and demoralising for so many of us – including, sometimes, me.

Because otherwise, all the millions of real, authentic, kind and thoughtful Jews who still exist out there, even if they don’t identify as ‘religious’ or ‘orthodox’ or ‘observant’ will also start to believe that these fake Jews are somehow representing what real Torah, real Judaism is all about.

When they don’t, in a million years.

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And of course, there’s also the ongoing battle to show that these fake Jews are way more ‘xtian’ than they are Jewish.

And that is also part of this whole propaganda thing being deliberately crafted here, to blame ‘the Jews’ for all of this, when ‘the Jews’ that are part of this Covid 19 genocide are NOT representative, at all, of God-fearing, God-given Torah Judaism.

They are Sabbatean-Frankist-Freemason-Jewish-Christian Erev Rav.

And if you trace their family lines back over the last 1000 years, you see that it’s always these same people coming up in leadership roles within the Jewish community, and who hob-nob with the non-Jews, and who cause us real Jewish plebs so very much grief and suffering, with their machinations and political maneuverings.

AND THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN.

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That doesn’t mean everyone in these families is ‘bad’, not at all.

Free choice always applies to everyone, at all times.

But, we can see that if you are being raised in a Sabbatean-Frankist-Freemason-Jewish-Christian household where demonic rites and terrible things are being practised, religiously – that makes it way, way harder to ‘choose good’.

But it’s still possible.

And the people who ‘choose good’ under those conditions are some of the best and biggest souls in the world.

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Now, the second reason I can see I have to keep writing.

And that is to share the light of the True Tzaddikim, who do still exist in the world, however it may seem at the moment.

There are at least 36 True Tzaddikim, and maybe 72 – depending on the opinion that there are 36 tzaddikim supporting the world in total, or 36 each in Eretz Israel, and chul.

And Rav Berland is probably at the top of that tree of ‘hidden tzaddikim’.

I know people get all upset when I state this, but I’ve experienced enough, read enough, prayed enough to get clarity, to feel very strongly that this is true.

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And that’s why there is a ‘short-cut’ to this whole, painful process of birur, which you can sum up like this:

If you really want to know where someone is coming from, spiritually, take a look at their stance on Rav Berland.

‘Not knowing the truth’ is a starting point in this whole discussion.

If someone refuses to have an opinion because they don’t know the truth, that is actually a very healthy place to start.

But it’s a starting point.

And at some point, even when we’re running away from doing the birur and sticking our head in the sand – in every area of life – we will have to stop, take a deep breath, and do the very hard work of starting to sort the lies from the truth.

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The True Tzaddik is just a mirror.

Whatever is on the inside of us, is what we ‘project outwards’ on to the True Tzaddikim.

All those people who have come out publically hating on the Rav – the people who were so quick to believe all the media lies, so fast to make assumptions, and then, to go out publically on the attack against the Rav and his community….

Where was all that hate really coming from?

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There’s a well-known trick they do with personality testing, where they ask you to estimate how many people around you are doing things like stealing money and doing drugs.

The higher the percentages you give, the more they can ascertain how many of the people in your own life are really doing these types of behavior.

A person who grows up in a very yeshar environment, where they don’t regularly see rabbis molesting women and children, or people smoking weed five times a day, or taking things that don’t belong to them on a regular basis, will truly believe that what they experience themselves is how the rest of the world is.

But the families and communities where bad middot and worse morals are the norm?

Well, OF COURSE those people, families and communities were going to believe the lies being told about Rav Berland, because it mirrors their own experience.

Think about this carefully.

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The Rav and Rebbe Nachman’s light is what has been keeping me and my family going, the last few years.

Thank God, I got such a ‘social media’ dissing a few years ago, when I publically ‘came out’ as a supporter of the Rav.

After I’d spent a year really checking in to the story, and trying to figure out what was true, and what was lies.

And after I’d already been badly burned by a few other ‘rabbinic fakers’ – all of whom, BTW, were distinctly ‘anti’ Rav Berland, despite being Breslovers.

The people who were leading the charge against the Rav on social media and elswhere, pretty much to a person, have all experienced some horrible reversals and issues the last few years.

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Some of them freied out, and are no longer orthodox.

Some of them experienced horrible health issues that took them out of circulation for months.

Some of them saw their whole social media platform crumple to nothing.

Some of them lost their whole status and career.

(And BTW, nearly every single one of them has been tirelessly pushing Covid 19 shots…. I’m sure that’s just a CO-IN-CID-ENCE.)

And this is just the stuff I personally know about, without doing a whole big research project on this.

====

Why am I going through all this now?

Because, dear reader, we have to understand that while our communities are stuffed full of fakers and Sabbatean-Frankist-Freemason-Jewish-Christians with truly horrible morality and middot  – the real, authentic Jewish light can still be found in our communities.

It can be found in simple, God-fearing Jews like you and me, who are flawed, but acknowledging that, and trying to work on improving ourselves, and getting closer to God.

It doesn’t look like it, but we are really the majority here, when you blow all the propaganda away, and look past the ‘top of the pyramid’, of the yucky people who are all we hear about in our corrupted media, as they are acclaimed as our ‘leaders’.

And for us simple Jews, there is still a beacon of light to follow, to get out of this darkness.

And that is hitbodedut, and Rebbe Nachman’s other advice and teachings.

====

Rebbe Nachman is the real deal, and his teachings work to fix our real problems and issues.

Rav Berland is the real deal, the Tzaddik HaDor, and probably the head of the 36 ‘lamed vad’ tzaddikim who exist in every generation, and who still exist in ours.

That much I can tell you.

That much, I’m going to continue to tell you.

Because I can see where this is heading next.

====

Already, there are more and more videos, articles and comments circulating on social media about how ‘the Jews planned this Covid 19 genocide’.

Stop for a moment, and see how all this looks to a non-Jew.

The head of Moderna is Jewish…. the head of Pfizer is Jewish….the guy who ‘invented’ the Covid 19 shots for Russia is a Jewish Ginsburgh…

Israel set the pace for the rest of the West to go into lockdowns and force-masking….there are Israeli and Jewish names all over the nanotech (like Ido Bachelet, remember him?) that more and more people are figuring out is in these Covid shots…

They are even taking Torah lessons from people like Rav Shalom Arush out of context, where he said that Corona is for the non-Jews, not the Jews, at the start of the fake ‘pandemic‘ (i.e. explaining that Jews are above nature, and that even ‘Corona pandemics’ can be sweetened with our teshuva and prayers….How right that was.)

====

Honestly?

Something miraculous DOES seem to be happening in Israel, with these shots.

Something does seem to be being ‘sweetened’ here, more than in other places.

We know that’s God and our True Tzaddikim, sweetening things behind the scenes with all the prayers, mesirut nefesh, sincere teshuva and Tikkun Haklalis etc.

But how does all this look to a non-Jew?

====

Rebbe Nachman referred to sincere, God-fearing Jews who didn’t take the time to figure out who the True Tzaddik really was before geula arrived as pleetim.

That translates as ‘unfortunate’.

Unfortunate, because figuring this stuff out is a spiritual short-cut that will end up saving you so much pain and suffering and heartache, going forward.

Rabbenu and Rav Berland are the two tzaddikim that have kept me going, and kept me writing, and kept me hopeful, and even kept me mostly happy, over the last few very difficult years.

They’ve also kept me working on my bad middot, kept me working to improve my relationships with others, kept me ‘real’, and given me real tools for dealing with so many issues in my life that otherwise would have totally overwhelmed me with despair and bitterness.

And that’s also why I will keep writing, even though sometimes I get so fed-up of this ‘birur’, I just want to stop already.

====

Despite all the dark around, I really actually feel hopeful.

Evil never wins, long-term.

And all this is only happening to bring people closer to God, and to reveal the light of God’s Torah and the light of the real, True Tzaddikim in the world.

There are at least 36 of them walking around today, don’t forget.

And while I can’t tell you the names of the rest of them, I am CERTAIN that Rav Berland is to be found in their camp.

====

Let’s end with this quote from Rebbe Nachman:

In Sichos HaRan (translated into English as ‘Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom’, by the Breslov Research Institute), Rebbe Nachman tells us the following:

“It’s written about the time of Moshiach (Job 38:13): ‘To grasp the ends of the earth and shake the wicked from it’. However, one who comes close to a true Tzaddik, [he] can grab hold of him, and not be cast off. When we hold on to the Tzaddik, we can stay firm.”

====

There’s a whole ton of fake, Sabbatean-Frankist-Freemason-Jewish-Christian ‘tzaddikim’ out there today.

But when you find the True Tzaddik, and hold on to him, then Rabbenu says that ‘we can stay firm’, while the rest of the world is being shaken to its core during the chevlei Moshiach.

So, do some hitbodedut, and pick your ‘True Tzaddik’ very carefully.

====

The RavBerland.com website is regularly putting up translated snippets from the Rav’s recent shiurim.

Go HERE to take a look, and here’s one of my favorites from last week:

I had a few emails from people who are feeling more than a little confused.

Who can they trust?

How do they know, if something is really ‘true’ or not?

If one person says that Rebbe Nachman got them out of the dark, and then another person says that Rabbi Ploni got them out of the dark – who is to say, which one is good, which one is ‘right’? Maybe they are both ‘right’?

Or maybe, they are both ‘wrong’?

====

These are difficult questions, but important questions.

And there is a simple answer to ‘how do we really know’ who and what to trust and that’s this:

We have to beg Hashem to show us the truth.

And there are no shortcuts in this process.

====

But here’s the thing:

The real ‘world of lies’ that a person has to get out of, is their own internal one.

Because the ‘rabbis’ and ‘leaders’ we follow, the ‘truth’ that we recognise is really just a mirror of our own soul.

And for as long as our soul is mamash still trapped in its own world of lies, it’s almost impossible for a person to really know what is ‘true’ or ‘false’ in the world around them.

Let’s give some practical examples.

====

  1. Anger

For as long as someone is still justifying their own self-righteous anger, and still thinking that there are times when anger, and lashing out at other people is a great thing – they will be drawn to angry people, self-righteous and vindictive people.

Whisper this: Most people who are consistently angry are very hard to be around, and usually have a lot of bad middot.

That’s not my opinion.

The Sages teach:

When one gets angry, all sorts of demons control him, and even the Shechina (the holy Divine Presence) doesn’t stand by his side.

====

HERE‘s a direct quote from the Gemara in Masekhet Shabbat 105b:

המקרע בגדיו בחמתו והמשבר כליו בחמתו והמפזר מעותיו בחמתו יהא בעיניך כעובד ע”ז שכך אומנתו של יצה”ר היום אומר לו עשה כך ולמחר אומר לו עשה כך

“If one tears his garment in his anger, breaks his utensils in his anger or scatters his money in his anger, he should be in your eyes as one who is performing idolatry. For thus is the craft of the evil inclination: today it tells him “do this”, and the next day it tells him “do this” until it tells him “perform idolatry” and he goes and performs it”.

If you want to hang out with people like that, if you want to take ‘advice’ from people like that, if you want to follow an ‘angry’ rabbi, or an ‘angry’ lifecoach guru – whatever – feel free.

But just be aware that for as long as a person is justifying anger, their own and other people’s, then:

All sorts of demons control him.

And that’s not a recipe for a happy, successful life.

==

2. Status

One thing you quickly learn about Breslov, and especially about Rav Berland’s branch of ‘Breslov’, is that you can forget about getting any honor, status or respect from other people, if you’re sincerely following that path.

What, you’re that brainwashed cretin that can’t really see what’s going on with Rav Berland?! Who didn’t believe all the Channel 13 exposes about him?! Who’s just a brainwashed cult-member with no mind of their own and no independent discernment?!

Hahaha.

For as long as a person would like others to respect them for their ‘religious sincerity’, for the path they’ve chosen, or to impress others with just how holy, inspirational, ‘righteous’, and ‘right about everything’ they truly are, they will be drawn to leaders, to organisations, where they can leverage some of that ‘respect’ out of other people.

Ooooo, your rabbi got invited to the White House?!

Your organisation has connections all over the world and is the ‘Chief Rabbi’ of pretty much any country you care to mention?

Your people get massive government grants and kudos; they have a lot of ‘political muscle’ to save their adherents from yucky court cases; they can connect you, business-wise, all over the place….?

==

If that sounds appealing to you, then true Breslov – Rav Berland’s Breslov – is not your path.

True Breslovers have been dissed and derided from the day Rebbe Nachman got back from Eretz Yisrael, and told his followers that he’d bought them a gift from the Holy Land:

Machloket.

That people were going to be criticising, mocking them and persecuting them all day long.

==

Now, we can ask: What sort of present is that, Rabbenu??

All these other guys are hanging out with Putin, and getting invited to the White House, and people write long screeds about how amazing and wonderful and great they are, and they fancy shuls all over the place, and summer camps for the kids and all the politicians just totally love them to death!

And what does real Breslov have to offer?

Nothing like that.

A lot of poverty. A lot of arguments with your family members and friends, who think you joined a cult. A lot of dissing from people on Facebook, who assume you must be a retarded moron for not believing Channel 13 like all the really enlightened people do.

==

But what ELSE does real Breslov have to offer?

Humility. A real connection to God. The inner peace that comes from really connecting to your soul, and trying to do the work God sent you down here to do. A connection to the True Tzaddik.

The sort of advice that really can solve even the most difficult problems, and get your soul out of the world of lies and into the world of truth.

But…. if you prefer ‘status’ and nice kiddushes and fancy shuls and political clout, then ‘real Breslov’ is going to sound about as attractive as a bucket of cold sick.

====

I could go on and on, but what’s the point here?

The point is, that for as long as a person is not doing regular hitbodedut, is not accepting that they are full of bad middot and flaws, is not doing the painful, difficult job of clarifying their own internal world of lies….

They are going to find this process of ‘birur’ increasingly hard and confusing, going forward.

==

Sometimes, I get emails from xtians (thankfully not so many these days….) who like to tell me how Yoshki helped them ‘out of the darkness’ and ‘into the light’.

They like to tell me how much more patient, and enlightened, and happy, and ‘spiritual’ they are, now that they’ve found ‘the lord’.

What am I meant to tell them?

Am I meant to say, yeah, carry on believing in that guy, because it’s at least better than worshipping the devil….?

Really?

====

Birur is a process.

It’s like scaling a mountain.

The higher you go, the more difficult the journey becomes, and the thinner the atmosphere gets.

But when you finally get to the top, the view is awesome.

That’s when you can look around, and just see how everything really looks without all the skyscrapers and lamp-posts in the way.

You can see how beautiful the world really is.

====

Let’s just have a quick reality-check moment, that I am no-where near the top of the mountain.

I am a small person, in so many ways, with a lot of bad middot that I know are bad, wrong and destructive.

I have to do hitbodedut for an hour every single day, to try to ‘catch’ those bad middot in action, before they drag me under or destroy the world too much.

It’s a constant process of noticing what I’m breaking, and then trying to fix it.

But one thing I do know:

The path that Rebbe Nachman laid out for his followers does eventually lead right to the top of that mountain.

And if I keep going, even if I get discouraged and overwhelmed some times, and have to take a break – eventually, with God’s help, I will get there.

====

So, believe in whoever you want to.

Follow whoever you want to.

Defend whoever you want to.

Promote whoever you want to.

But know, that until and unless you clarify your own ‘world of lies’, you will have an innate bias that will consistently lead you away from what is really true.

That doesn’t mean that you won’t climb the birur mountain in some way, at least partially, but there is only one path to the very top of it, and you find that path by doing regular hitbodedut every single day, and working on rectifying your bad middot.

 ====

May Hashem give us all the merit to find that path.

And may He give us the strength to continue moving forward, when all we really want to do is give up and go to sleep.

And may He move all the obstacles, and distractions and confusions out of the way, so we can finally see where we are really headed, and what we really need to do to get there.

====

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Rebbe Nachman told a parable about a royal prince who one day woke up and believed he was a turkey.

As usual, Rabbenu was way ahead of his time, and gave us solid advice on how to handle a phenomena that is one of the biggest scourges for our children and our society. So, I thought it was time to update Rabbenu’s parable, a little, and to tell you the tale of the Turkey Trans.

Enjoy!

====

Once upon a time, there was a fine young man, a prince in the royal palace, who spent way too much time on Tumblr, Instagram and Tiktok.

Because it wasn’t so easy being the son of a king, these days.

Everywhere he went, people accused him of having ‘white privilege’, and ‘male privilege’; his opinions were mocked and derided – because what could a spoilt, rich prince know about things that real people experienced, like loneliness and depression?

And he found it really hard to make friends, because it had happened more than once that his so-called ‘friends’ had turned around and sold exposes about him and his family to The National Enquirer.

So, for all his wealth, and all his luxury, and all his ‘elite white male’ privilege, the Prince was actually one of the loneliest and misunderstood people in the whole world.

And he hated being a prince.

==

One day, he stumbled across a group of Turkey Transitioners on Tumblr, and he was amazed about all the love and acceptance they were getting, as they posted up pictures of the trans journey from human to Turkey.

I am pecking this story out with my new prosthetic beak, wrote @NotForThanksgiving, and I can tell you that I have never felt happier, being a Turkey!

There were like, a gazillion comments underneath the post, cheering @NotforThanksgiving on, and praising his courage and determination to live life in accordance with who he really felt he should be: a Turkey.

The prince felt a twang of envy. And also, a strange urge to go and find some earthworms to snack on…

Hey, he started to wonder, maybe, deep down I’m also really a Turkey?!

==

A few days later, he made an appointment with the royal psychiatrist, who was really good friends with people like John Stryker.

How can I help you, sire? enquired the shrink, with barely disguised disdain in his eyes for this royal whiner and perfect example of selfish white privilege.

Um. The prince blinked a little, then let out a small stream of bluck, bluck, blucks. The psychiatrist instantly warmed to him. I think I’m a Turkey stuck in a human being’s body, the prince told him.

The psychiatrist beamed widely, and would have given the boy a ‘welcome to the party’ bear hug, except everything was being recorded by the camera in the corner….

That’s wonderful news! Really wonderful! Let’s get you started on some ‘humanity blockers’ immediately – and don’t worry! The effects are totally temporary! They’ll  just stop your human brain from developing, and will regress your ability to speak, while you’re trying to figure things out.

But once you fully transition to a Turkey, all your problems will be over, royal highness!

You’ll be living life the way you are meant to be, as the real, Turkey-you!

==

Wow. The prince had never seen the shrink so friendly and accepting.

He still had some doubts, honestly, about whether being a Turkey was totally the right path, but he had to admit, the shrink’s encouragement was dispelling them like clouds on a hot summer’s day. But then, the Prince remembered something, and his face fell.

What about my dad? he whispered. The King was really not going to like this.

Leave him to me, the shrink nodded sagely. Then wrote something on his notepad, so the cameras wouldn’t catch it:

We’ll tell him that if he doesn’t let you transition to being a Turkey, you’ll kill yourself.

It works every time! he nodded at the prince, smiling.

==

So, the Turkey-Prince got his new prescription for ‘humanity blockers’, and proudly wrote his first post in the Turkey Transitioners group on Tumblr.

So proud of you, royal sire. 

You rock, Turkey-princeling.

Welcome to the club, wrote @TurkeyTwizzler. I’m getting my feet-transformation surgery tomorrow, and I’m really excited to be living life as a free (range…) turkey.

====

Harry, we have a problem.

The King raised a grumpy eyebrow, and grunted for his wife Mathilda to continue. Always problems, problems, problems, and hardly ever solutions. His father had warned him that being a King was not as much fun as it was cracked up to be…

Our son, the royal prince, is sitting under the table on the patio naked, and pecking at some grubs. Mathilda flushed bright red with the shame of it all. He tells me he’s transitioning to become a turkey!

Whaaattt? King Harry roared out. That son of his had always been a nincompoop, with all his stupid ideas about abolishing the monarchy are redistributing the family’s wealth and land to the poor people. But this took the biscuit!

Get me the royal psychiatrist, right now!

==

The Royal Shrink arrived, bowed deeply and kissed the King’s hand.

What a creep, the King muttered to himself, conspicuously wiping his hand on a piece of ermine. If Stryker hadn’t paid him $10 million to have the guy on his staff, he would have beheaded him a long time ago.

My son thinks he’s a Turkey. What can we do to cure him of this mental illness?

The Royal Shrink bowed again. O sire, we have to be extremely careful with these young people! The best thing to do is to affirm his own feelings. If he believes he is a Turkey, then he really is a Turkey, and should be supported on his path. That’s what all the people at Harvard are saying.

The King was so stunned, it took him a moment to regain his royal composure.

And if I don’t ‘support him’ on his path, and try to beat some sense into him instead? King Harry demanded.

The shrink smiled obsequiously.

Then he will kill himself! Isn’t it better to have a live Turkey on the throne, than a dead Crown Prince?!

====

All day long, there was a massive argument between Mathilda and Harry, about what to do to help their son.

Mathilda had been listening in to the conversation with the Royal Shrink, and when he mentioned that her son would probably go and kill himself, if he wasn’t allowed to transition into a Turkey-Prince, her heart almost burst.

Mathilda, this is nonsense!! Harry snapped back. It doesn’t matter how many ‘human blockers’ the boy takes; how much surgery he has to sew up his mouth and give him a prosthetic beak; how many feathers he has surgically embedded in his skin – he will never be a Turkey!

Mathilda peeked out the window, to where the Crown Prince was clucking around outside and getting himself all dusty.

But Harry, he looks so much happier and calmer, now he’s come out as a Turkey,  she called back over her shoulder. Maybe, he really is a Turkey soul, stuck in a human body.

Doesn’t the Zohar talk about that?

Harry hrumphed again.

==

Just then, there was a knock at the door.

Sire, there is a man here who says he can help your son.

There had been a steady stream of ‘experts’ arriving at the palace, since the news had exploded on Tiktok that the Crown Prince was transitioning. Most of them were now sitting in the royal dungeons.

I don’t need anyone else here recommending the best ‘Turkey feet plastic surgeon’! Harry roared out.

No, no sire, this gentleman says that he can help your son regain his mental equilibrium again…. so that he will understand that God made him a human being, and not a Turkey.

Usually, Harry didn’t go in for all the religious mumbo-jumbo. But at this point, he was desperate, and he was willing to try anything.

Ok, show him in!

====

How can you help my son, wise man, when all my other Harvard-trained ‘experts’ are telling me that if I don’t let him transition to live as a Turkey, he’s just going to jump on some BBQ grill somewhere?

Sire, the wise man answered. God created him a human being, and God doesn’t make mistakes. Your son just needs some love, acceptance and trauma counselling.

This also sounded like preposterous nonsense. But at least they weren’t talking about prosthetic beaks.

OK, you have permission to try, wise man. But if you don’t come up with the goods… Harry nodded down, to where the dungeons lay.

==

The next morning, the Crown Prince gobbled down his ‘humanity blockers’, then went back to scratching in the dirt.

He was pecking away happily, when out of the corner of his eye, he saw another man in a pair of modest boxers, also pecking around in the dirt and trilling Turkey sounds.

He watched him carefully. I haven’t seen this guy on the Turkey Transitioners group on Tumblr, the Crown Prince mused to himself. Although honestly, the more ‘humanity blockers’ he took, the harder it was getting to think , or see, straight.

For a whole day, the two just pecked in the dirt together, and made Turkey noises and exaggerated wing movements with their arms.

Finally, the Crown Prince’s curiosity got too much for him.

Who are you?  he asked the stranger.

I’m a turkey-trans, he replied. Just like you.

====

The next day, the Crown Prince sidled up to the stranger and asked him: Are you on ‘humanity blockers’ too?

The stranger let out a loud cluck, then shook his head vigorously.

Whoever heard of a real Turkey popping prescription drugs? And besides, the side-effects are so bad, I was getting a migraine every time I was trying to chase down a bug.

The Turkey-Prince was confused. It’s true, real Turkeys didn’t take prescription medication. Only human beings would do something like that.  A little later, he circled around, and came back up to the stranger.

When is your feather-enhancement surgery meant to be happening? 

I’m not doing that either, answered the wise man. Since when does a real Turkey pay thousands of dollars to go under the knife?! Are you really going to trust these people? You know what ‘Thanksgiving’ is, right?

The Crown Prince shivered.

So, you’re not getting a prosthetic beak? he tried again.

Nah, waste of time. They don’t really work, they just get infected and honestly? The wise man leaned over and pulled an escaping worm out of the ground with his fingers. It’s way easier to catch lunch like this.

====

The Crown Prince had to admit that the other turkey had a point.

He’d been kinda surprised that no-one else in the Turkey-Trans group has been writing about how difficult this journey actually was. He’d only managed to eat three ants in the last few days – and he’d cheated to catch those – and he was dying for a hamburger.

But if he wimped-out of the transitioning process now… The Crown Prince cringed, thinking about all the bashing he’d get on social media.

From the side, the wise man was watching.

====

The next day, a tray of fresh hamburgers appeared in the middle of the garden, and the wise man made a beeline for them, clucking merrily.

He sat down, and started eating a juicy burger with pickles, relish, and all the fixings.

Hey! The Crown Prince screamed at him. Turkey’s don’t eat meat!!!

Sure they do, the wise man replied. You’re just making a human value judgement. Who is to say that a cow’s life is really worth more than a grub’s? Or an ant? Turkeys eat other animals all the time. You can still eat a burger, but stay a turkey…

The Crown Prince clucked closer, than hunger overtook him, and he wolfed down three burgers in half a minute.

====

Over the coming days, the Crown Prince realised that he could still be a Turkey and walk upright, without killing his back.

He could still be a Turkey and have deep, human conversations with other Turkey-Trans, who also felt they just didn’t ‘fit’ somehow, in the world.

And he could still be a Turkey and fight for social justice.

But, the wise old man warned him, just like real Turkeys don’t pop pills, they also don’t use social media. Did you ever see a natural-born Turkey with a TikTok account?

Now that the Crown Prince was off the ‘humanity blockers’, and had been avoiding the Turkey-Trans Activist groups on social media, he was finding it easier and easier to think straight.

You know, you’re right! 

The Crown Prince picked up his iPhone, and tossed it into the royal fountain.

====

Son, I’m moving on, the wise man told him one day, as they were eating butter croissants with jam for breakfast in the royal gazebo, and drinking Starbucks espresso.

The Crown Prince was going to be very sad to see his Turkey-Trans friend go. Who was he going to speak to, who was he going to hang out with now?

I want you to remember something, the wise man told him. No two souls are alike. God created each of us as unique individuals, with our unique struggles and tests and abilities. We don’t have to fit into anyone else’s ideas about ‘what a Turkey’ should be. 

You can still be the king one day – and be a really good Turkey. Don’t forget that.

==

They hugged each other goodbye, as King Harry and Queen Mathilda reappeared with a big purse of money for the wise man.

Turkeys don’t need endowments or grants from people like John Stryker or Paul Singer, the wise man said, while he winked at the Turkey-Prince.

Please use that money to set up an education foundation to teach Turkeys that they don’t need pills or dangerous and destructive surgery to live life as the ‘real them’.

And put your son here, in charge of it.

====

And what happened to the Royal Shrink, and all the other ‘experts’?

The King signed a royal charter that they should be ‘transitioned’ to become wolves in sheep’s clothing.

And so it was.

====

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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:

====

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:

====

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:

Last week I went to Shimon HaTzaddik.

Just for 20 minutes, before I headed off to the evening prayers of the Rav, Rabbi Eliezer Berland, that happen 8:30pm every night, outside on Ido HaNavi Street.

I got in, sat down – and immediately heard a booming voice coming from the men’s section, telling everyone:

Halacha!! When a person prays for Am Yisrael, all his own sins are forgiven!

OK, I took that as a hint.

And I prayed a bit for Am Yisrael.

====

A couple of minutes later, the booming voice was back.

Halacha!! I personally heard from Rav Steinman himself that when someone becomes arrogant from learning Torah, all their Torah learning immediately goes straight to the dark side!!

Interesting.

====

Over Shabbat, I was pondering about why all this Frankist-Reform-funded ‘ortho fem’ stuff is just so poisonous.

And then I remembered that guy from Shimon HaTzaddik, and it struck me that the ‘Torah’ that is being taught by these ortho-fem institutions is all about making the person who learns it believe in their own superiority to others.

I.e., it’s all about the intellect and the ego.

It’s about handing out ‘source sheets for your shiur’ with a billion entries on them, to show how clever and learned you are.

It’s about spending a whole hour telling people about what YOU THINK is written in the Gemara, instead of breaking your head trying to understand WHAT OUR SAGES THINK.

It’s about showing ‘the men’ that you are just as good as they are!!!

(I.e. you can also bore people to death with your pointless shiurim about halachic minutiae that basically, you are in absolutely no position to have a real opinion on, because your middot suck, you’re totally arrogant, and you have no siyatta di shmeya because your Torah learning doesn’t have even a milligram of ‘lishma’ about it…..)

====

This is the ‘Torah’ of the Jewish demon Torah Scholars.

(BTW, apparently it’s not only Rabbenu, Rebbe Nachman, who wrote about them. Also the BESHT’s leading disciple, R Yaakov Yosef of Polnnoye, and the Zohar, and also the Tanya of the Alter Rebbe also speak of them. See HERE for more details.

You can find a discussion about these Jewish demon Torah Scholars in Likutey Moharan, Part 1:12)

This is the ‘Torah’ that Rebbe Nachman explains even ‘wears out God’ – i.e. it turns everything into an ego-fuelled, pointless, philosophical discussion, that misses the whole point of learning Torah, which is to work on our own bad middot  – especially our arrogance – and to learn more emuna.

====

In the old days, when women weren’t so ‘learned’, the Sages spoke a lot about the simple emuna of women.

And how it could move mountains.

While the men were off with their thumbs, pilpulling away in pointless ‘splitting hairs’ fashion, the women would pull out a Sefer Tehillim, or put their hands on their mezuzah, and just pour their hearts out to God.

And their prayers moved mountains.

====

The Reform-Frankists who are funding all these ‘ortho fem’ movements and institutions know the true power of a woman’s simple emuna.

That’s why they are going full out to try and replace that simple emuna, our simple, heartfelt, soul-deep connection to God with ‘precious Torah-based rubbish’ instead.

Before I got to Breslov, I used to try with all my might to ‘enjoy’ Torah classes at Matan, and from other ‘ortho fem’ sources that so many of the people I hung out with were raving about.

It was nearly always a struggle to stay awake – at best.

Other times, I’d find the discussion so pointless, so dry, so spiritually ‘dead’ and uninspiring, talking for talk’s own sake – that I’d usually make a break for the toilet, and try to stay there as long as possible.

This is the power of the shiurim of the Jewish Demon Torah Scholars.

They fill your head with ‘information’, but empty out your soul.

====

That’s why when I hit the simple emuna of Breslov teachings, they totally blew me away.

Listen to this, and you’ll see what I mean:

====

The first time I heard this, I sat transfixed in my car for a good 10 minutes, because all of a sudden my soul woke up.

Not more boring pilpul, not more boring ‘speeches’ with a million sources discussing something that felt totally irrelevant to my real life and real issues.

But someone talking about how Hashem wants a real, direct relationship with every single one of us; and how everything that’s happening around us, and to us, is part of that direct conversation the Creator is trying to have with us.

All of a sudden, the mitzvot stopped feeling like such a burden, such a bore – however important and necessary – and my soul woke up.

====

The difference between the ‘Torah’ of these Jewish Demon Torah Scholars, and the ‘Torah’ of Breslov is literally night and day.

The first boosts the ego, and destroys the soul.

The latter uncovers the true power of the soul – and takes down the ego.

====

I’m not against women learning lishma – for it’s own sake.

I think it’s beautiful, when we women steal a few precious moments from the demands of working, looking after our families, running our homes, to learn a few pages of Tanach, or to read some Rambam, or to learn some Likutey Moharan.

But lishma – for its own sake – means you aren’t getting a ‘degree’ at the end of your learning.

You aren’t getting a diploma, or title.

You aren’t getting an ‘ortho-fem’ platform, or a position in an institution, to start boring everyone else to death with your fab-u-lous insights into the Torah that have absolutely nothing to do with working on overcoming bad middot, getting to know God, or developing some real emuna.

====

So, now I know why all these ‘ortho-fems’ are bothering me so very much, Freemason-Frankist funding of their institutions notwithstanding.

They may or may not be very nice people personally.

But when you learn Torah for any other reason than lishma, it becomes a sam hamavet – an arrogant potion of death – and not an emuna-dik potion of life.

And that’s why Rabbenu explains about the people who learn and teach Torah like this: (LM 1:12)

“a carcass is better than this person.”

====

You might also like this article:

What to do with these ‘clever heretics’ who don’t really believe in God?

Or in hashgacha pratit?

Or in the idea that Ein Od Milvado – God is all there is, and so every single thing in the world is meaningful, and a communication from God, and a personal message to us that there is something that we ourselves need to pay attention to, or fix, or change, or think about?

How do you ‘blunt the teeth’ of people like this?

I was thinking about this a lot in my hitbodedut this morning.

And that’s when God reminded me that Rebbe Nachman already set everything out, in his tale of the ‘The Chacham and the Tam’ – the clever-clogs and the simple man of faith.

====

The following comes from the Wikisource page for Rebbe Nachman’s Sipurey Ma’asiot.

(HERE.)

It really sums everything up, including how to deal with these ‘clever heretics’.

Enjoy!

====

Once there were two home-owners in a city who had great wealth, large houses and two sons; that is, each one of them had a son.

The two children learned together in the same schoolhouse. One of them was a khakham [clever, smart, sophisticated, wise] and the other was a tam [simple, innocent, artless, wholesome] (not that he was a fool; rather, his intellect was simple, without sophistication). The two sons loved each other very much. Even though one was khakham and the other was tam, they nevertheless loved each other very much.

Came a time when the two householders began to decline. They continued to decline until they lost everything and became destitute with nothing remaining but their houses. As the sons began to grow up, their fathers told them: We do not have enough to pay for you, to sustain you. Do for yourselves what you can.

[The Simple Man and the Clever Man Learn Trades]

The tam went and learned shoemaking. The khakham, who was a bar-havana, [an astute, discerning person], didn’t want to apply himself to such a common trade. He decided he would travel the world and see what to do. As he was going about the marketplace, he saw a large wagon with four horses in harness speeding through. He called out to the merchants, “Where are you from?” They answered him, “From Warsaw.” “Where are you going?” “To Warsaw.” He asked them, “Perhaps you need workers?” They saw that he was astute, motivated, and looked good. So they accepted him. He traveled off with them and served them very well on the way.

When they arrived in Warsaw, since he was a bar-havana, he decided, “Since I am already in Warsaw, why should I remain with these [merchants]? Maybe there is a better place than [with] them. I shall go search and see.” As he walked around in the marketplace, he began to investigate and inquire about the men who had brought him, and whether there would be a better place than [with] them. They answered that these people [who had brought him] are honest people and it’s good to be with them. However, it is very difficult to be with them since their business dealings are in very distant places.

==

So, he went on. He noticed clothing shop workers as they were going around in the marketplace, with all their customary charm, with their caps and pointy shoes and the rest of the affectations and flair in their gait and appearance.

Since he was so sharp and discerning, this occupation looked very proper, being pleasant and local. So he went to the men who had brought him, gave them his praise and appreciation, but told them that it is not comfortable for him to be with them. As [for recompense] for them having brought him, he had served them on the road.

So he went and offered himself to a proprietor. And the way with servants is, at first one has to be hired for less and do the heavier work. Then later, one advances to better jobs. The proprietor would use him for very hard work, sending him off to nobility carrying merchandise in the manner of servants–prominently displaying the garments on their extended arms; this work was very hard for him.

Sometimes he needed to carry the merchandise to upper floors, and this work was very hard for him. He decided, since he was a philosopher, a discerning person: “Why do I need this work? Is not the main point the ultimate purpose–to get married and make a living? I don’t need to see to that yet; I will be free for that later, in the years to come. Meanwhile, it would be better to travel, visiting countries, feasting my eyes on the world.”

==

He went about the marketplace and saw merchants riding on a large wagon.

He asked them, “Where are you going?” “To Lagorna.[1]” “Would you take me there?” “Yes.” They took him there. From there he traveled to Italy, and from there, to Spain.

Meanwhile, many years passed and he became even more knowledgeable on account of having been in many countries[2]. He decided, “Now, it’s time to look at the ultimate purpose.” He began to philosophize about what he should do. It seemed to him that he should learn goldsmithery, which is a major occupation, a nice craft, entailing great insight and very profitable.

And since he was such a bar-havana and philosopher, he didn’t need to study the trade many years; merely in a quarter year he received the skill, and he became quite a great craftsman, even more of an expert than the one who had trained him.

==

Afterwards he concluded, “Even though I have such a trade in hand, nonetheless I do not have enough with this. Today, this is an important [profession], but maybe at another time some other thing will be considered important.” So went ahead and placed himself with a gem cutter. And on account of his cleverness he acquired this skill in a short time as well — in a quarter year.

Then he philosophically decided, “Even though I have two trades in hand, who knows, perhaps neither of these will remain important. It would be better for me to learn a craft that will always be important.”

Probing with his insight and philosophy, he determined to learn medicine, which is always needed and always esteemed. Now, the way of learning medicine is to first learn Latin, the language and its writing, as well as the wisdoms of sophistry. And this too, on account of his brilliant mind, he mastered in a short time–a quarter year–and he became a big doctor, a philosopher and expert in all fields of wisdom.

==

After all this, the world began to seem, in his eyes, as nil.

For due to his genius, and since he was such a great craftsman and so wise and such a doctor, every person in the world was like nil to him. He decided that he would now accomplish the purpose and take a wife. He opined to himself: “If I marry here, who will know what has become of me? Let me rather go back home, so that people will see what has become of me. I left as a young boy and now I have come to such greatness.”

And he picked up and traveled home, experiencing great afflictions on the way. For on account of his sophistication he didn’t have anything in common with people about which to converse. [He was so worldly and refined that] he found no lodging up to his standards and so, he felt constantly afflicted.

==

For now, let us set aside the story of the clever man; and we will begin to tell the story of the simple man.

The simple man learned shoemaking, and since he was a simple person he had to study the trade a great deal until he got it, and [even then,] he did not have complete expertise in the craft. He took a wife, and he sustained himself from his work. And since he was a simple person and was not such an expert, therefore his livelihood came with a great deal of pressing and was very limited.

He didn’t even have time to eat because he always had to work, due to his inability to [be more proficient] in his craft. Only while he was working–when he had inserted the nail and pulled through the cobbler’s thread–only then would he take a bite of a piece of bread and eat.

==

[The simple man’s] customary behavior was to be always very joyful.

He was constantly full only of happiness. And he had all the foods, all the drinks and all the clothing. He would say to his wife, “My wife, give me to eat;” and she would gave him a piece of bread and he ate. Then he would say, “Give me the sauce with buckwheat groats,” and she would cut him off another slice of bread and he ate. And he would praise and say, “How very good and nice is this sauce!”

Similarly he would order himself served meat and other delicacies, and for each dish, she would give him a slice of bread from which he would have great pleasure and give great praise. “How well prepared this is!” as if he had actually eaten that very dish. For he would really and truly feel, in the bread that he ate, the taste of all the foods he wanted; on account of his great temimuth [the quality of being tam; simplicity; wholesomeness; naivete; innocence] and his immense joy.

And similarly he would say, “My wife, give me a drink of beer;” she would give him water and he would praise, “How nice is this beer!” [Then he would summon,] “Give me mead;” she gave him water and he would praise it the same way. “Give me wine” or other drink; she gave him water and he would delight in and praise the drink as if he really drank [wine, etc.]

==

So too with clothing.

He and his wife shared one peltz [Yid. pelt coat; an unfinished piece of fur used as a coat]. He would say, “My wife, give me the peltz, when he needed it namely, to go to the market. She would give him the peltz. When he needed a tulep [fancy overcoat with fine fur on the inside which rolls over onto the collar] to go out socially, he would say, “My wife, give me the tulep,” and she would give him the peltz.

He would take great delight in it and praise, “What a beautiful tulep this is!” When he needed a kaftan [long suit coat] for instance, to go to synagogue, he would summon and say, “My wife, give me the kaftan,” and she would give him the peltz. He would praise and say, “How nice and beautiful is this kaftan!”

And so too when he needed to don a yupa [a long silk robe worn for formal occasions] she would also give him the peltz, and he would also give praise and delight: “How beautiful and nice is this yupa!” And the like. Thus he was full only of joy and delight constantly.

==

When he would finish a shoe — and the shoe probably had three corners [i.e., it was not symmetrical] since he did not have complete proficiency in his craft — he would take the shoe in his hand and praise it highly.

And he would take great pleasure from it and would say, “My wife, how beautiful and wonderful is this shoe! How sweet it is! What a honey, what a sugary shoe this is!” She would ask him, “If that is so, why do other shoemakers take three gulden for a pair of shoes, and you take only a half thaler (one and a half gulden)?” He replied, “What’s that to me? That’s the other person’s business and this is my business. And besides, why do we have to talk about other people? Let’s just start calculating how much I earn with this shoe “from hand to hand” [from his hand to the hand of the customer–i.e., considering all factors in the process of making and selling the shoe].

The leather costs me this much, tar and thread cost this much, the filling between the skins this much, and likewise other items this much; comes out that I profit ten groschen from hand to hand. And with such a profit from hand to hand, what is there to be concerned about?”

==

So he was only happy and cheerful at all times, but to the world he was a laughingstock; in him, they had just what they wanted–someone to mock however they pleased, for he seemed like a lunatic.

People would come and start speaking with him intending to make fun and mock.

And the simple man would say to them, “Just without mockery.” And as soon as they answered him, “No kidding,” he listened to them and started talking with them, for he did not want to further suspect witticisms — that perhaps this itself [their reply] is mockery — for he was a tam.

But when he would see that their intention was indeed to ridicule, he would say, “So what if you are more clever than me? Would you not then be the real fool? For what do I amount to? So if you’ll be more clever than me, you’ll still be a fool!”

(All this were the usual ways of the simple man. Now we will return to the original subject [i.e., the clever man].)

==

In the meantime, there was a commotion–the clever man is traveling and coming here with great pomp and sophistication!

The simple man also came running to greet him with great joy. He said to his wife, “Give me quick the yupa! I shall go and greet my dear friend; I will see him.” She gave him the peltz and he ran to greet him. Now the clever man was riding pompously in a horse-drawn carriage; the simple man came out to greet him and welcomed him joyously, with great love.

“My dear brother, how do you do? Blessed is God for bringing you and giving me the privilege of seeing you!” And the clever man, for whom the entire world was like nothing, as was stated above [that everyone and everything in the world was insignificant to him, for he considered himself above all the world] — all the more so such a person as [the tam] who seems crazy. But nonetheless, on account of their shared childhood love, he drew him close and traveled with him into town.

==

Now the two householders, the fathers of these two sons, had died during the time when the clever son was traveling the world.

Their houses had been left [as an inheritance]. The simple son, who had remained local, moved into his father’s house claiming his inheritance. The clever son, however, had been in foreign countries and had no one to receive the house. So the clever man’s house became ruined and was lost–nothing remained of it.

Thus the clever man had no house to enter when he arrived. He traveled to an inn but was anguished there because it wasn’t up to his standards.

==

The simple man now found himself a new occupation–he would constantly run from his house to the clever man with love and joy.

He noticed that the clever man was suffering from the lodgings. So the simple man said to the clever man, “Brother, come over to my house and stay with me! I will gather all my belongings into one bundle and you’ll have my entire house at your disposal.” This was agreeable to the clever man, so he moved into his house and stayed with him.

==

Now the clever man was always full of suffering, for he had left behind a reputation of being a wondrous sage, an artist, and a great doctor.

A nobleman came and ordered him to make him a gold ring. He made him quite a wonderful ring and etched out engravings in very amazing ways. He engraved in it a tree that was a total marvel. The nobleman came and the ring did not please him at all. He had enormous suffering because he knew, in himself, that if this ring with the tree would be in Spain, it would be esteemed as an amazing work of art. And similarly, one time a great nobleman came and brought a rare precious gem, brought from distant lands.

He also brought with him another gemstone with an engraved image and bid him to etch out that exact image onto the rare gemstone he had brought [from distant lands]. [The khakham] precisely engraved that exact image, except he made a mistake in one thing which nobody at all would discern except him alone. The nobleman came and took the gem and he liked it very much.

But the clever man had great agony from his mistake, “As smart as I am, and this mistake should happen?!”

==

And similarly in his doctoring, he suffered as well.

When he came to an ill person and he gave him treatments of which he knew clearly that if the patient would only survive, it would certainly have to be these treatments through which he had healed, for it was an excellent course of treatment. Then however the patient died. The public said that he died because of him, and he had huge suffering from this. Likewise, sometimes he gave an ill person treatments and the ill person became healthy, and the public said that it was a chance occurrence.

So, he was always filled with pain.

==

Similarly, when he needed a garment.

He summoned the tailor and took pains with him until he taught him to make the garment to his specifications, according to his knowledge of fashion. The tailor understood the directions and made the garment just as he wanted, except on one lapel, he erred by not shaping it well.

[The khakham] suffered great anguish from that because he knew in himself that, although here it would be considered handsome, because no one would perceive [the defect], but “if I were to be in Spain with this lapel, I would be a laughingstock and I would look like an imbecile.”

And so he was always full of suffering.

==

The simple man would joyously run over to the clever man all the time; but he always found him afflicted and full of suffering.

He asked him, “How could it be? A wise and wealthy person such as you — why do you always have anguish? [Look!] Am I not constantly happy?”

This was a big joke in the eyes of the clever man. [The tam] seemed crazy to him.

The simple man said to him, “Even plain people, when they make fun of me, are fools as well, for if they’re already smarter than me, they are first fools themselves [as mentioned above]! All the more so such a clever person as you. So what if you are smarter than me?”

The simple man spoke up, saying to the clever man, “May the One Who gives grant that you should come up to my level [and become a simple person]!”

The clever man replied, “It is possible that I could reach your level — if my intellect would be taken away, God spare us; or if I became sick, God forbid, I could also become insane. For what are you anyway, but a madman? But that you would come up to my level? No way! It is completely impossible that you would become wise like me!”

The simple man answered, “With Hashem Yithbarakh, everything is possible. It could happen in the blink of an eye that I ascend to your [level of brilliance].”

The clever man made great fun of him.

==

Now these two sons were known in public by their nicknames: “Khakham–Clever” and “Tam–Simple.”

Even though there are many clever and simple people in the world, still, in this case, it was unusually apparent. For they were both from the same town, went to school together, and the one had become such an extraordinary genius, while the other was so extremely simple. Even in the public registry (the book listing the citizens) where they record everyone’s given name and family name, these two were registered only by their nicknames–“Khakham” and “Tam.”

One time, the king was perusing the registry and found these two recorded solely by their nicknames, “Clever” and “Simple.”

The king was amazed and very much wanted to see them. He realized, “If I suddenly send for them to come before me, they will be very frightened. The clever one won’t know at all what to make of this, and the simple man might go crazy from fear.” So, the king decided to send a khakham to the khakham and a tam to the tam. But where does one get a tam in the royal [capital] city?

For in the royal city [where the king lives] the majority are smart people.

However, the one who is appointed overseer of the treasury — he is intentionally a simple person. For they do not want to appoint a clever person overseer of the treasury. Perhaps through his cleverness and his intellect he will embezzle all the funds; therefore they expressly put a simple person in charge of the treasury.

==

So the king summoned a clever man and the above-mentioned simple man (the treasurer) and sent them to the two sons.

He gave each one a letter. And he gave them an additional letter to the provincial governor under whose authority the two sons dwelt. In it, the king commanded that the governor should send letters of his own to the clever son and the simple son so that they shouldn’t be frightened. He should write to them that the matter is not obligatory, that the king is not explicitly decreeing that they should come, but rather the choice is theirs: if they want, they should come.

Just that the king desires to see them.

The emissaries traveled off, the clever one and the simple one, arriving at the governor, delivering the letter. The governor inquired after the two sons.

They told him that the “khakham” is an extraordinarily clever person, quite a wealthy man and the “tam” is an exceedingly simple person who [believes he] has every kind of garment from the single peltz [piece of fur] as mentioned before. The governor took counsel that it is certainly inappropriate to bring him before the king dressed in a peltz. So he arranged for appropriate garments and placed them in the simple man’s carriage. And he gave them the aforementioned letters.

==

The messengers traveled off and arrived there.

They delivered the letters to them; the clever one delivered to the “khakham” and the simple one to the “tam.” Now the “tam”, as soon as he was delivered the letter, spoke up to emissary (who was also simple, as above) saying, “See here. I don’t know what is written in the letter. Read it to me.” He answered him, “I’ll tell you by memory [Yid. oysveynik < Ger. auswendig; Heb. be`al peh by rote] what is written in it. The king wants you to come to him.”

Immediately he asked, “Are you making fun of me?”

He answered him, “It is the absolute truth; no kidding.” [The tam] was instantly filled with joy and ran, saying to his wife, “My wife, the king has sent for me!” She asked him, “What is it about? Why [has he sent for you?!]” He had no time to answer her at all. He immediately and joyfully rushed off to travel with the emissary, right away entering and sitting down in the carriage.

There he found the above-mentioned clothes and he became happier and happier.

==

In the meantime, reports were sent that the governor was corrupt, and the king deposed him.

The king made up his mind: it would be good to have a simple person be governor, for a tam would conduct the country with truth and justice, since he would not know any sophisticated or contriving ways. So, the king decided that he should make the above-mentioned simple son the governor.

He issued orders that the “tam,” for whom he had already sent, be appointed governor immediately upon entering the provincial capital. For that would be the route the “tam” must travel. Therefore they should watch the city gates so that as soon as the “tam” arrives, they should detain him and install him as governor.

They did so. They stood over the gates and as soon as he drove through, they stopped him and told him that he had been appointed governor. He inquired, saying, “Please don’t clown around with me.”

They answered him, “Of course! No joking at all! The “tam” immediately became governor, with authority and power.

==

Now that his mazal went up  — and [as the Talmud teaches,] mazal machkim[3] [as the mazal (flow) goes up, so does one’s wisdom]– the “tam” acquired a bit of discernment.

Nonetheless, he did not make use of his wisdom at all but just conducted himself with his temimuth (simplicity) as before, and he led the state with temimuth, with truth and with integrity, with not a drop of corruption.

For management of state requires no great intellect nor special knowledge, just uprightness and temimuth.

When two people came before the “tam” for judgment, he would say, “You are innocent and you are liable,” purely according to his simplicity and truthfulness, without any crookedness nor deceit. And thus he conducted everything truthfully.

==

The country loved him very much and he had loyal advisers who truly loved him.

And on account of love, one of them advised him: “Inasmuch as you will certainly be summoned to appear before the king–and behold, he has already sent for you–and moreover, the procedure is that a governor has to come before the king. Now, even though you are very sincere and the king will not find any fault in you of your leadership of the country, still however it is the routine of the king, when he converses that he digresses into discussing philosophy and languages. Therefore, it will be pleasing and of proper etiquette if you are able to respond to him; therefore it will be good for me teach you philosophy and languages.”

The simple man accepted this saying, “Why shouldn’t I learn the wisdom of philosophy and languages?”

It immediately came to his mind that his friend, the clever man had said to him that it would be impossible in any manner that he should reach his [level]. “Here I have already arrived at his wisdom!” (And still even though he now knew wisdom, he did not use the wisdom at all, but rather conducted himself only with simplicity as before.)

==

Afterwards the king requested that the “tam“, the governor, should come to him.

He traveled to him. At first, the king discussed the leadership of the country with the “tam“, and the king was very well pleased. For the king saw that he was conducting himself justly and with great honesty, without any wrongdoing or scheming. Then the king began speaking about wisdom and languages; the simple man replied appropriately, and the king was even more pleased.

The king said, “I see that he is such a smart person and yet conducts himself with such innocence.” The king esteemed him more and more, ending up making him the minister over all the ministers; mandating a special place for him to stay, and commanded to wall him about with very beautiful walls as is befitting, and gave him a writ of appointment that he be chief minister.

And so it was; they built him very fine beautiful buildings in the place where the king had ordered, and he received his sovereignty with full effect.

==

[Returning to] the khakham–the clever man.

When the letter from the king came to the “khakham,” he replied to the clever person who had delivered it, “Wait. Spend the night here. We’ll talk it over and we’ll come to a decision.” That evening, he prepared him a great feast.

During the meal the khakham waxed wise, analyzing with his cleverness and philosophy.

He spoke up and said, “What can this mean, that such a king should send for such a lowly person as me? What am I that the king should send for me? Such a king with such authority and prestige! And me, so insignificant and despicable compared with such a great king — well, how is it conceivable that such a king should send for so unimportant a person as me? If I should say on account of my wisdom, what am I next to the king? What! The king doesn’t have any wise men? Moreover, the king is certainly a great sage himself. So what is this, that the king should send for me?”

He was very, very astonished by this. He spoke up, saying (that is, the original khakham, who was the simple man’s childhood friend–for all this conjecture was the original khakham’s monologue describing his astonishment and surprise, to which he now answers his own rhetoric, saying to the clever messenger):

“You know what I say? My opinion is that it clearly must be that there is no king whatsoever in the world. That the entire world is mistaken in this foolishness; that they think there is a king.

“See! Understand — how can it be possible that the entire world should give itself over to depend on one man, that he should be the king? There is certainly no king in the world at all.”

==

The clever messenger replied, “Haven’t I brought you a letter from the king?”

The original khakham asked him, “Did you yourself receive the letter from the king’s hand directly?” He answered him, “No. Just another person gave me the letter in the king’s name.” He answered up, saying, “Now see with your own eyes that my words are correct–that there is absolutely no king.” He returned to asking him,

“Tell me, are you not from the capital city and did you not grew up there all your life? Tell me, have you ever, in all your days, seen the king?”

He answered, “No.” (For in fact it is so, that not everyone is privileged to see the king, for the king does not reveal himself [publicly] except on rare occasion.)

The original khakham declared, “Now open your eyes and see that I am correct, that there is definitely no king whatsoever, for even you have never seen the king.”

Once again the messenger answered the khakham, “If it is really so, who then rules the country?”

The first khakham responded, “That — I’ll make clear to you, for it is [specifically] me you should ask, since I am an expert in this. I have wandered about in [many] countries; I’ve been to Italy. The customary practice is that there are seventy ministerial advisers [senators] who go up and lead the country for a certain time. Then the authority is given over to the next group until each and every resident takes a turn.”

His words started to penetrate into the clever messenger’s ears until they came to agree and conclude that there definitely is no king in the world at all.

==

Again the original khakham spoke up, “Wait until morning and I will show you one example after another that there is no king in the world at all.”

The original khakham (that is the khakham who is the friend of the tam–we are always referring to him as the “original khakham;”) got up early in the morning, woke his friend, the clever messenger, and said to him,

“Come out with me. I will show you clearly how the whole world is mistaken and that there is really no king whatsoever. Everyone is making a huge mistake.”

They went through the marketplace and noticed a soldier. They got his attention and asked him, “Whom do you serve?” He answered, “The king.” (They asked him,) “Have you ever, in all your days, seen the king?” “No.” [The original khakham] answered up and said, “See! Could there be a foolishness like this?

They went on to an army officer and entered into conversation with him until asking him, “Whom do you serve?” He answered, “The king.” “Have you seen the king?” “No.” He proclaimed, “Now see with your own eyes! The matter is clear. Everyone is mistaken. There is no king at all.

==

The original khakham furthermore declared, “Come! Let us travel the world; I will show you more how the entire world is in great error.”

They went and traveled the world and wherever they arrived they always found the public in error. The matter of the king became an example for them. In other words, just like the public was in error in their belief in the existence of the king, so too everything held to be true by the populace must be mistaken.

With this attitude, they traveled the world until they ran out of [money and supplies.] They began by selling one horse and then the other until they had sold everything and had to go on foot. Incessantly they kept examining the world, finding fault.

They became poor vagrants, their status disintegrated, for no one would give consideration to such paupers.

==

The circumstances played out that they were wandering about until they came to the city in which the minister lived (that is, the “tam,” the simple man, the friend of the “khakham,” the clever man).

There in that city was a genuine Baal Shem [lit. “Master of the (Divine) Name;” a holy man and miracle worker]. The Baal Shem was held in high esteem because he had done truly amazing things, and even among the nobility he was important and famous.

The two clever men came into the city, walked about and came before the house of the Baal Shem. They saw many wagons stationed there–forty or fifty–with sick people. The khakham figured that a doctor must live there. He wanted to go into the house, for since he too was a great doctor, he wanted to go in to make his acquaintance.

He asked, “Who lives here?” They answered him, “A Baal Shem.”

This filled his mouth with laughter and he said to his friend, “This is another lie and an outrageous mistake! This is even more nonsense than the mistake about the king! Brother, let me tell you about this fallacy, how very much the world is fooled by this lie.

==

Meanwhile they became hungry and found that they still had three or four groschen.

They went into a soup-kitchen type restaurant (Yid. gorkekh, everyman’s kitchen) where food is available for even three, four groschen. They ordered food and they were served.

While they were eating, they talked and made fun of the “lie” and the “error” of the matter of the Baal Shem.

The restaurant owner (gorkekher) heard their talk and was very annoyed, because the Baal Shem was highly esteemed there. He said to them, “Eat up what you have and get out of here.”

Then a son of the Baal Shem arrived there, and they kept on ridiculing the Baal Shem right in front of his son.

The restaurateur growled at them for making fun of the Baal Shem in front of his son, until he lashed out, beating them with injurious blows, and shoved them out of his home. It made them furious and they wanted to seek judgment against the one who had beaten them.

==

They decided to go to their innkeeper, where they had left their luggage, to take counsel with him as to how to obtain judgement for the above assault.

They came and told him that the restaurateur had severely beaten them. He asked them, “Why [did he hit you]?” They told him that they had spoken against the Baal Shem. He responded, “It definitely is not right to hit people, but you behaved completely improperly by talking against the Baal Shem, for the Baal Shem is highly regarded here.”

They saw that he was not for real, that he too was in “error.”

They left him and went to the city clerk, (who was a gentile). They told him the story that they had been beaten. He asked, “What for?” They responded that they had spoken against the Baal Shem. The clerk beat them bloody and shoved them out of his office.

==

They went from this one to that one, each time to a higher authority until they came before the above-mentioned minister.

There, in front of the ministry, were stationed soldiers, i.e., sentries. They announced to the minister that a person needs him, and he ordered him to enter. The khakham came before the minister who immediately recognized him, that this khakham is none other than his friend. However, the khakham did not recognize [the tam] due to his superior status.

Immediately the minister initiated, saying to him, “See my temimuth (my simplicity), to what it has brought me — to greatness such as this! And to what has your cleverness brought you?”

The khakham spoke up and said, “That it turns out that you are my friend, the tam — about this we can speak later. Right now, give me a judgement against them for having hit me.”

He asked him, “Why [did they hit you]?”

He answered him, “Because I spoke against the Baal Shem, that he is a lie and a great fraud.”

Answered up the tam prime minister saying, “You still adhere to your contrivances? Look, you once said you could easily reach my [level], but I could not reach yours. Now see that I have already long reached your [level], as mentioned above [that the tam had already become exceedingly wise as well] but you still have not reached mine. And I see that it is far more difficult for you to come to my temimuth [level of simplicity].”

However, since the tam minister had known him from long ago when [the khakham] was still great, he ordered that he be given garments in which to be attired and he bid that he dine with him.

==

While they were eating, they began to converse, the khakham started trying to prove his aforementioned opinion that there is no king at all.

The tam minister snarled at him, “What!? I myself have seen the king!” The khakham answered him glibly, “Do you know personally that it was the king? Do you know him, his father and his grandfather to have been kings? From where do you know that this is the king? People have told you that this is the king. They have deceived you with a lie.”

The tam became deeply vexed about the khakham, that he should deny the king’s [existence].

==

Meanwhile someone came and said, “The Devil has sent for you!”

The tam shook with terror and ran and told his wife with great trepidation how the Devil had sent for him. She advised him to send for the Baal Shem. He sent for him; the Baal Shem came and gave him kame`as [amulets containing holy names] and [other] protections and told him that he need no longer fear at all.

He had great faith in this.

==

So the khakham and the tam were again sitting together as before.

The khakham asked him, “What were you so terrified about?”

He answered him, “Because of the Devil, who had sent for us.” The khakham ridiculed him, “You believe that there is a Devil?!” He responded, “If not, then who sent for us?”

The khakham answered him, “This is definitely my brother. He wanted to be seen with me, and set up a scam to send for me.” The tam asked him, “If this is so, how did he get past all the sentries?” He answered him, “He certainly bribed them, and they are saying fraudulently the lie that they did not see him at all.”

==

Meanwhile again someone came and said as before, “The Devil has sent for you.”

This time, the simple man was not shaken at all and had no fear whatsoever, on account of the protections from the Baal Shem. He spoke up, saying to the khakham , “Now what do you say?”

He said, “I will inform you that I have a brother who is angry at me. He has set up this scam in order to frighten me.”

He stood and asked the one who had come for them, “What does he look like, the one who sent for us? Which type of facial [structure] and hairstyle does he have, etc., and the like. He answered him, such and such.

The khakham answered up, saying, “See! That is my brother’s appearance!”

[Ed. note: He’s lying…]

==

The tam said to him, “Will you go with them?”

He responded, “Yes. Just give me a few soldiers as zalaga (escorting guards) so that they shouldn’t hurt me.” He gave him a zalaga and the two clever men [the original khakham and the messenger] went with the man who had come for them. The soldiers of the zalaga returned and the tam, the minister asked them,

Where are those sophisticates?” They replied that they do not know at all how they disappeared.

The Devil had snatched those two sophisticates and carried them off to [a place of] slime and mud.

There the Devil would sit on a throne amidst the muck. He threw them into the mire which was thick and sticky, literally like glue, and they were completely unable to move in the muck.

They (these clever guys) screamed (at those who were afflicting them, that is the Devil and his henchmen), “Wicked ones! What are you torturing us for? Is there really a Devil in the world? You are evil, torturing us for no reason!”

(For these smart men still did would not believe that there is a Devil; instead they insisted that evil thugs were persecuting them without cause.)

The two sophisticates were left in the thick mire and were trying to figure out, “What is this? These are nothing but hooligans with whom we had once quarreled, and now they are afflicting us so harshly.”

They remained there, tortured and horribly abused for a number of years.

==

One time the tam–the simple man [who became the prime] minister–passed by the Baal Shem’s home and was reminded of his friend, the khakham, the clever man.

He went in to the Baal Shem and leaned in to him (as is the way of officials [wishing not to be overheard]), asking whether it would be possible to show him the khakham and whether he could extricate him.

He said to the Baal Shem, “Do you remember the khakham whom the Devil sent for and carried away, and who has not been seen since?”

He answered him, “Yes.” He bid him to please show him the place [of the khakham] and to extricate him from there. The Baal Shem said to him, “I can certainly show you his place and take him out. Only no one but you and I may go.”

So they went together. The Baal Shem did what he knew [to transcend space and time in order to locate and go to the place] and they arrived there.

He saw how they lay there in the thick muck and slime.

==

When the khakham noticed the minister, he screamed to him, “Brother, look! They are beating and torturing me so intensely–these hooligans–for no reason!”

The minister snarled at him, “Still, you hold to your contrivances and don’t want to believe in anything at all?! You say these are people?? Now see here! Look! This is the Baal Shem whom you had denied. He is specifically the one who can take you out (and he will show you the truth).”

The tam, the minister, beseeched the Baal Shem to take them out and show them that this is the Devil and that these are not humans.

The Baal Shem did what he did, and they were left standing on the dry land with no mire there at all.

And the damaging demons became plain dust.

Then the khakham saw and begrudgingly was forced to admit to everything, that there is indeed a king [and there is indeed a genuine Baal Shem], etc.

====

[Notes Following the Story]

[Rav Nosson adds the following:] Regarding this story [Rebbe Nachman] gave over the teaching (Likutei Moharan Tinyana #12) which discusses khakhmoth (wisdoms/sophistication/cleverness) and temimuth, (innocence)–that the essence of personal wholeness is only temimuth v’pshituth (innocence and simplicity).

[It further discusses] the matter of Amalek who was [the epitome of] a “khakham” [casting doubt through constant clever over-analysis], who heretically denied the main point [i.e., Hashem and the True Purpose of life] etc.

(See there on the verse in Mishlei (Proverbs) 24, “ShevA` yipoL tzaddiK wekaM/ Seven [times] the tzaddik falls, but rises” — the end-letters of each word spell out `AMaLeK.

==

For the main reason for spiritual falls is khokhmoth [cleverness–always trying to be smart in analyzing and figuring out everything].

Likewise, King Agag, who was a descendant of Amalek, even though he could see his imminent downfall when Samuel arrived…to execute him, he still did not believe, as it says (1 Sam. 15:32), “Agag went ma’adanoth” which Targum Yonatan translates as “went in a self-indulgent manner.” For he still did not believe in his immanent demise.

Not until the the very end did he see his vanquishment with his eyes, as then [he says], “Has the bitterness of death indeed turned unto me?”

For until then, he still did not believe.

(If you will look into this tale, you will perceive wonder of wonders:) And if prayer is not as it needs to be, this is [an example of] the “three-cornered shoe” [Yid. a shikhele mit drei ecken]. Understand this well.

And see also at the end of the book the Rav’s explanation, and you will see wonderful analogous commentaries.

====

Dedicated to ‘Nathan of Gaza’ and JR.

====

I was planning to take today off, but all night, I was dreaming the words ‘synagogue in Uman’.

***UPDATES BELOW***

That was a reference to this:

====

I saw this yesterday, when a contact asked for some sources of information about human rights abuses being carried in Ukraine – by the Ukrainians.

So I started sending her some links, and that’s when I came across the first mention of ‘Uman’ I’ve seen in a long time, in relation to what is going on there right now.

I’ve been finding it strange that after the first week, there has been almost no information at all coming out about what is going on with the Jewish community in Uman. I have no idea if people are still there, if everyone left, if they are OK.

The internet is still working there, other people are still streaming content out of Ukraine every day – even content that is ‘anti’ the Ukrainian neo-Nazis who currently in power there – so the silence from the Jewish community in Uman is very strange.

Unless they all left?

If you do know more, please leave links in the comments section.

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Here’s the thing: I have never seen a synagogue like this in Uman.

Me and my husband were trying to figure out where this would be.

We were last there in November, and there was nothing like this around area of the Tzion of Rebbe Nachman at that point – which is where you’d expect a synagogue to be.

And there’s no space in that area for a structure like this.

And it’s weird, that anyone would build a synagogue outside of the Jewish area of Uman – especially one that looks so ‘unprotected’ and open.

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This is that picture of the synagogue blown up:

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Try as I might, I can’t make out the words on it, apparently in Hebrew.

And we can see from this that the top story is just windows.

I was thinking maybe it was the old Kloyz in Uman, which you can read about more HERE.

This screenshot of the Old Kloyz comes from that site:

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The new Kloyz was built right next to Rabbenu’s tomb, on Pushkina Street.

So, this ‘synagogue in Uman’ is stumping me.

But it’s becoming ‘an issue’ in the war – and that’s also worrying me, that the Russians are putting out reports about ‘Jews in Uman’ apparently snitching on where the neo-Nazis are storing their weapons, because those animals are violently murdering people in places like Mariupol and Kharkov for much lesser ‘crimes’.

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If anyone can shed any more light on this ‘synagogue in Uman’, or what is actually happening to the Jewish community in Uman, I’d be grateful.

Because something here just doesn’t seem right.

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UPDATE:

Thanks to reader (and good friend!) C, for the following links:

Haaretz wrote an article about it:

And somebody toured the shul to show that it’s empty:

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[Chabad Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Moshe] Azman also showed up to confirm nothing is in the shul:

(When I try to link to that tweet, it’s just bringing up the tweet above….so here is a screenshot:)

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So, I read this and I started to wonder if it’s a Chabad shul in Uman?

And maybe that’s why I’ve never heard of it?

Then, C. sent me some more information:

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I think this is the one, Kirya Neemana synagogue:

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Here’s a screenshot:
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Where it’s circled in red, that’s Rebbe Nachman’s tomb, and Pushkina Street – the heart of all the Breslov action in Uman.

Where it’s circled in yellow, is the ‘Kirya Ne’emana’ that I’ve never heard of before today.
It might not look like it, but even though it’s relatively close to the Tzion, in terms of the physical distane, it’s a million miles away.
Most of the Jewish visitors to Uman just don’t go to the places far beyond Pushkina unless in a taxi, because it just doesn’t feel so safe to walk around there, honestly, as a visible Jew.
So now, I’m still clicking around trying to find out who built that shul in the middle of nowhere, and who “Natan Ben-Nun of the Rabbi Nachman Foundation in Uman” actually is.
Nothing seems to be coming back to me in English or Hebrew for the ‘Rabbi Nachman Foundation in Uman’, or  – but maybe you’ll have better luck.
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Back on the Google Maps page, there are a bunch of photos of the shul being constructed, and also THIS one, screenshotted below:
The central figure in this picture is R’ Yaakov Meir Shechter, head of the Breslov shul in Meah Shearim which was home to the psychos (related to the extended Schneerson family in Israel) who have been persecuting Rav Berland for at least the last 30 years.
It seems that this shul is connected to the Meah Shearim Breslov Shul (but I’m happy to stand corrected, as more information turns up.)
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Meanwhile, there are some strange ‘reviews’ of this shul, including this:

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And back on the Twitter feed of Ha’aretz journalist Sam Sokol (who is still telling everyone, repeatedly, that THERE ARE NO NEO-NAZIS IN UKRAINE!!!!) – I found the original video from Russia’s military saying that there are weapons being stored there:

(Again, the embed tweet function is playing up. Click HERE, this is a screenshot:)

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In case you forgot, there’s a whole bunch of video and first-hand evidence showing that:

  1. There ARE a lot of neo-Nazis in the Ukraine – and some of them, like the Azov Battalion, were funded by ‘Jewish’ oligarchs like Igor Kolomoisky.
  2. Neo-Nazi ‘Azov Battalion’ is using Israeli guns, and former Israeli ambassadors to Ukraine have admitted meeting with Azov leaders.
  3. Some sort of ‘deal’ was struck between Azov and senior members of the Ukraine Jewish community to ‘protect Jewish religious sites’ in the Ukraine.
  4. In places like Mariupol, these Azov / Right Sector neo-Nazis have been caught on camera, repeatedly, using the basements of places like schools and even hospitals, as their bases and to store weapons.

Here’s a few Telegram channels you can check out for yourself, to get ‘the other side of the story’, that is totally missing from articles by Sam Sokol, and other journalists:

(These aren’t hyperlinked, so cut and paste.)

https://t.me/s/intelslava

https://t.me/s/vicktop55

https://t.me/s/realCRP

A couple of screenshots:

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And finally:

First-hand witness reports of people who fled Mariupol nearly all seem to be saying the same thing:

The Ukraine army (aka Azov Battalion neo-Nazis) was using civilians as human shields; the Ukraine army was the one deliberately firing on civilians there; the Ukraine army itself destroyed 85% of the city.

Maybe THAT’s the reason none of the Western media seem to be running a lot of interviews with the people fleeing Mariupol.

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In the comments, Ruth just put a link to another Telegram channel that seems to be updating info from some of the Jews still in Uman.

From what I’m reading there, it sounds like life is going on pretty much as normal in Uman for the Jewish community….

Which kind of seems incredible.

But long may it continue, and long may they stay safe, under the wing of Rabbenu.

Here’s that link:

https://t.me/brslevlive

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B’kitzur…. all nice and confusing, still.

Let me just leave you with one last screenshot from this morning, from Gonzalo Lira’s Telegram channel HERE:

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Before Covid 19, this would have seemed fantastic.

Now…

….It seems credible.

TBC

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UPDATE 2:

I went back to that blown-up picture of the shul, that claims to be showing weapons stored in the basement.

As Hava said in the comments, it looks like a ‘fake’ picture.

That’s partially because the upper story isn’t complete, there are still foundation wires sticking out the concrete, and the windows seem to be ‘hanging in space’. But we know it’s not an unfinished building, as we’ve seen people now walking around that structure, and it doesn’t look the same today.

So – these shots that the Russians are claiming show weapons being stored and moved from this shul seem to be from a while ago.

I’m just trying to piece all this together still, but that seems to be the facts.

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UPDATE 3:

If you go to THIS Telegram link, you’ll find a video where Al Jazeera is describing the stellar work of the Red Cross in Ukraine…. except when the ambulance pulled up next to them, it disgorged a whole bunch of Ukrainian soldiers, who have been using ambulances to transport themselves, much like our own Palestinian terrorists do.

Screenshot:

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That’ll do for now, or Shabbat just won’t get cooked.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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….

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…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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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