Is it just me, or does it feel like the ‘oomph’ has kind of gone out of the frum Jewish internet world, these days?
For years, so many of us were kept on the edge of our seats with predictions of forthcoming doom, gloom and disaster that it was kind of the frum version of a TV soap addiction, where we had to keep tuning in next time to see
- What the evil Erev Rav are up to now….
- Which banks are going to go bust next….
- Which terrible disaster is being predicted to destroy 2/3 or the world today (and what Jewish festival all that death and destruction is going to coincide with it all…)
- When is Iran meant to drop its first nuke…
- How big a tidal wave is meant to take out New York…
- How much of the world is going to get zapped by Nibiru…
- How many ‘oys’ can we count in the latest prophetic chronicle of misery and doom…
Now, to give credit where credit is due, reading all that stuff made Moshiach and geula very ‘real’ for me, and may also have helped me to make aliyah almost 12 years’ ago. But as I’ve written about before, when all the ‘prophesies’ didn’t exactly materialize as predicted, and as I found myself getting increasingly paranoid and pessimistic about the prospects for Am Yisrael (and also myself…) the lustre came off my frum soap addiction, and I started looking for ways to go into recovery.
At this stage, increasingly, I wonder if there’s some sort of ‘navi sheker’, or false prophecy going on with it all, because if you read the Tanach, you’ll notice that the false prophets nearly all started off as the genuine article that somehow went spiritually sour and corrupted further down the path.
But I digress.
Recovery from my frum soap addiction came by way of chassidut, and in particular the ‘sweet’ teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, and some of his modern day disciples including Rav Shalom Arush, Rav Ofer Erez, and Rav Eliezer Berland.
Rav Shalom opened up the path to start understanding that nearly all of my difficulties in life were rooted in my own bad middot and lack of emuna. Rav Ofer showed me that even when I’m at my lowest ebb, Hashem is always waiting there to give me a hand back up, and to get me back on my feet again.
And Rav Berland showed me that geula and Moshiach is going to come the sweet way, minus nukes from Iran, minus the eeeeeevilll Erev Rav, and minus mass destruction of so many of the people we love and care for fundamentally, even though they aren’t Torah observant, living in Israel, or addicted to the same frum soap operas we are.
Thank God for chassidut, generally, and Breslov in particular!
But it’s true that the frum Jewish internet world has also lost some of its ‘oomph’ now so much of the pointless speculation, paranoid conspiracy theories, destructive wishful thinking and harsh (bordering on psychotic…)judgment of our fellow Jews has started to peter out.
Now, all we’re increasingly left with is authentic Torah sources, uplifting messages of hope and redemption from our true Tzaddikim and an insistent message that instead of wasting any more time pointing fingers at everybody else’s issues, we get our own spiritual houses in order, instead.
I know that’s not as exciting or gripping as the frum soap we’ve all been addicted to for the last few years.