The equation is actually simple.
Either we fear God, and know that He is the one 100% behind everything. OR, we fear the ‘thing’, the ‘person’, the ‘disease’, or the ‘situation’.
The first one is called yirat shemayim – fear of God, fear of Heaven.
And the second one, in spiritual speak, is called ‘fallen fear’. It’s fear that’s ‘fallen away’ from the understanding that Ein Od Milvado, only God is doing everything. That means that if I’m angry about something or with someone, I’m really just angry at God.
The last 3 weeks, I’ve been totally raging about the pointless ‘law’ now in place in Israel that forces everyone to wear masks outside their homes.
Even though the masks don’t really help with anything much….
Even though ‘coronavirus’ is basically no more infectious or deadly than flu…
Even though the only reason we are being forced to wear masks 24/7 is to give the police state a pseudo-valid reason to keep us on the defensive permanently, cowering timidly every time a blue/red flashing light drives by.
We are wearing masks, only because the WHO said so.
And as we know, the WHO is effectively owned by Bill Gates.
So, all this stuff has been making it really hard for me to make my peace with wearing the masks, and it’s been a massive struggle for me to deal with this aspect of #CoronaFascism without going nuts.
Last week, I realized I really have to get a grip on this. This situation is going to continue for a while, and being in permanent angry rant mode is just not helping anyone, especially me.
So, I took a deep breath, and I realized that the real reason I’m wearing a mask is not because of all the corrupt politicians and health ministry officials– starting with Bibi on down. And not because I live in a police state, even though I really do.
But only and solely because Hashem said that right now, I need to wear a mask.
It’s a decree of the King.
And once I internalize that, I can mostly wear the mask OK, at least enough to avoid getting into trouble, because if God wants me to wear the mask, then I can do it.
But if Itamar Grotto and Bill Gates wants me to wear the mask, I really can’t.
It seems to me, that this is the main lesson we need to be learning from this whole sordid saga.
That on so many levels, the only One to fear is really Hashem. The only One who is deciding what’s going on here, across the board, is Hashem.
Ein Od Milvado.
That’s the starting point.
And then, we can move on to starting to figure out some of the tremendous good that is being hidden away in even the very difficult circumstances we’re living through right now.
One of my friends told me that so many kids are actually doing way better, emotionally, after two months at home with their parents, because it’s the first time they’ve had some unbroken quality time and attention, often in their lives.
Of course, this is a process of birur, so on the other side of the equation there are also a lot of kids who are doing worse, especially teens who have spent two months solid at home with controlling parents who just want to dictate to them about EVERYTHING, and are secretly loving the fact that their kids are now back under their thumbs.
Thankfully, in my own life, I’ve seen my teenagers get real, calm down, and start to develop a deeper spiritual side that probably would have taken way longer, if the Corona ‘pandemic’ hadn’t turned up when it did.
And I’ve also been learning to appreciate more of the things that I’ve been taking for granted, like the ability to go for long walks, and to breathe fresh air, and to buy toilet paper whenever I run out.
It’s been quite the eye-opener, in terms of understanding how much shefa I really have in my life.
And then, there’s the ‘message’ that God is trying to send to us with this Coronavirus, which is multi-faceted and relating to just about every area of our life.
In our personal space, a lot of us are being challenged to like and respect the people we live with, and to do kindnesses for them. Our kids are just our mirrors. Our spouses are just our mirrors. If we don’t like ourselves, if we’re hard on ourselves, if we don’t forgive ourselves easily and expect unrealistic perfection, that puts so much unnecessary strain on our relationships.
So there’s work to do on bein adam l’havero, and also work to do on our emuna, that Hashem is behind all this.
And then, there’s also the work to do on emunat tzaddikim, and especially how that relates to any slander and lashon hara we may have been speaking, listening to or believing, especially about the Tzaddik HaDor, Rav Berland.
Messages, messages, messages.
Corona didn’t happen ‘stam’. It’s happened to encourage us all to clean up our spiritual act, and to make the teshuva we need to be ready to greet Moshiach.
For that reason alone, it’s an excellent development.
I want to end with some snippets of emails I’ve received from a few of my readers, each describing their own attempts to accept the ‘Decree of the King’ in their own lives, however that’s manifesting.
They are reprinted here with permission.
Who is like Your Nation, Hashem?
Even in the midst of all this darkness, so much tremendous spiritual light is starting to shine out from all four corners of the globe. And as things develop, it’s only going to strengthen.
One of my readers would like to make Aliyah, but has a complicated family situation that’s making that hard to arrange at the moment. Here’s a little of what she wrote me:
I am trying not to put too much of my heart on things being one way or the other. We may have money in the bank but that can poof away at any moment. We have plans to visit Israel but that can poof away at any moment. It will all go according to Hashem’s will and I have to keep screwing my emunah/bitachon goggles on tight and force myself to keep repeating that everything happens for the very best. Everything happens for the very best.
Another of my readers lives in Latin America, and despite having had an ‘ultra’ orthodox conversion, is not considered Jewish by the State of Israel, nor eligible for the right of return. Here’s a little of what she wrote me, after she read the Great Escape post:
Rivkah, there are so many things I want to do AND I CAN’T. When we struggle to pay the bills, when I deal with my life “NOT EASY” or my food is ruined on Shabbat because I don’t have a refrigerator, I want to cry and scream, I want to tell HASHEM, how I am supposed to work to help millions of anusim if I can’t even complete my Shabbat meals ??? How am I supposed to work with women or help them by teaching them tzeniut if my own clothes have holes that I should sew ??
And I CRY, and I get frustrated, and I see people who can do a lot with their money but are busy “improving their social life” or buying the “trends” in designer handbags, buying luxury cars. I GET FRUSTRATED. I WANT TO FLEE AND hide from everything and EVERYONE.
But I breathe, and I remember, that HASHEM is ALL mercy, that He loves me and put me in this situation for a time so that I learn, so that I grow, so that I see angles that the “successful” woman from before did not see.
It is normal to get frustrated, each with his test, each with his life, his problems. No one has the absolute truth and whoever DOES is so merciful, that they DO NOT OBLIGATE anyone. Hashem continues to make it rain on atheists and on the wicked. And to give food even to the wicked …the time will come when He will force them all [to make teshuva].
I would love for you to see what is going on here, the efforts of some people, I think perhaps you would see that the “delay” [in the geula happening] is pure mercy of Hashem towards people like us.
As this process continues, the birur is heating up.
And it basically boils down to this:
Do we accept that Hashem is running the world, or not?
Are we accepting the Decrees of the King, or not?
Are we doing the work we need to be doing, to get closer to Hashem, and to acknowledge our bad middot? Or not?
Are we giving control and honor back to Hashem, or trying to maintain our own control and honor, particularly in our families?
That is the question.
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